Policy Solution

Utility shut-off restrictions

Mandate

Overview:

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: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.

    MandateMandates are government regulations that require stakeholders to meet standards through building codes, ordinances, zoning policies, or other regulatory tools.
  • Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).

    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:
    Planning/Policy
  • Sectors:
    Informal Settlements, Public Works,

    Impact:

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

Implementation:

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

    Benefits:

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