Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Information, Updates and Resources

General Information

Statement from Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on COVID-19 Emergency

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.

News & Updates by Industry

General

  • 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.
  • The Commission issued Order No. 37153 on May 28, 2020, extending the suspension of service disconnections until June 30, 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. 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. 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, 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.

Transportation – Water Carriers

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.

Energy

Water/Wastewater

  • 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.

Telecommunications

No updates at this time.