Due to high demand, Utility Bill Assistance Program closed to new applicants after 2 days

Feb 10, 2021 | PC Community

With nearly $2 million already committed, fund still taking contributions

The Hawaiʻi Utility Bill Assistance Program established by Hawaiian Electric and Aloha United Way is closed to new applications due to high demand that led to nearly $2 million being committed to 2,700 households in two days.

The statewide fund is still accepting contributions from companies, organizations and individuals and may be applied to a limited number of applicants who were placed on a waiting list.

The Hawaiʻi Utility Bill Assistance Programwas established by Hawaiian Electric to help households financially affected by the pandemic and that fell behind on their electric, water, sewer and gas bills. The fund helps to serve as a bridge until additional government assistance becomes available.

Applicants received a maximum of $750 and were qualified through a process administered by Aloha United Way and local United Way agencies on a first-come, first-served basis. Hawaiian Electric is also offering customers options for spreading out payments on past-due bills, interest-free, across a longer period than ever before.

“We extend our thanks to Hawaiian Electric, many community donors, and the United Way chapters on KauaÊ»i, Maui and HawaiÊ»i Island who made this program possible. Together we have helped to lessen the financial strain for almost 2,700 households that have been impacted by the pandemic,” said John Fink, president and CEO of Aloha United Way. “The need is still significant, which was so clearly demonstrated as the funds were used up in just 31 hours. We hope those who can afford to will support this or other worthy community assistance efforts.”

The HEI Charitable Foundation is matching Hawaiian Electric employee donations of up to $250 made before March 1 to the utility bill assistance program.

To contribute, please visit AUW.org/utilityhelp or contact Emmaly Calibraro, Vice President of Fundraising and Major Gifts at Aloha United Way at [email protected]