Hawaiian Electric auto-enrolls customers with past due accounts into 12-month payment plans

·2 min read

Jun. 25—Hawaiian Electric said it has automatically enrolled customers with past due accounts that would normally face disconnection into 12-month payment plans.

These customers will see higher "current charges " when the first of 12 installments appears on their bills bills, starting in July.

The Public Utilities Commission set May 31 as the end of the moratorium on disconnections for its regulated utilities.

Hawaiian Electric said about 3 % of Hawaiian Electric's residential and smaller commercial customers whose accounts meet the threshold for disconnection were auto-enrolled in the payments plans. These were customers who have not contacted the company about their past due balance, or are not currently enrolled in a payment plan.

These customers will receive a notice with their bill when the payment plan starts, explaining how the arrangement works, as well as instructions on how to opt out.

"Payment reminder notices have been sent to past due customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic., " said Hawaiian Electric in a news release. "The notices have urged customers to set up payment arrangement and over the past two months informed customers that their accounts would be placed on a 12-month installment plan to avoid disconnection, averting a large one-time payment and allowing time to apply for assistance."

The utility said collection activity will also resume in July for past due Hawaiian Electric customers who are not already enrolled in a payment plan.

Bills for customers on payment plans — auto-enrolled or by customer request — will include the current charges, plus the installment amount, which will differ for each customer depending on the amount past due.

Customers with past due balances may still go to to see and submit a request for the full range of payment plan options, including an 18-month plan for residential customers.

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