Illinois AG Announced Legislature’s Passage of His Legislation Preventing Utility Shutoffs During Extreme Heat

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul responded to the General Assembly’s passage of his legislation that would prevent gas and electric utilities from shutting off service for customers who haven’t paid under certain extreme heat conditions. Existing legislation prevented disconnections at 95°F or hotter, but did not account for extreme heat events when the temperature did not rise to 95°. Under AG Raoul’s proposed amendment to the law, disconnections will be prohibited when “temperatures [reach] 90°F or above, or when the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat watch, heat advisory or excessive heat warning.” The AG explained that this change will better account for situations when the temperature itself may not be dangerously high, but that humidity or other conditions combine with the temperature to create dangerous conditions. In a statement, AG Raoul said: “I initiated this legislation to better protect the health and safety of Illinois’ most vulnerable residents during extreme heat by taking dangerously high humidity into account. The summer months in Illinois are not the time to put lives at risk by disconnecting electric and gas utilities service for nonpayment. Too many Illinois residents die in heat waves, and this legislation can help prevent fatalities. I am pleased the Legislature has passed this measure, and I look forward to the governor signing it into law.”