Frequently Asked Questions: Electricity concerns during the pandemic
Q: What is the Hawaii PUC doing to address any electricity concerns during this COVID-19 situation?
A: The PUC is committed to ensuring that Hawaii’s residents receive affordable, safe, and reliable utility services. During this emergency, while Hawaii’s residents are sheltering-at-home, reliable utility services are as important as ever. The PUC is in daily communication with utilities and other state agencies to ensure that the public receives essential services. Furthermore, we recognize that families are struggling throughout Hawaii as the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic take a toll on every household.
Q: How are the electric utilities helping its customers in response to COVID-19?
A: Hawaii’s electric utilities have taken several initial steps to help by:
- Suspending disconnections for customers that are behind in paying their electric bills
- Encouraging customers to work out payment plans for homes and businesses facing difficulties to pay their bills
- Suspending customer payment deposits
- Waiving late payment fees
For more information from Hawaiian Electric and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative regarding their response, please visit:
- Hawaiian Electric – https://www.hawaiianelectric.com/hawaiian-electrics-response-to-covid-19
- Kauai Island Utility Cooperative – https://website.kiuc.coop
Q: Is there anything being done to help residents manage their energy costs?
A: Hawaii Energy, the PUC’s third-party contractor providing energy efficiency programs and services, is offering the following resources to help residents manage their electricity bills:
- Energy Saver Tips shared with HECO customers and news outlets, including Hawaii News Now and KHON2:
- Low-cost Home Efficiency Kits ($5 with free shipping, includes bulbs, power switch, faucet aerators)
- Hawaii Energy will be partnering with groups on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii island to offer these kits for free to customers in need https://hawaiienergy.com/for-homes/promotions for more information
- Special LED lighting packs (available at Costco for $4.99 per 4-pack of various LEDs)
- Home Energy Reports (monthly bill insert) have been updated with energy savings reminders during pandemic emergency
The PUC has also requested Hawaii Energy to work on new programs and types of customer assistance during this emergency.