HECO Back In The Hot Seat

Roger Wickenden
Roger Wickenden
Doug Carlson
Doug Carlson

By Joann Shin

(KHNL) - Officials at Hawaiian Electric face frustrated residents over the lengthy island-wide power outage.

Every electric company in the state answered tough questions from the community.

But Hawaiian Electric got the most heat from many customers who say they still don't have answers.

HECO officials back on the hot seat answering questions about the day the lights went out across Oahu.

Late last week they faced the Public Utilities Commission.

Monday night customers wanted the answers.

"We all make mistakes, we can learn from those mistakes, we should be learning from those mistakes, but if we don't acknowledge those mistakes, we don't learn from them," said Roger Wickenden, a Kailua Resident.

Wickenden was in the dark for 12 hours.

He said, "What we have seen is the sequence of events, but we haven't seen is any analysis of what could have prevented the way it did."

HECO officials say they're working on answers.

They hope to get them by conducting an investigation.

Lynne Unemori with Hawaiian Electric Company said, "We wanted to present the facts that we have today because we know the public had questions."

Doug Carlson questioned HECO's abilities to communicate with its 291,000 customers.

He asked, "What about the communication that can be improved, to keep people informed so we're not all in an information blackout as well."

Tough questions with answers that may not come until the end of the year.

Unemori explained, "We wanted to be able to address their concerns, so we invited them today, so we can hear them and address them when we put together a final report."