A change will be coming to Illinois households next summer.

We're getting ready to kick off 2024 and with that comes the enactment of new laws that were passed this year. One of them in Illinois hopes to make the summer heat more bearable for all state residents.

We know summers around here can get intense. This year we had a heat dome, with heat indexes anywhere from 100-110 degrees. We didn't get much rain to help cool things off. And of course, the humidity was rough.

Keeping It Cool


An amendment to an Illinois law that was passed back in June keeps the A/C going for all Illinois residents when the temps get gnarly in the summer. The amendment says that utility companies cannot turn off a resident's gas or electricity during periods of extreme heat even if the resident has not paid their bill.

Specifically, that means days where the forecast is 90 degrees or above or if there's an Excessive Heat Warning from NWS. There are also other stipulations that don't allow for the gas or electric to be cut off in the summer, like holidays:

on any day preceding a holiday or weekend when the National Weather Service for the following 24 hours covering the area of the utility in which the residence is located includes a forecast that the temperature will be 85 degrees (rather than 95 degrees) Fahrenheit or above during the holiday or weekend

This isn't a brand-new concept for Illinois. A similar law that prevents utility companies from shutting off heat during winter (also if there's non-payment) is already in place. That law covers weather that is 32 degrees and under.

Mind you, these laws only cover extreme temperature days, so probably a good idea to go ahead and keep paying those utility bills.

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