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Hawaiian Electric establishes permanent discount rate for people with special medical needs

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People with special medical needs can receive discounts from Hawaiian Electric. Photo Courtesy: Pexels

Hawaiian Electric has established a permanent program that offers a discounted rate to about 2,000 residential customers with special medical needs, including those dependent on life-support equipment at home.

Hawaiian Electric started with a pilot Special Medical Needs Rate Program in 2017, recognizing that some customers have higher electricity bills due to being dependent on special equipment or needing more cooling or heating due to a medical condition. The pilot program was extended several times and now regulators approved a permanent program that went into effect April 1. 

Participants in the pilot program have been automatically enrolled in the Special Medical Needs Rate Program, which offers a discount of four cents per kilowatt-hour up to the first 500 kWh each month – or up to $20. 

To qualify, a Hawaii-licensed physician must certify that the resident at that service address has one of the following medical issues:

  • Dependent on a life-support device used in the home, which includes but is not limited to: respirators; iron lungs; hemodialysis machines; suction machines; electric nerve stimulators; pressure pads and pumps; aerosol tents; electrostatic and ultrasonic nebulizers; compressors; intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) machines; and motorized wheelchairs.
  • A paraplegic, hemiplegic or quadriplegic person, or a multiple sclerosis patient with special heating and/or cooling needs.
  • A person being treated for a life-threatening illness, or a person with a compromised immune system with special heating and/or cooling needs to sustain the life of the person or prevent deterioration of the person’s medical condition.
  • A scleroderma patient with special heating needs.

Our Special Medical Needs Rate Program can be used in combination with Net Energy Metering, Customer Grid Supply, Customer Self Supply or LIHEAP.

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To apply for the Special Medical Needs Rate Program, customers can access an enrollment form at hawaiianelectric.com/specialmedicalneeds.

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Applicants must:

  • Print and fill out an enrollment form 
  • Obtain a signature from a Hawaiʻi-licensed physician 
  • Submit the form by mail to Hawaiian Electric, Attn: Credit Department, P.O. Box 2750,  Honolulu, HI 96840.

Do not submit electronically. Upon acceptance, applicants will receive a letter and the reduced rate will go into effect within one to two billing cycles. 

A new benefit of the program is that participants will be referred to Hawaiʻi Energy, which can provide resources to help customers reduce energy use and lower electricity bills. 

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