Hawaiian Electric's response to COVID-19
May 20, 7:30 a.m.
Meter Reading Reminder
We know how challenging the past few months have been, but it has been wonderful seeing our beautiful communities work together and slowly reopen.
We’ve started to read meters and you can find Logan Torricer on Maui making his rounds. Remember to give him a shaka when you see him around. To learn more about our efforts to resume meter reading, visit hawaiianelectric.com/meterreadingresumes.
May 18, 8:00 a.m.
Maintaining Fabric Masks
As malls and businesses reopen, we wanted to remind everyone to be vigilant and continue to practice social distancing!
We shouldn’t let our guard down – if you are choosing to go to the mall or anywhere in public, we urge you to continue wearing your face mask.
For those with fabric masks, check out our video for helpful tips on maintaining your mask.
May 13, 9:30 a.m.
Over $150,000 donated to United Way to support families in need
Hawaiian Electric and HEI employees, and the HEI Charitable Foundation partnered with Aloha United Way (AUW), Maui United Way and Hawaii Island United Way to raise money for the Hawaii COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Most of the funds raised will help provide financial relief to those at risk of losing their home or utility services through AUW’s COVID-19 Rent & Utility Assistance Program.
In March, the HEI Charitable Foundation contributed $75,000 to Hawaii’s United Way chapters, which inspired Hawaiian Electric and HEI employees to launch a month-long online giving campaign in April. Employees on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Lanai and Molokai raised $37,516. The HEI Charitable Foundation matched every dollar donated by employees, raising the current contribution to $75,032, and bringing the overall total donated to United Way chapters statewide to $150,032 for COVID-19 relief.
May 12, 10:00 a.m.
$21,000 donation to help Hawaii Island residents
Hawaiian Electric and the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation (HEICF) recently donated $21,000 to three Hawaii Island non-profit organizations that are feeding communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Hawaii Island, the biggest concern and priority is food security. The Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island, The Food Basket, and Activate Hawaii Aid each received $5,000 from HEICF to support their ongoing efforts to provide fresh produce, shelf-stable food, and prepared meals to Hawaii Island families. These donations are in addition to the $2,000 each organization received from Hawaiian Electric last month.
Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island.
May 11, 2:30 p.m.
Meter reading resumes
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaiian Electric scaled back meter reading from mid-March through early May to protect the health and safety of employees and the public. As of May 11, we've resumed normal meter reading operations across the five islands we serve.
May 5, 7:30 a.m.
Take part in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving, unity and support of all frontline workers who continue to risk their lives to keep everyone else safe.
Join us and help support local families and individuals by donating to Aloha United Way’s Hawaii COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund here: www.auw.org/give.
To view a full list of organizations to donate to in Hawaii, please visit www.givebighawaii.com.
May 4, 10:30 a.m.
Staying healthy while staying at home
“Keeping healthy and fit should be top of mind – especially as stay-at-home orders are extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not being able to go to the gym shouldn’t be an excuse to skip exercise. In fact, it’s even more critical to be mindful of our well-being since it’s easy to become neglectful while trapped in the comfort of our own homes.
“Be sure to take steps to maintain both your physical and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. In the process, you might even shed a few pounds, gain some muscle and acquire a whole new outlook on life,” writes Michael Choe, a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric. Read our latest blog at http://hwnelec.co/Wsjn50zvQyz.
April 30, 5:00 p.m.
$20,000 donation to Maui Food Bank to help Molokai residents
More than 33,000 pounds of food will be distributed by the Maui Food Bank to Molokai residents in need through a $20,000 contribution from the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation (HEICF). HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, which supplies power to Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu and Hawaii Island.
The donation will support additional shipments this week and in May to supplement Maui Food Bank's regular monthly delivery of food to Molokai. Once delivered, 19 partner agencies across the island distribute safe, nutritious, and fresh food to individuals, families, kids, seniors on fixed incomes, the homeless and anyone who is at risk of going hungry.
April 29, 9:00 a.m.
Moratorium on service disconnections extended through June 30
Hawaiian Electric has suspended service disconnections for nonpayment through June 30 to ensure customers’ electricity needs are met as stay-at-home orders are extended due to the coronavirus pandemic
Customers should NOT worry about their power being shut off due to nonpayment through the end of June, and any threat of immediate disconnection unless payment is made received before June 30 should be treated as a scam. Customers experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic are urged to contact Hawaiian Electric to discuss payment arrangements and options.
Hawaiian Electric continues its modified operations on Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus, which includes extending the closure of its walk-in payment centers through June 30.
April 25, 8:00 a.m.
Virtualization of Our Call Centers
If you hear keiki or pets making noises in the background, it's because our customer service team recently transitioned to answering customer calls from home! This was made possible due to virtualization of our call centers prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Our team of call center representatives can now easily assist and support customers from any location. You could be speaking to an agent from Oahu, Maui County or Hawaii Island, regardless of where you are calling from.
April 23, 8:30 a.m.
Online Customer Service Options
As Hawaii does its part to decrease the transmission of COVID-19, we are challenged with adjusting our normal everyday tasks, by staying home as much as possible.
To help with social distancing, our payment centers are temporarily closed to the public. Customers are encouraged to sign up for an account to view and pay their bill at www.hawaiianelectric.com/myaccount.
Once logged into your account, you can send a message to us through an authenticated method without having to call. Through this channel, one of our customer service representatives will get back to you with a response.
As a reminder, we have also suspended service disconnections for non-payment through May 17. For customers unable to pay their bill due to financial hardships, please contact our customer service department to coordinate payment arrangements. Visit hawaiianelectric.com/customerserviceoptions for more information.
April 21, 7:30 a.m.
Kokua for Native Hawaiian Children
The Liliuokalani Trust is providing kokua through one-time emergency stabilization financial assistance for necessities such as food, gas and household items to those who apply:
- Eligible families must have a Hawaiian child (ages birth to 17 years old) residing in the household of the requestor and they must have legal authority to request this assistance.
- There must be a direct financial impact resulting from COVID-19 (loss of job, reduced hours, quarantine). Requestors are asked to provide documentation, if possible.
- The requestor and child are not currently enrolled in Liliuokalani Trust services.
April 19, 7:30 a.m.
We our working hard to provide you and your ohana with safe, reliable electric service during this challenging time.
Unfortunately, there are those who are trying to take advantage of the situation. Please watch out for scammers who are posing as Hawaiian Electric employees and calling/texting customers by spoofing our number and threatening to disconnect service unless electric bills are paid immediately.
We have suspended service disconnections through May 17. For customers who are unable to pay their bill due to financial hardships, please contact us or submit a request for payment arrangements found online at hawaiianelectric.com/customerserviceoptions.
We'll make it through this time of uncertainty together. Mahalo for your support.
April 16, 8:00 a.m.
Distance Learning Support
Distance learning is new for many of us. To make it easier, we now have a free resource page featuring electronic booklets and videos that you can easily download and view from our website: www.hawaiianelectric.com/distancelearning.
April 15, 11:30 a.m.
How to Make Your Own Face Mask (No Sewing Required!)
"The materials you need can be found in your home. You will need one (1) old T-shirt or any shirt you don't use anymore, toilet paper, scissors and one sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper. The best part about it: There is NO SEWING REQUIRED!" writes Chase Ogoshi, a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric.
April 13, 8:00 a.m.
We Are Here For You
During this challenging time, we know you are counting on us to keep the lights on.
We are reducing the number of employees in the field and are focusing on work that is necessary for safety and reliability. We continue to respond to outages and have put in measures to practice social distancing.
This is an uncertain time for us all, but we want you to know that Hawaiian Electric is on the job. Mahalo for your continuous support!
April 8, 8:00 a.m.
Farm-to-Car Reusable Bag Donation
While a few farmers markets have decided to close, several of them around the state are still open for business. They are implementing various methods to prioritize social distancing while making it convenient for attendees to browse and purchase local goods.
This is a great way for us to support local businesses and get fresh produce and avoiding long lines at grocery store. For a list of the farmers markets that are still open, visit https://hfbf.org/farmers-markets/.
The Hawaii Farm Bureau is also implementing Farm-to-Car, a farmers' market that allows curbside pick-up or drive-thru. Hawaiian Electric has donated 1,900 reusable bags to help the initiative. For more information, visit https://hfbf.org/farm-to-car/.
April 7, 8:00 a.m.
Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership (H.E.L.P.)
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino announced this week that applications are now being accepted for financial assistance through the Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership (H.E.L.P.) program.
The H.E.L.P. program offers financial assistance for Maui County residents with essential needs such as food, personal hygiene, medicine, rent, mortgage, utility services, phone or internet services, car payments, and other necessities.
"The health and well-being of our residents are our top priority," Mayor Victorino said. "Relief efforts such as the H.E.L.P. program provide vital financial support to our residents, so they can stay healthy and provide for their families during this difficult time."
April 5, 8:00 a.m.
$50,000 Contribution to the Show Aloha Challenge
The Show Aloha Challenge, an initiative created to help feed our kupuna with nutritious meals from local restaurants, has raised $250,000 from community donations. Hawaiian Electric and Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) Charitable Foundation have contributed $50,000 to the initiative, directly helping local businesses on multiple islands. HMoW - Hawaii Meals on Wheels calculated 60 meals for every $500, meaning we will be providing 6,000 meals to our kupuna.
"We're proud to partner with others in our communities to support local businesses and help feed our seniors at the same time," said HEI President and CEO Connie Lau. Read more: www.showalohachallenge.com.
April 2, 8:00 a.m.
There's help for those who need assistance!
For small business owners and certain nonprofits, the US Senate has just passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. If you need assistance and own a small business, read the Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act.
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, the Hawaii Community Foundation and Pierre and Pam Omidyar have also joined forces to launch the Hawaii Resilience Fund (HRF) to rapidly deploy resources to individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program provides emergency financial assistance (up to $1000) to Hawaii residents that have been laid off or have seen a reduction in their pay due to the coronavirus. If you need assistance, start your application today or get more information at https://www.hawaiiancouncil.org/hrf.
March 30, 8:00 a.m.
Hawaiian Electric's still on the job, but adjusting operations
Hawaiian Electric crews are still on the job across the five islands we serve, many still out in the field. We're allowed — even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the state's stay-at-home orders. Some customers have questioned why workers are still out, and a few people have yelled at them.
Electric utilities are exempt from the government lockdown because we provide an essential service.
Hawaiian Electric is like every other business trying to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic. This situation is unlike any natural or man-made disaster that our company has endured. And we're making tough decisions on a daily basis.
We're adjusting our operations to make sure essential work continues, and the vital service you need from us is provided uninterrupted.
March 27, 9:15 a.m.
Hawaiian Electric adjusts operations due to coronavirus
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.
- Until further notice, the company is reducing the number of meter readers sent out across its five-island service territory.
- Service disconnections are suspended through May 17, an extension from April 17.
- Walk-in customer payment centers will remain closed at least through April 30 rather than reopen on March 30 as originally planned.
March 26, 9:00 a.m.
Virtual Interview on COVID-19: Scott Seu, President and CEO, Hawaiian Electric
In light of recent events, Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Scott Seu shares his thoughts on what we are doing as a company during this difficult time and how we have activated our business continuity plans in a virtual interview with Hawaii Business Magazine.
"Everyone at Hawaiian Electric is keenly aware that reliable electric service is essential to everyone, especially now. There's no question we must maintain our high levels of performance. Hawaiian Electric is in full operation on five islands."
March 25, 2:30 p.m.
Thieves targeting customers during coronavirus pandemic
Scammers are trying to capitalize on coronavirus fears by pretending to be Hawaiian Electric and threatening to disconnect customers' electric service unless "overdue" bills are paid. Don't be scammed!
Hawaiian Electric has received dozens of fraud reports from across our five-island service territory since late last week, with many more likely going unreported. Today alone, there were 23 fraud reports received on Oahu by 1 p.m.
Customers have also reported receiving threatening texts from Hawaiian Electric asking for payment. Hawaiian Electric does not text customers to request payment.
March 24, 1:30 p.m.
Customer service options for you
To help with potential financial challenges due to COVID-19, Hawaiian Electric is assisting residential and business customers with their bills by suspending service disconnections for non-payment through at least April 17. Customers facing financial hardship are urged to reach out to us at hawaiianelectric.com/CustomerServiceOptions.
March 24, 7:30 a.m.
Adjustments to construction, project work
During this challenging time, we know you're counting on Hawaiian Electric to keep the lights on. We know that many of you are responsibly staying home to prevent the spread of the virus, based on direction from state and local officials, health agencies, schools and employers.
Continuing to provide safe and reliable power is our priority. We will continue to respond to outages and emergencies to ensure public safety. Our crews and contractors will continue to perform critical work that involves little interaction with the public, including tree trimming, replacement of equipment, and system resilience work that is difficult to reschedule. In public and at our facilities, workers are following social distancing guidelines. We are postponing less urgent projects and work that would require customer outages, unless it is deemed critical for safety or reliability.
Mahalo for your support as we work to keep our communities safe.
March 20, 9:30 a.m.
How to save energy while WFH (working from home)
As we all take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, you may be working from home and wondering about increased electricity costs. The good news is there are ways to keep your electricity bill under control. You can find many tips online for saving energy at home.
March 19, 10:00 a.m.
Funds to support families in need during health crisis
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 Hawaii families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. HEI is the parent company of Hawaiian Electric, American Savings Bank and Pacific Current.
March 19, 8:00 a.m.
A Message from President and CEO Scott Seu
The coronavirus situation is new to all of us. What's especially hard is not knowing what's ahead.
What I can tell you is that Hawaiian Electric is on the job. We'll be here, because we know providing safe, reliable electric service is essential for households, businesses, our first responders and health-care workers and facilities. It's foundational for the recovery of our communities and our economy.
Here's what else we're doing to support our community.
Because we know many of our customers will be financially challenged by the slowdown of our economy, we're taking steps to ease the worry. We have suspended disconnections for non-payment for at least 30 days, until April 17, and we may extend that period depending on the situation at the time. We are asking customers who are having trouble paying their electric bills because of the coronavirus emergency to call us about payment options and schedules.
Also, our charitable foundation is contributing $125,000 to community partners, including the Hawaii Foodbank and United Way agencies on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island to help families in need.
March 17, 4:00 p.m.
Hawaiian Electric suspends disconnections for 30 days
Hawaiian Electric will suspend service disconnections for 30 days so customers who are financially challenged by the coronavirus pandemic don't have to worry about losing electric service.
Service disconnections of both residential and commercial customers will be suspended through at least April 17. Depending on the situation at that time, the special assistance period may be extended.
Customers facing financial hardship are urged to call Customer Service so payment options and schedules can be arranged to help keep payments manageable.
March 16, 3:00 p.m.
Hawaiian Electric to temporarily close walk-in payment centers at noon Wednesday, plans to reopen March 30
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.
March 9, 11:30 a.m.
Hawaiian Electric is taking steps to ensure that we will continue to provide safe and reliable service if the public health responses to COVID-19 are elevated.
Even though providing electric service isn't a "high touch" business that requires significant personal contact, we are taking steps to keep our employees safe, healthy and on the job.
We also want to minimize risk to customers who visit our offices and to our employees, especially those who work in our service centers on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. Our actions follow public guidance issued by the state Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here's some of what we're doing:
- Restricting employee business travel for all nonessential domestic and international meetings and events.
- Discouraging employee personal travel to areas where travel advisories have been issued and, in some cases, requiring those employees stay home for at least 14 days when they return.
- Regularly cleaning surfaces in customer service areas and asking customers to conduct routine transactions online, by telephone or by using a drop box for bill payments.
While acknowledging the increased public concern, Hawaiian Electric continues to operate normally, providing safe and reliable electricity to 95 percent of the state's population.
Visit these sites for more information about COVID-19:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH)
- Hawaii State DOH: Information and Resources for Managing COVID-19
- Liliuokalani Trust's COVID-19 Ohana Stabilization Fund - Assistance with necessities (rent, food, utilities) for parents of Native Hawaiian children destabilized by the pandemic