The new law, co-sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblymembers Dan Benson and Waye DeAngelo, is named after Linda Daniels, a 68-year-old Newark grandmother who died after PSE&G disconnected her electricity and her oxygen tank lost power. Today marks one year since her death.
“No one should fear losing their life because their electricity bill is a few days overdue,” Murphy said in a statement. “Linda’s Law will protect residents who rely upon electricity to support their medical equipment.”
Utilities will be required to request information on a semi-annual basis from customers to document who relies on electricity to power medical equipment. The law will prohibit electric public utilities from discontinuing service for 90 days due to nonpayment for those who are deemed medical customers.
The state Board of Public Utilities, which monitors utility services and responds to consumer complaints, already considers temperatures before shut off.
"The NJBPU has been working closely with the utilities to implement additional regulations that we hope, along with this legislation, will help prevent future tragedies,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Our ongoing condolences to her family.”
PSE&G previously told TAPinto it supported the bill. The company has said it has already taken steps to make it easier to know which customers are using life-sustaining equipment.