Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information, Updates and Resources
On March 24, 2020, the PUC issued a statement laying out the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission’s (“PUC” or “Commission”) plan for prioritizing actions and requests in response to the COVID-19 Emergency.
Electronic Filing and Services Procedures
On March 13, 2020, the Commission issued Order No. 37043 initiating emergency procedures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and we have completed our transition to an all-electronic filing system and telework for all of our staff.
Effective March 16, 2020, all submissions to the Hawaii PUC must be done electronically via the Commission website (eFiling system), email or phone.
- PUC Ready to Accept Electronic Filing of Confidential Documents (March 30, 2020)
As of Monday, March 30, 2020, the Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”) has completed the necessary modifications to its Document Management System (“DMS”) to allow parties/participants to electronically file docketed confidential and restricted information (as defined by Commission protective orders).
- PUC Moves to All Electronic Processes (March 13, 2020)
- PUC Will Move to All Electronic Processes (March 12, 2020)
News & Updates by Industry
- The Commission issued Order No. 37506 on December 22, 2020, extending the suspension of service disconnections until March 31, 2021; establishing utility reporting requirements and opening a repository docket; and setting forth next steps for transition planning.
- The Commission, in consideration of the continuing, extraordinary circumstances related to and resulting from the immediate and expected long-term impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, intends to issue an order addressing further suspensions of terminations or disconnections of regulated utility services due to non-payment, before the expiration of the current suspension on December 31, 2020. The Commission sent a letter on November 25, 2020, requesting comments by Wednesday, December 9, 2020, from the applicable Commission-regulated utilities and the Consumer Advocate on four specific issues: 1) lifting the suspension of disconnection for non-payment; 2) financial impacts on utilities; 3) protections for utility customers; and 4) customer engagement. In addition, the Commission is soliciting feedback from these utilities and the Consumer Advocate on how an applicable utility and its customers have been affected by the disconnection suspension, other matters relevant to the Commission’s decision-making, and any recommendations for alternative proposals.
- Aqua Puhi LLC. Dba Puhi Sewer & Water Company
- Consumer Advocate
- Hawaiian Electric Companies
- Hawaii-American Water Company
- Hawaiian Beaches Water Company
- Hawaiian Telcom, Inc.
- Hawaii Water Service Company, Inc.
- Kauai Island Utility Cooperative
- Kohala Ranch Water Company
- Laie Water Company
- Verizon Wireless
- The Commission issued Order No. 37284 on August 24, 2020, extending the suspension of service disconnections until December 31, 2020. The Consumer Advocate filed a letter with the Commission on August 25, 2020 in response to Order No. 37284, stating that it “appreciates the extension of the moratorium on involuntary disconnections” and urging the Commission to adopt the listed consumer protections.
- The Commission issued Order No. 37251 on July 31, 2020, extending the suspension of service disconnections until August 31, 2020, and authorizing utilities that elect to suspend disconnections beyond August 31, 2020, to book regulatory assets related to the costs associated with that suspension, through October 1, 2020.
- The Commission issued Order No. 37189 on June 26, 2020, extending the suspension of service disconnections until July 31, 2020, and authorizing utilities that elect to suspend disconnections beyond July 31, 2020, to book regulatory assets related to the costs associated with that suspension, through September 1, 2020.
- The Commission issued Order No. 37153 on May 28, 2020, extending the suspension of service disconnections until June 30, 2020.
- Commission Order Suspending the Authority of Regulated Utilities to Terminate or Disconnect Services Due to Non-Payment
The Commission issued Order No. 37125 on May 4, 2020 addressing the Consumer Advocate’s request that the Commission suspend the authority of regulated electric, gas, water/wastewater, and telecom utilities to terminate or disconnect services due to non-payment, and avoid the assessment of other unreasonable charges. The PUC issued a Protective Order on May 15, 2020, and served it on the relevant public utilities, to govern the filing of confidential information with the Commission pursuant to the reporting requirements laid out in Order No. 37125.
Transportation – Water Carriers
- Young Brothers and Consumer Advocate File Letters With the Commission Regarding Young Brothers’ Financial Situation
On May 26, 2020, Young Brothers and the Consumer Advocate each filed letters, requesting Commission action related to Young Brothers’ current financial situation. Click on the link above for more information.
- Young Brothers’ Tariff Transmittal 20-0003: Requesting Approval of Emergency Changes to Its Sailing Schedule
On Friday, April 24, 2020, Young Brothers filed a tariff transmittal with the PUC asking to make changes to its weekly sailing schedule, citing the need to cut costs by reducing weekly sailings as a result of the COVID-19 emergency situation. Click on the link above for more information.
- Young Brothers’ Operational Changes
Young Brothers has implemented a variety of changes to its operations as a result of the COVID-19 emergency situation. These changes can be viewed via the following Customer Notices on Young Brothers’ website: https://htbyb.com/.
Transportation – Motor Carriers
- PUC Extends Deferral Date for Application and Assessment of Motor Carrier Penalties and Interest
On June 30, 2020, the Commission issued an Order announcing that it would extend the deferral period under which it will not apply or assess penalties or interest for motor carriers’ submission of annual fees and Annual Financial Reports through August 31, 2020. The Commission had previously announced a deferral of assessment and application of penalties and interest from April 30, 2020, through June 30, 2020. In light of the circumstances related to the ongoing measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has decided to further extend this deferral period through August 31, 2020.
- PUC Defers Application and Assessment of Penalties and Interest for Motor Carrier Annual Filings
On March 19, 2020, the Public Utilities Commission issued an Order announcing that it would be deferring the application and assessment of penalties and interest associated with the annual fees and Annual Filing Reports for motor carriers until July 1, 2020.
- PUC Temporarily Publishing Motor Carrier Applications Only on Website During COVID-19 Emergency Situation
Apr 17, 2020 – Pursuant to the COVID-19 emergency situation and the Governor’s Emergency Proclamations, the Commission will be publishing notices of pending motor carrier applications on our website, in lieu of the publication requirement in the Commission’s administrative rules (HAR § 16-601-57(2)), which states that the notice be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the State or within the county or counties affected by the application.
- Hawaiian Electric Request to Do Estimated Meter Reads
Hawaiian Electric filed a letter with the Commission on March 26, 2020, detailing its plans to temporarily suspend meter reading activity in favor of estimated meter reads given the COVID-19 emergency situation and requesting PUC approval. The Commission issued Order No. 37057 on April 1, 2020 to approve Hawaiian Electric’s temporary request.
- Hawaiian Electric Request to Defer Costs Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency
On April 22, 2020, Hawaiian Electric filed a docketed request with the Commission to defer costs associated with the COVID-19 emergency situation.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Electricity concerns during the pandemic
- POSTPONED: Public Hearing for Application of Lanai Water Company Requesting General Increase in Rates for Potable and Non-Potable Water Distribution Services
The STATE OF HAWAII PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION (“Commission”), in light of the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation, is postponing the public hearing for Lanai Water Company, scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020. The Commission regrets the inconvenience this may cause, but believes postponing the public hearing is prudent in light of the circumstances. The Commission will subsequently publish an amended notice of hearing providing information about the amended hearing date and location.
No updates at this time.