HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaiian Electric (HECO) customers that normally face disconnection for nonpayment will be automatically enrolled in a 12-month plan. It’s an option the company says will help keep the lights on.
May 31 marked the end of the moratorium on disconnections set by the Public Utilities Commission. Collection activity is set to resume in July for past due HECO customers who are not already enrolled in a payment plan.
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Affected customers, those who have not contacted the company about their past due balance, may see higher “current charges” when the first of 12 installments appears. HECO says bills for customers on payment plans, whether auto-enrolled or by customer request, will include the current charges, plus the installment amount. The installment amount will differ for each customer. If a customer’s past due amount is small, the installment amount will be a fraction of the bill.
An estimated 3% of customers are expected to be enrolled in the automatic payment plan. These customers were sent a notice on their bill detailing when the payment plan starts and explaining how the arrangement works, including instructions on how to opt out.
The company adds that the payment plan is an opportunity for customers to avoid disconnection while also affording them time to apply for financial assistance without having to satisfy a hefty bill.
Customers with past due balances may click here to see payment plan options, including an 18-month plan for residential customers.