Changes to protect employees, customers will not affect electric service
By Hawaiian Electric:
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 LÄna‘i,
1-877-871-8461; Hilo, 969-6999; Kona, 329-3584; or Waimea, 885-4605.
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Electirc