BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A state Public Service Commission member is requesting that all electric utilities pause shutoffs for residents due to days of extremely hot temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.
Public Service Commissioner Davante Lewis said the Department of Health has reported more heat-related hospitalizations this summer.
Although Louisiana is under a state of emergency, not every parish has a heat advisory, which means you could face disconnection if your bill is past due.
The national weather service issues a heat advisory when the temperature is greater than or equal to 103°F.
Lewis is asking utility companies to people before profits during national heat advisory periods.
“I believe utilities are a human right and we should do everything we can to ensure people’s health and security is safe. And that requires electricity,” said Lewis.
“Any time there is a heat advisory issued in the parish in which we serve any of the seven parishes we serve, we would suspend any disconnections for nonpayment and we have done so,” said David Latona, VP of Communications at DEMCO.
Entergy is also suspending disconnections during heat advisory days. The company released a statement that says in part.
“Entergy Louisiana has announced the suspension of disconnects for non-payment through Sunday, Aug. 20, due to prolonged extreme temperatures in our region and out of concern for customer safety. Additionally, our teams are working with customers throughout the state during this unprecedented heat wave to provide assistance and connect qualifying customers to bill payment programs.”
The state also has a burn ban in place, which means people should refrain from burning trees, and logs, or hosting bonfires on their property. Essentially, anything that could lead to a mass wildfire.