Hawaiian Electric continues urgent restoration work in Lahaina
Rebuilding interim backup circuits to provide safe, reliable power to West Maui
News Release from HECO, 10/19/2023
KAHULUI, Oct. 19, 2023 – In continued partnership with federal, state and county agencies, and with the clearance to re-enter parts of Lahaina, Hawaiian Electric is continuing urgent restoration work to restore power to all remaining customers in the Lahaina area and rebuild portions of the damaged electric system to ensure safe and reliable power to West Maui customers spanning from Olowalu to Kapalua.
As of Aug. 25, Hawaiian Electric crews had completed repairs to bring over 95% of those Maui customers who were affected by outages in West Maui and Upcountry back online. In September, Maui emergency management officials requested for Hawaiian Electric to begin rebuilding electrical infrastructure to serve critical customers in and around Lahaina. This work enabled power to be restored to wastewater pumps, traffic signals and telecommunication services. Currently, crews are continuing repairs to restore an approximate 350 remaining customers in Lahaina, including the Wahikuli area. In the last two weeks, with more areas being cleared for re-entry by emergency response officials, crews restored power to about 300 customers in the Kahoma Village, parts of Puamana and Upper Kapunakea area.
Other rebuilding work includes the construction of approximately 600 feet of underground electrical infrastructure to support the installation of a substation transformer at the company’s Lahainaluna Substation mauka of the Lahaina Bypass along Lahainaluna Road. This work helps to improve service reliability to the neighborhoods in Lahainaluna, Puamana, and Launiupoko to Olowalu area, as these areas were formerly supported by the Lahaina Substation, which was destroyed during the wildfires. Customers in these areas are currently being served by two temporary mobile substations that were installed in late August as part of ongoing restoration efforts. Once the undergrounding and installation of the new transformer at the Lahainaluna Substation is complete, it will allow for the removal of one of the temporary mobile substations.
Additional efforts involve restoring a third transmission line along its former route through Lahaina town with the installation of new interim poles and electrical equipment. This temporary overhead infrastructure aids service reliability, as this transmission line provides a backup route of power to West Maui, including neighborhoods in Puukolii, Mahinahina, Napili, Kaanapali, and Kapalua.
Until the repairs of this third transmission line are complete – anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024 – West Maui customers may experience extended outages because power cannot currently be rerouted from another circuit. This would not preclude the possibility of underground utilities in the future as long-term, community-driven plans are developed.
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Moratorium on disconnections of electric service for nonpayment for all Maui customers extended through Nov. 6
Payment options available to help customers impacted by Maui wildfires
News Release from HECO, 10/16/2023
KAHULUI, Oct. 16, 2023 – Hawaiian Electric has extended the suspension of service disconnections for all Maui customers through at least Nov. 6. Maui customers who are financially challenged by the devastating wildfires will not have to worry about their electric service.
The Public Utilities Commission recently ordered the extension of the disconnection moratorium which was previously set to end Oct. 17. Any threat of immediate disconnection unless payment is made during this time should be treated as a scam. Depending on future circumstances, this special assistance period may be extended.
Even with the moratorium on disconnections, customers facing financial hardship are urged to call Hawaiian Electric at (808) 871-9777 so payment options and schedules can be arranged to help keep payments manageable. While customers will still be responsible for paying their electric bills, Hawaiian Electric will work with Maui customers to find the best options to suit their individual needs.
Visit hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement for a list of plans and to submit a payment request form. Completing the form is the quickest way to get the process started. Late fees and interest charges are waived while on a payment plan.
Note that the special payment arrangement options listed on the website are not the only choices available. Company representatives can work with customers to tailor a plan to individual budgets.
For assistance managing energy costs, Hawaii Energy is a trusted resource for tips and rebates to help offset the costs of energy-saving equipment and services. Visit https://hawaiienergy.com/tips for more information.
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CB:Hundreds Still Without Power As Hawaiian Electric Rebuilds Lahaina Infrastructure - Honolulu Civil Beat