Maui Business

Maui Electric to be Known as Hawaiian Electric Going Forward

January 3, 2020, 9:21 AM HST
* Updated January 6, 11:56 AM
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PC: Hawaiian Electric Companies

Starting in January, the three utilities that serve 95 percent of Hawaiʻi’s residents (Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light) will be united under the common name: Hawaiian Electric.

The transition to the Hawaiian Electric name will take place over the next several months, with changes to signage, bills, correspondence and websites. The company will continue to use the distinctive logo created by Hilo designer Sig Zane in 2013.

Legally, the company will adopt a “doing business as” model, with the three individual corporate entities remaining but all doing business as Hawaiian Electric.

With operations across Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, Hawaiian Electric employs 2,700 individuals and serves more than 460,000 customers.

Company executives say that for six years, Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light, have worked to align operations and share resources to work more efficiently and deliver greater value to customers.

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The new initiative to united the companies under one name, relies on technology, including a new software platform to reduce redundancies and share expertise and resources.

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“We’re taking this step as the logical completion of our One Company strategy. This transformative effort has created an enterprise that is unified in its commitment to our customers and our state and we want to communicate that through one familiar and trusted name,” said Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric.

“Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light are names with proud histories, and they won’t be forgotten. Hawaiian Electric is an inclusive name that is true and authentic, given our 128-year history of local ownership. It conveys that we’re not just in Hawaiʻi but that we’re of Hawaiʻi.”

Maui Electric was acquired by Hawaiian Electric in 1968 and Hilo Electric Light, later named Hawaiʻi Electric Light, was acquired in 1970.

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For many years, the companies operated as three separate organizations under separate leadership, sharing few common practices even though they were doing the same kind of work.

“Aided by technology and driven by the transformation of the utility industry from a regulated monopoly to a highly competitive business,” company executives say “the One Company strategy has consolidated purchasing power, aligned operations under common management and instituted best practices for safety and efficiency.”

For example, the company used to have three separate customer call centers. Today, representatives can help customers on any island – and they back each other up when call volume is heavy due to an outage or some other event. Company representatives say that’s resulted in faster, more responsive service and shorter wait times.

And by using a new enterprise software platform that became operational last year, Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries have committed to $246 million in customer savings over 12 years, according to the company announcement.

“Having three different names continues the three-company mindset,” Oshima said. “By having one common and inclusive name that is of Hawaiʻi, not just of one place, we signal that we are a strong and united team working for all the people of the five islands we serve.”

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