“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 received before June 30 should be treated as a scam,” said Hawaiian Electric in a news release. “Customers experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic are urged to contact Hawaiian Electric to discuss payment arrangements and options.”
In the meantime, Hawaiian Electric continues its modified operations on Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii island to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus.
Walk-in payment centers will also be closed through June 30. Additionally, Hawaiian Electric has postponed projects and work that would require customer outages, unless it is deemed critical for safety or reliability.
Emergency work, such as restoring outages and replacing damaged poles, remains a priority and will continue.
Since late March, meter reading has been scaled back. Bills for residential accounts are being estimated based on the previous month’s usage.
Once the meters are read, and bills reflect actual electricity usage, Hawaiian Electric warned that residential bills may actually be higher, particularly when most households are adhering to stay-at-home orders.
Customers will still be responsible for paying their electric bills, but those who are having difficulty paying them are urged to contact customer service so payment options and schedules can be arranged to help ease financial challenges during the pandemic.
The quickest way to start the process is to fill out and submit a Payment Arrangement Request Form at this link.
Some households may qualify for up to $1,000 of Disaster Energy Crisis Intervention Assistance. More information is available from individual agencies, including the Honolulu Community Action Program, Maui Economic Opportunity, and Hawaii County Economic Opportunity Council.