Hawaiian Electric: no immediate disconnections at the end of the moratorium on May 31
Hawaiian Electric will not disconnect customers with overdue accounts immediately after May 31, 2021, the end of the moratorium on disconnections set by the Utilities Commission. But customers are urged to act now to put a payment plan in place to avoid disconnection in the future, according to a press release from Hawaiian Electric.
Customers can visit hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement to view payment plan options, including an 18-month plan for residential customers, and submit a request. Late fees and interest are waived during a plan.
The Payment Arrangement Request Form and information leaflet are available in eight languages on the Hawaiian Electric website.
To make sure the lights stay on, thousands of smaller residential and business customers who hit the disconnect threshold will automatically have their balances built into a 12-month payment plan starting in July. Automatic enrollment will apply to late payment customers who do not contact Hawaiian Electric.
These customers will be notified with their invoice when the payment plan begins, explaining how the agreement works, including instructions on how to opt out.
Customer invoices on payment plans – entered automatically or at the customer’s request – will include the current charges, plus the down payment amount. The amount of the deposit will differ for each customer. If a customer’s overdue amount is small, the down payment amount will also be a fraction of the invoice. However, if a customer hasn’t made any payments to their account in the past year, the total monthly bill could more than double.
Here’s how the 12-month payment option works: 1/12 of the outstanding balance must be paid each month over 12 months – in addition to your current fees. In the first month of the installment plan, the amount due will include your ongoing charges plus 1/12 of your outstanding balance.
Here is an example:
- If a customer has an outstanding balance of $ 1,200, divide the balance by the number of months in the payment plan: $ 1,200 divided by 12 equals $ 100
- If the current charge is $ 150, the customer owes the ongoing charge of $ 150 plus the $ 100 (1 / 12th of the outstanding balance). The total amount due will be $ 250.
Customer must pay the additional 1 / 12th outstanding balance, plus ongoing charges, for 12 consecutive months.
If a customer does not pay the amount owed during a payment plan, this may trigger a collection activity and the service may be disconnected at some point in the future. Contact Hawaiian Electric immediately for assistance or to change payment terms.
Customers facing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to seek help from government and non-profit organizations. Hawaiian Electric does not administer these programs, but works with several of these agencies. See the list of resources at hawaiianelectric.com/COVID19. Among them:
- Counties pay millions of dollars in federal funds to tenants who meet certain income requirements. These funds can be used for rental and utility payments.
▪ Renters / Landlords in Maui County can go to https://mauicounty.gov/MauiRentHelp or call 808-873-4673 to learn more.
▪ On the island of Hawaii, six non-profit organizations manage rental assistance and utilities. Read the Hawaiian Electric press release for the list of nonprofits.
- Eligible customers can apply for an energy credit from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program during the month of June. The amount of credit granted varies. Visit the Hawaiian Electric website for LIHEAP information and an app.
- Business customers can visit the State Business Development and Support Division’s resource page for available assistance.
- Restaurants can view information about the Federal Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
- To help you manage energy costs, Hawaiʻi Energy is a trusted resource for advice and discounts to help offset the costs of energy efficient equipment and services. Visit https://hawaiienergy.com/tips for more information.