Hawaiian Electric has announced it will offer $2 million in bill credits to customers struggling to pay their electric bill during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kokua Fund Bill Credit Program will automatically provide a one-time credit of $90 to past-due balances for about 22,000 residential and business customers by Jan. 31.
The credits will be automatically applied for eligible customers, with the credit appearing as “Kokua Fund Credit” in February statements, according to Hawaiian Electric. Customers will receive notification of their eligibility by email or phone, but do not need to do anything to receive the credit.
“Our priority during the pandemic has been to keep customers connected,” said Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Shelee Kimura in a news release. “Many people have been affected by the pandemic and we have designed this program to reach as many as we can, especially those for whom this credit will be the most meaningful. No application is necessary, as we envisioned a quick, simple way to provide some relief for qualified customers in the new year.”
Customers receiving the credit include those with a minimum of past-due balances of at least 30 days as of Dec. 31, 2021. It is a one-time credit.
Hawaiian Electric said the Kokua Fund uses funds from company shareholders – not other customers – to help its residential and business customers on Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii island with qualifying balances. The credit is meant to supplement other pandemic-related financial assistance programs such as the Oahu Homeowner Assistance Fund.