The Hawaiian Electric Companies will offer a special medical needs discount rate for customers of all three companies. This pilot is subject to Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approval to go into effect on April 1, 2017 for two years.
Up to 2,000 customers dependent on life support equipment or increased heating and cooling needs due to a medical condition verified by a physician may save up to $20 a month on the first 500 kWh of energy use. Use above 500 kWh will be charged at regular residential rates.
“Everyone depends on electricity, but for some with special medical needs it can be a life or death matter,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service. “We believe most people will agree that providing a little financial relief for some of our neighbors is the right thing to do.”
Applications will be made available online, subject to commission approval, and will require a licensed physician’s signature. To qualify, a customer or a full-time resident in the customer’s home must be:
- Dependent on life-support devices used in the home to sustain life or relied upon for mobility as determined by a licensed physician, including but not limited to: aerosol tents; apnea monitors; hemodialysis machines; compressors; electric nerve stimulators; pressure pumps; electrostatic nebulizers; and intermittent positive pressure breathing machines.
- A paraplegic, hemiplegic, quadriplegic, multiple sclerosis or scleroderma patient with special heating and/or cooling needs.
Based on the number of applicants, the Hawaiian Electric Companies will determine whether to continue the rate after two years.
Residential customers with anyone in the home dependent on life support or emergency equipment are encouraged to inform their island utility of that fact by calling customer service today so they can be notified about future planned maintenance outages. However, because unplanned outages can occur, it is essential that customers with life support or emergency equipment needs make alternate plans should the power go out.