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Electric customers with late invoices to get a payment plan

Hawaiian Electric customer accounts that would normally face disconnection will instead be enrolled in a 12-month payment plan to keep the lights on, the company announced Wednesday.

Affected customers will see the higher “current charges” when the first of 12 installments appears in bills starting in July.

May 31 marked the end of the moratorium on disconnections set by the state Public Utilities Commission, and Hawaiian Electric will resume collection in July for past-due accounts that are not already enrolled in a payment plan.

The automatic enrollment affects about 3 percent of Hawaiian Electric’s residential and smaller commercial customers whose accounts meet the threshold for disconnection and who either have not contacted the company about their past due balance or are not currently enrolled in a payment plan.

Customers will receive a notice with their bill when the payment plan starts that explains how the arrangement works, including instructions on how to opt out.

Bills for customers on payment plans — autoenrolled or by customer request — will include the current charges plus the installment amount, which will differ for each customer. If a customer’s past-due amount is small, the installment amount will also be a fraction of the bill. However, if a customer has not made any payment toward their account over the past year, the total current month’s bill amount could more than double.

Customers can visit hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement to see payment plan options.

For a list of resources on pandemic-related assistance, visit hawaiianelectric.com/ COVID19.

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