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Hawaiian Electric adjusts operations due to coronavirus
Changes to protect employees, customers will not affect electric service
HONOLULU, March 27, 2020 -- Hawaiian Electric continues to adjust its operations to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus, including postponing less urgent repair and maintenance work, and closing walk-in customer payment centers at least through April.
None of the operational changes being made will interrupt electric service to customers.
To ensure electric service is not disrupted, Hawaiian Electric is postponing projects and work that would require customer outages, unless it is deemed critical for safety or reliability. Our crews and contractors will continue to perform essential work that involves little interaction with the public, including tree trimming (to reduce potential outages), replacement of equipment, and system resilience work that is difficult to reschedule.
Emergency work, including outage restoration and repairs to ensure public safety such as replacing damaged poles, remains a priority.
Although Hawaiian Electric employees are considered "essential workers," the company is trying to reduce the numbers in the field to protect the health and safety of employees and the public. Here are some other measures being taken:
- Until further notice, the company is reducing the number of meter readers sent out across its five-island service territory.
Bills for residential and some small- to medium-size commercial customers will be estimated based on the previous month's usage. Meter readers will continue to read meters for large commercial customers.
Once meter reading resumes, the bills will "true up" and customers will be billed accordingly for the actual usage. Customers will pay for only the electricity used.
- Service disconnections are suspended through May 17, an extension from April 17. If you receive a notice from Hawaiian Electric before May 17 that threatens to disconnect service, it's a scam and should be ignored.
Customers facing financial hardship are urged to contact Customer Service so payment options and schedules can be arranged to help keep payments manageable. While customers will still be responsible for paying their electric bills, payment schedules and other options can help ease the financial challenges for those most affected by the COVID-19 situation.
The quickest way to start the process is to fill out and submit a Payment Arrangement Request Form at https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/customerserviceoptions.
- Walk-in customer payment centers will remain closed at least through April 30 rather than reopen on March 30 as originally planned.
Hawaiian Electric encourages customers who are having difficulty paying their bills due to the coronavirus pandemic to contact customer service representatives.
To make payment arrangements or for more information, visit the online customer care center at www.hawaiianelectric.com or call: O‘ahu, 548-7311; Maui, 871-9777; Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i, 1-877-871-8461; Hilo, 969-6999; Kona, 329-3584; or Waimea, 885-4605.
Hawaiian Electric to temporarily close walk-in payment centers at noon Wednesday, plans to reopen March 30
Proactive measure being taken as part of COVID-19 response
HONOLULU, March 16, 2020 -- Hawaiian Electric will temporarily close its payment centers starting at noon Wednesday, March 18, to minimize risk related to COVID-19 for both customers and employees. The company will reassess next week whether the centers should reopen on Monday, March 30.
This temporary measure is needed to increase social distancing as recommended by state and federal health officials. However, customers still have numerous options to make payment.
Customers are encouraged to:
- Mail in payment.
- Use or sign up for online bill payment.
- Use Speedpay®, an authorized payment service provider that allows you to pay by phone or online (convenience fee will apply).
- Visit Western Union payment locations throughout our five‑island service territory if payment must be made in person.
For more information, visit our Payment Centers page.
Hawaiian Electric understands that, depending on how long it lasts, the COVID‑19 situation may cause financial hardship for customers. Those customers are urged to call representatives at the numbers listed below to discuss options available to keep their accounts current:
- O‘ahu: 1-808-548-7311
- Maui: 1-808-871-9777
- Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i: 1-877-871-8461
- Hilo: 1-808-969-6999
- Kona: 1-808-329-3584
- Waimea: 1-808-885-4605
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HEI Charitable Foundation donates $125,000 to Hawaii Foodbank and United Way for COVID-19 aid Funds to support families in need during health crisis
HONOLULU, Mar. 19, 2020 -- The HEI Charitable Foundation (HEICF) has contributed $50,000 to the Hawaii Foodbank and pledged another $75,000 to United Way agencies in support of their efforts to assist Hawai‘i families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, American Savings Bank and Pacific Current.
"Our community is experiencing tremendous and increasing hardship as social distancing has required extended closures and school breaks, reduced work hours, and even loss of jobs and benefits," said Connie Lau, HEI president and CEO. "That's why we want to help the Hawaii Foodbank and United Way, organizations that provide critical services to our community during these trying times. We hope our donation will inspire others to give if they are able."
"Hawaii Foodbank is extremely grateful for the generosity and support of the HEI Charitable Foundation," said Ron Mizutani, president and CEO of Hawaii Foodbank. "We are seeing an extreme rise in demand for food and we are adjusting our food distribution efforts to meet the complex realities of social distancing. It's times like these that our work together becomes even more visible to our community and even more important to those in need. Financial contributions go much further than food donations in moments like these and HEI Charitable Foundation's support will help distribution in hard-hit communities across Hawaiʻi."
HEICF pledged $50,000 to Aloha United Way, $10,000 to Hawaiʻi Island United Way, $10,000 to Maui United Way and $5,000 to Kauaʻi United Way.
"Aloha United Way is on the front lines actively working to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community," said Norm Baker, Aloha United Way interim president and CEO. "We are experiencing an immediate increased demand for services and support along with a record number of calls to our 2-1-1 helpline. We expect the need to continue to soar and are counting on community support to meet the growing need. Together, with community partners like HEI, we will persevere and help our island ʻohana return to a stronger, healthy and safe place."
Hawaii Foodbank is currently preparing for increased hunger-relief aid it provides to vulnerable community members. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) agency serves Oʻahu and Kauaʻi directly, and partners with The Food Basket to serve Hawaiʻi County
and Maui Food Bank to serve Maui County. To learn more about their efforts or to donate, please visit www.hawaiifoodbank.org.
Since early March, Aloha United Way's 2-1-1 call center has been open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for information or questions about COVID-19. The information and referral line provides assistance to more than 94,000 people and directs callers to resources provided by its 300-plus partner agencies. To learn more about their efforts or to donate, visit www.auw.org.
HEI supplies power to approximately 95% of Hawaiʻi's population through its electric utility, Hawaiian Electric; provides a wide array of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through American Savings Bank, one of Hawaiʻi's largest financial institutions; and helps advance Hawaiʻi's clean energy and sustainability goals through investments by its non-regulated subsidiary, Pacific Current, LLC. Hawai‘i is pursuing some of the most aggressive climate goals in the U.S., including a 100% renewable energy portfolio standard for electricity and a carbon-neutral goal for the entire economy. HEI is deeply involved in helping Hawai‘i achieve these goals.
About Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO)
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands' development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO), and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serves 95% of the state's 1.2 million residents on the islands of O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i Island, Lana`i and Moloka`i.
The energy we use is an essential but limited resource necessary to maintaining our quality of life. In a changing world, Hawaiian Electric has evolved to offer more than electricity.
Today, the company also provides energy solutions to help customers save money and use energy more efficiently. Hawaiian Electric also continues to pursue the use of more clean, renewable energy alternatives to help ensure a sustainable future for our islands.
Hawaiian Electric Company is dedicated to our community in which we live, work and serve. Rooted in Hawaii and one of the largest companies in the State, Hawaiian Electric takes the concept of malama pono -- to care for and serve -- to heart. The company and our employees have a long tradition of contributing with dollars, time and talent. Corporate citizenship is crucial to Hawaiian Electric's overall business plan because strong communities are essential to the success of the company, our employees and our customers.
Company and employee volunteerism is encouraged and every month, employees walk, run or provide manpower to dozens of non-profits throughout the State. Hawaiian Electric's corporate giving philosophy gives priority to projects that help families, promote education and protect the environment.
The company also sponsors robotics programs and events that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education, as well as the SunPower for Schools program bringing solar electric power to select schools, the Solar Sprint event where students design, build and race cars using solar power, and the Home Energy Challenge, a school-based competition encouraging elementary school students and their families to reduce energy use at home, among other programs.
For nearly a decade, Hawaiian Electric volunteers have provided manpower, bucket trucks and ladders to install Christmas lights at the Kaimuki Community Park and playground before the annual Kaimuki Christmas Parade in December.
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