Policy Solution

Utility shut-off restrictions



Summary: Governments can ban utility disconnects for nonpayment during heat emergencies. Providing low-income families access to air conditioning and other utilities during high temperatures can save lives.

Implementation: Mandate that utility companies cannot shut-off essential utilities for nonpayment during an extreme heat event.

Considerations for Use: Restrictions should be clearly defined by temperature threshholds. Eligibility can be determined through income requirements, certain medical conditions, or other socioeconomic factors. Shut-off restrictions should be accompanied by community education on ways to conserve energy.

  • Policy Levers:

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • Trigger Points:

    No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.
  • Intervention Type:
  • Sectors:
    Informal Settlements, Public Works


  • Target Beneficiaries:
    Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
  • Phase of Impact:
    Emergency response and management
  • Metrics:
    Number of families participating in program


  • Intervention Scale:
    City, State/Province
  • Authority and Governance:
    City government, State/provincial government
  • Implementation Timeline:
    Short-term (1-2 Years)
  • Implementation Stakeholders:
    City government, Industry, State/provincial government
  • Funding Sources:
    private investment
  • Capacity to Act:
    High, Medium


  • Cost-Benefit:
  • Public Good:
  • GHG Reduction:
  • Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
  • Co-benefits (Social):
    Save on utilities