Additional COVID-19 Updates
June 23, 2:00 p.m.
Interview with Scott Seu: Restarting Hawaii
As businesses reopen, Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Scott Seu shares his thoughts on working in the “new normal” through an interview with Hawaii Business Magazine.
“This was a big operational experiment that was forced on us by the pandemic. Historically, our company wasn’t big on teleworking or flexible work arrangements. That attitude has completely changed. This experience has shown us in real-time that teleworking doesn’t noticeably diminish productivity and in some cases enhances it. People aren’t starting the workday wiped out from commuting or rushing to get out before the commute home,” said Seu.
June 4, 5:00 p.m.
Update on Electric Bills
Your electric bill may have been higher than usual for May. Here's why:
- We announced in March that to do our part to keep our employees safe and stop the spread of COVID-19, we would scale back meter reading from late March to early May. Bills were estimated based on usage in prior months.
- Stay-at-home orders resulted in residents using more electricity – air conditioners, computers, lights, appliances – because they didn't go out for school, work and weekend activities. On average, customers used about 13% more electricity, with above-average users consuming as much as 17% more.
- Customers are now receiving true-up bills that reflect the amount of electricity used during the billing period, in addition to what was actually used when bills were estimated. For accounts that reduced energy use during the pandemic, the true-up bill will account for any overestimation from the prior estimated bill. For accounts that increased energy usage, the true-up bill will account for any underestimation from the prior estimated bill.
- If you're having trouble paying your electricity bill, please contact us to set up a payment plan. The quickest option is to fill out a payment arrangement request form. Visit www.hawaiianelectric.com/CustomerServiceOptions.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
- Payment Arrangement Options - View a list of interest-free payment arrangements options available for a limited time.
- Payment Assistance Options - View a list of options available to Hawaiian Electric customers.
- Hoala Assistance Program (funded by City and County of Honolulu and Hawaii Community Foundation) - Helps Oahu residents with payments, including for their utilities.
- COVID-19 Household Hardship Relief Program - Program provides assistance to City and County of Honolulu residents who demonstrate economic hardship due to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 Utility Bill Support - KEEP ON Utility Assistance provides $500 utility (gas, electric or non-government water) bill assistance for Hawaii County residents.
- Hawaii Pandemic-EBT - This program provides assistance to Hawaii families with children who are struggling to buy food.
Visit these sites for more information about COVID-19: