Updated Customer Interconnection Tool streamlines process for new electrical service applications
by Jacky Leung | Nov. 21, 2022
For anyone with a smart phone or similar device, you can accomplish nearly anything these days with a touch of a few buttons: shopping, paying bills, registering for new services, you name it. Given the convenience, customers have come to expect and even demand online services from companies. At Hawaiian Electric, we’re always expanding new digital options — or improving existing ones — to better serve our customers. The updates to the Customer Interconnection Tool earlier this year are a good example of these efforts.
Launched at the end of 2017, the CIT originally allowed customers to apply for the Customer Self-Supply (CSS) rooftop solar program online. Over time, as the number of customer renewable programs grew, incremental updates to the tool were made allowing applications for new programs.
In one of our recent updates, applications for electrical service installation can now be submitted through CIT. Compared with the previous web-based application form, which required some level of experience and expertise to complete properly, the new application provides a guided step-by-step process in which only the data fields required for your particularly project are shown and all of the required fields must be filled in before the application can be submitted. These improvements reduce confusion and result in less back and forth in the application process, leading to a smoother review process and faster project turnaround.
Besides the simplified application process, we also leveraged the existing CIT functionality and added an application tracking system. This is helpful since an electrical service installation application involves multiple review processes and technical requirements that must be cleared before being approved. In many situations the applicant (usually the electrical contractor working on the project) is different from the customer (usually the property owner). CIT accounts for this by allowing multiple stakeholders to participate in the application process. As a result, all parties involved can know the exact status of the application and ensure that it moves smoothly to completion.
In addition to the new electrical service installation application, we’ve also updated some other features. For example, we updated the login system to use the same system that the Online Customer Service Center uses. If you already have a Hawaiian Electric online account to view and pay your bills you can now use the same login credentials to login to CIT. We’ve also added the ability to submit amendments to existing renewable energy program applications, which is particularly useful if customers are trying to adjust the size of their rooftop solar system or are considering the Battery Bonus program.
We’re constantly working to enhance our online portals to meet our customers’ needs at Hawaiian Electric and will continue to do so. Future improvements, like the addition of the new Battery Bonus incentives and additional electrical service installation application features, to the Customer Interconnection Tool are already in the works. As someone who personally uses a lot of online services, I’m glad that I’m able to take part in improving the user experience for Hawaiian Electric’s customers.
Jacky Leung is a digital communications analyst at Hawaiian Electric Company.