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Saturday, October 25, 2014         

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HECO strike: What you need to know

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:



QUESTION: What if I need to report an outage? Who do I call?

ANSWER: To report an outage, call the following numbers:

» Oahu: (808) 548-7961
» Big Island: (808) 969-6666
» Maui: (808) 871-7777
» Molokai and Lanai: (877) 871-8461

Q: Will anybody be manning the customer service phones?

A: Yes, customers can continue to call customer service centers for help. Business hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on Oahu and the Big Island, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

» Oahu: (808) 548-7311
» Big Island: (808) 969-6999
» Maui: (808) 871-9777
» Molokai and Lanai: (877) 871-8461

Q: Are bill payments affected?

A: Walk-in services, including payment drop boxes, at Hawaiian Electric offices will not be available.

Customers can still pay by mail, through www.heco.com, or by charge or debit card. Residential customers can call (888) 813-2207, and commercial customers can call (888) 813-2215.

Customers can also pay at First Hawaiian Bank, Wal-Mart, Foodland, Sack N' Save and KTA Stores (except in Hilo). During the strike period, service charges paid by customers at these locations will automatically be credited to their accounts at a later date.

Q: Will electric meters still be read?

A: Most electric meters will not be read during the strike. Bills may be estimated based on past usage. Any difference from your actual electricity use will be adjusted the next time crews do read your meter.

Q: What if I need new electrical service to be installed?

A: Installation of new services will be delayed, because priority is being given to emergency and repair situations.

Requests to start service will require at least 48 hours notice. Service will only be turned on the same day in emergency situations.

Q: How soon will power be restored to the Ewa Beach area?

A: "Clearly it's going to be slower," said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric Co. executive vice president. "We have less crews to deploy. There are crews on their way out there to pick up the situation."

Alm said management and contractor crews will attempt to finish the job, but he could not provide a timeline as to when repairs will be made.

Q: Will the power system continue to run?

A: "Power should be available to everybody unless we have a specific outage problem," Alm said. "So we're assuming that we'll be able to run the power plants and power lines to provide regular service to everybody.

"The biggest challenge will be when we get outages. So we have a storm-related outage to deal with today. Obviously there are outages that come from cars hitting poles or the different kind of problems that happen with our system. We will respond to those as best we can but we'll obviously be with reduced crews."

He added that routine maintenance will also be delayed.





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