Utility Bill Assistance Program Closed Due to High Demand
Hawaiian Electric’s Utility Bill Assistance Program is closed to new applicants just two days after opening the application process up to the public.
Nearly $2 million has been committed to 2,700 households statewide. HECO and Aloha United Way are still accepting contributions from companies, organizations and individuals for the fund to assist those applicants placed on a waiting list.
The Hawaiʻi Utility Bill Assistance Program was established by Hawaiian Electric to help households financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that fell behind on their electric, water, sewer and gas bills. The fund helps to serve as a bridge until additional government assistance becomes available.
“We extend our thanks to Hawaiian Electric, many community donors, and the United Way chapters on Kauaʻi, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island who made this program possible. Together we have helped to lessen the financial strain for almost 2,700 households that have been impacted by the pandemic,” said John Fink, president and CEO of Aloha United Way. “The need is still significant, which was so clearly demonstrated as the funds were used up in just 31 hours. We hope those who can afford to will support this or other worthy community assistance efforts.”
Applicants received a maximum of $750 and were qualified through a process administered by Aloha United Way and local United Way agencies on a first-come, first-served basis. Hawaiian Electric is also offering customers options for spreading out payments on past-due bills, interest-free, across a longer period than ever before.
The HEI Charitable Foundation is matching Hawaiian Electric employee donations of up to $250 made before March 1 to the utility bill assistance program.