Saturday, November 26, 2022 10:46 pm

After heat-related death, Attorney General Mark Brnovich says Arizona needs power shutoff law

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic 

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said he supports enacting a law to prevent power cutoffs in hot weather, following the report of a woman who died in the heat after her power was cut off in Sun City West.

Seventy-two-year-old Stephanie Pullman died in part from exposure to the heat in September after Arizona Public Service Co. shut off her electricity for nonpayment, according to a medical examiner’s report and records from utility regulators.

Her death was not the first of its kind. The Arizona Republic in 2017 documented the death of Henry Venzor Magos, 61, in south Phoenix. His medical report also indicated heat as a contributing factor in his death. His power from Salt River Project had been cut off.

Last year, 182 people died in the Phoenix area from heat-related causes, and while it’s unclear exactly how many might have been like Pullman and had their power shut off, a county report shows 28% were indoors.

That could indicate they either didn’t have air-conditioning or electricity, or that they had their thermostats turned high to save money on summer bills.

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