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Hawaiian Electric to extend service suspensions to mid-May

HONOLULU (AP) — A utility company in Hawaii has adjusted its operations and some of its services to potentially reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The Hawaiian Electric Company announced plans to extend the suspension of service disconnections for customers another month, adding that any notices threatening to disconnect service before May 17 should be considered a scam.

Service disconnections were originally suspended through April 17.

“Although Hawaiian Electric employees are considered ‘essential workers,’ the company is trying to reduce the numbers in the field to protect the health and safety of employees and the public,” the utility said in a statement.

Adjusted operations include postponing less urgent repair and maintenance work and closing walk-in customer payment centers at least through April, company officials said.

Crews and contractors are expected to continue performing essential work involving little public interaction, including tree trimming, equipment replacement, system resilience work and emergency repairs, officials said.

Other services such as meter readers are expected to be reduced.

Bills for residential and some smaller commercial customers will be estimated based on the previous month’s usage.

Customers will be billed accordingly for their actual usage when meter reading resumes.

Customers who are having difficulty paying their bills because of the pandemic are encouraged to contact customer service representatives to arrange payment options and schedules, company officials said.

None of the operational changes will
interrupt electric service to customers unless deemed critical for safety and reliability, officials said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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