Pandemic or not, starting a new business can be daunting. New business owners need to find a good location, address operational costs, determine supply chain, figure out who to hire and much more. Getting electricity service doesn’t have to be complicated — and I appreciate how our company helps new business owners get started.
Hawaiian Electric offers a welcome packet to new business customers that provides information on commercial rates, as well as other available online services. Once the packet is mailed out, our Customer Business Management Services (CBMS) consultants visit each new business.
“It’s an opportunity for us to meet these new customers in person and welcome them into our family. From there, we want to make sure we can answer any questions they might have about the welcome packet or their utility account,” said Alton Ramos, a CBMS consultant.
These visits are at times more than just a simple ‘meet and greet.’ During Alton’s first visit to Premiere Autoworks, a brand new autobody repair shop located near Ala Moana Center, he listened to their initial concerns. Premiere Autoworks owner Alex Lee asked Alton how he could save money on his bill because he anticipated that his shop would be using equipment daily that requires a lot of energy. Alton offered to install equipment on the meter at Alex’s business to monitor the shop’s energy usage throughout multiple day cycles.
We were able to help Premiere Autoworks reduce its bill within the first few months of operation. With the additional information from monitoring the meter, Alton was able to identify that the shop’s peak usage occurs midday. This allowed Alex to enroll his business into the Time-of-Use program. The TOU program helps customers save money if they’re able to use more power during the day when solar energy production is most plentiful. Alex was able to take advantage of lower rates between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. when the shop’s energy use spikes. As a result, Alex now saves 3 percent off his monthly electric bill, which he puts back into his business.
Having our CBMS team visit new businesses to see how they’re doing helps customers put a name and face to Hawaiian Electric when issues arise. It’s also the start of a partnership with our business customers.
If you’re a new or current business customer that requires assistance or needs a question answered about your account or service, don’t hesitate to contact our CBMS team at 808–543–7777 or visit hawaiianelectric.com/cbms.
CBMS consultant Kathleen Freitas said the welcome visits lay the foundation: “These types of visits are how we make connections with our customers. It’s a nice touch we like to add to personalize and improve the service our business customers receive.”
Robert Yang is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.