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Customers urged to act now, apply for CARES Act funds

Millions of dollars available until 12/31 to assist with utility bills, other costs

Release Date: 9/15/2020

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HONOLULU, Sept. 15, 2020 – Customers challenged by the financial impact of COVID-19 are urged to apply now for utility bill assistance from government and nonprofit sources. Millions of dollars in federal CARES Act funding are available only until the end of the year.

Customers also should take advantage of Hawaiian Electric's special payment arrangement plans to help keep past due balances manageable. Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement to learn more about the interest-free plan options for residential and business customers.

"It's critical for customers to apply for assistance if the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial strain for their household or business. The time to act is now. It helps everyone in Hawaii when these federal funds are injected into our local economy," said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service. "We're also offering special payment arrangement plans to help ease the burden for customers – but we need to hear from you in order for us to help."

Deadlines for some assistance programs are fast-approaching while others are nearing their funding limits. It's important for customers to apply while assistance is still available. Eligibility requirements vary. Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/COVID19 for a listing of programs. Among them:

Hawaiian Electric service disconnections for nonpayment have been suspended through Dec. 31, 2020. The company suspended its collection efforts in March to ensure customers’ electric service would not be disrupted while many were staying home.

The Public Utilities Commission in August extended the moratorium to the end of the year and said in its order that "customers should continue paying their bills to the extent possible during this time, noting that customers will still ultimately be responsible for paying Utility service billings accrued during this suspension."

Customers who are having trouble paying their electric bill are encouraged to contact Hawaiian Electric to set up a payment plan.

Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement for the link to a payment arrangement request form; the form can be emailed to our customer care team. Submitting the form is the quickest way for customers to start the process.

The company's walk-in payment centers remain closed until further notice, but there are several payment methods available to customers.

Go to www.hawaiianelectric.com/paymentoptions for available payment methods. Customers who prefer to pay in person may do so at no charge at Western Union payment locations at retailers throughout the company’s service territory. The company website lists the locations.

For assistance managing energy costs, Hawaii Energy is a trusted resource for tips and rebates to help offset the costs of energy-saving equipment and services. Visit https://hawaiienergy.com/tips for more information.