Maui - General

What is HEI doing to help those impacted by the fires?

HEI and our family of companies remain focused on supporting the people of Maui in recovering and rebuilding after this tragic event.

As of September 8, we have restored power to 95% of homes and businesses on Maui. In addition, our team and partners have:

  • Safely restored service to the last of our Upcountry customers who had been without power.
  • Continued replacement of the poles, transformers, power lines and other equipment in and around Lahaina that were damaged by the windstorms and fires, often with temporary structures which will provide safe and reliable power while long-term, community-driven plans are developed for future energy needs.
  • Worked with state and county partners and posted spotters in certain areas across the state during a recent red flag warning on high winds. In parallel, we will be working to install more wireless devices to monitor and control transmission and distribution lines.

HEI has also been providing support by:

  • Donating $100,000 to various community organizations providing disaster relief, including Hawaii Community Foundation, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Feed My Sheep, Council on Native Hawaiian Advancement, and the Binhi At Ani Filipino Community Center.
  • Suspending disconnections for all Maui customers through October 17 in order to allow people who have been impacted or are struggling financially to focus on taking care of themselves and their families.
  • Maintaining the “Our Response to the Windstorm” page, which announces regular updates regarding power restoration and information about important resources provided by the government and local organizations.

We have witnessed grace and generosity and compassion without limit, and we have seen immeasurable grit, endurance and strength at work on the ground in Lahaina. As we look ahead, we will be here to support Maui and its people, no matter how long it takes.

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What do we know about the cause of the fire?

On August 27, we disclosed several important facts about the events on August 8:

  • A fire at 6:30 a.m. appears to have been caused by power lines that fell in high winds.
  • The Maui County Fire Department responded to this fire, reported it was “100% contained,” left the scene and later declared it had been “extinguished.”
  • At about 3:00 p.m., a time when all of Hawaiian Electric’s power lines to customers in West Maui had been de-energized for more than six hours, a second fire began in the same area.
  • The cause of this devastating fire at around 3:00 p.m. has not been established.
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Maui - HEI Shareholders

Is Hawaiʻi an inverse condemnation state?

Unlike in California, there is no precedent in Hawaiʻi applying inverse condemnation to a private party like an investor-owned utility – it has only been applied to government entities. Also unlike in California, there is no precedent in Hawaiʻi applying a theory of inverse condemnation to government entities based on damages that they’ve caused.

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What are the Company’s plans for the dividend?

The HEI Board determined that suspending the quarterly cash dividend would allow us to continue to allocate cash to rebuilding and restoring efforts and ensure a strong future for the utility.

With that said, we recognize that this may impact many of our shareholders who rely on this dividend as a source of income. We regret any hardship the suspension of the dividend may cause, and we intend to be a strong, dividend-paying company in the future.

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When will HEI revisit the dividend policy change? Will the dividend be reinstated?

We intend to be a strong, dividend-paying company in the future. The policy will be something that we continue to review, however, we have not set specific milestones or triggering events. We regret any hardship the suspension of the dividend may cause.

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Maui - Hawaiian Electric

Is the company in communication with regulators?

Hawaiian Electric is in communication with the Public Utilities Commission and is committed to keeping regulators apprised of the ongoing restoration efforts. We expect to work closely with our utility regulators as we pursue a restoration plan and continue efforts to make our grid more resilient as part of climate change adaptation strategies. Additionally, as we always do, we are also working closely with our bank regulators.

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Is Maui Electric ring-fenced from the rest of the utility?

This is a complex legal question that will take time to work through. Maui Electric Company, Limited is its own corporation, wholly owned by Hawaiian Electric.

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Does Hawaiian Electric have a Public Safety Power Shutoff program?

Like many utilities, a program to shut off power deliberately is not part of Hawaiian Electric’s high-wind management protocols, not least because preemptive, short-notice power shutoffs can reduce the risk of fire by creating other public safety risks. We believe there are other safety steps that can be taken without the disruption of shutting off power.

Everyone from first responders to the utility will be looking to learn from this event, as will others in the industry. Our response plans and protocols are always evolving. We will be working closely with our state and county emergency management partners, as well as the Public Utilities Commission, to develop action plans going forward, which may include a preemptive power shutoff program.

We need a Hawaii-focused solution to the threats posed by climatological events like the one we experienced on August 8, that are tailored to the mix of geologies, topographies, climates and community needs that are unique to the islands we serve.

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Do you have a wildfire mitigation program?

Hawaiian Electric has long recognized the unique threats to our islands from climate change, including hurricanes, windstorms, floods and wildfires, and we’ve been executing on a resilience and wildfire mitigation strategy to meet these challenges for years, which includes vegetation management, grid hardening investments and regular inspection of our assets.

Over the last several years we have invested in the resilience of our grid by:

  • Installing heavier, insulated conductors on Maui and Oahu in areas prone to high winds.
  • Installing smart switches and smart fuses to reduce the risk of sparking.
  • Applying fire retardants on poles identified in fire hazard areas.
  • Installing weather sensors, cameras and thermal imagers to give more precise locations on localized wind gusts, relative humidity and temperatures.

In addition, the Federal government has approved $95 million in funding to support Hawaiian Electric’s efforts to advance critical grid resilience investments. This funding significantly alleviates the cost burden on utility customers as Hawaiian Electric expands the important work already underway to strengthen its grids against extreme weather events.

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What is the company doing to prepare for potential upcoming weather incidents?

Hawaiian Electric works closely with our state and county emergency management partners to develop action plans for approaching storm systems. If there are any actions that will impact the public, we will communicate them at the appropriate time.

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Maui - American Savings Bank

Is American Savings Bank impacted by the lawsuits in any way?

No. ASB is an independent company. None of the legal claims related to the Maui wildfires involve ASB. ASB customer deposits are safe. There is no risk to customer deposits as a result of legal claims related to the fires.

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How does this impact ASB’s future?

ASB is well positioned to support the community in the aftermath of the tragic Maui wildfires with a strong capital position, excellent credit quality, deep lending capacity, and ample liquidity. ASB remains focused on supporting and serving Hawaii’s residents, businesses, and communities as it has for nearly 100 years.

For the latest information on ASB’s Maui Relief & Assistance Programs, please visit:

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