Aunty’s review of Hawaii Gas
Aunty has gas, always has and probably always will. Stove, water heater, dryer. Since global oil prices have come down, our gas bill has dropped from $70 to $40/month. We also have solar panels that save us big bucks on electricity every month.
We could switch completely to just electricity since new appliances are now more energy efficient, but cooking with gas is quite nice, our gas dryer works on a standard 110v electrical outlet, and in cases of power outage, we still have hot water – a necessary luxury, in Aunty’s book. Unfortunately for our neighbors, we are the only house with gas, so the entire block is affected when the lines are checked or upgraded.
Just recently, we had to have our gas line relocated because of a new carport that we were having installed (for a later post). Two days before the Gas company was scheduled to arrive, road signs up and down our street were erected – NO PARKING, Subject to Tow. Painted lines were drawn on the street near our gas line and property. The neighbors were a bit huhu – “You da one making the trouble!” – they said good-naturedly (or at least Aunty hoped they felt good natured).
“Sorry, so solly, my bad” was the only thing Aunty could say, because Aunty did feel bad. For the first time in decades, our street was in beautiful shape after the City had recently dug, graded, and repaved with 2 layers of quality asphalt. Having our gas line relocated could mean tearing up the gorgeously perfect road in order to run new lines and then getting a patch job weeks later.
The day of happening
Early on the scheduled day, our street became packed with various trucks and vehicles for the gas line relocation job. The supervisor on the job was an old friend and nemesis (from high school soccer), Adolph Samuels. If there was anything that was out of place on that day, it was seeing Adolph emerge from a small nondescript Toyota Corolla that looked like it belonged to a little old lady. He used to match the green Gas Company macho trucks that anyone could spot around town. It was like seeing a rooster wearing an apron, so Aunty had to laugh, so solly.
Cones were lined up and a traffic control person directed the almost non-existent traffic on our very slow street.
The existing gas pipe was located and trenched with shovels as well as a little hop toe digger backhoe trenching even deeper close to the street on Aunty’s side. Across the street, a big square hole was cut open with a powerful super bladed machine operated by a specialist from a concrete coring sub-contractor.
Four more people arrived from Hawaii Gas, and Aunty called them the white people because they were fair and did not look like they were there to dig. These were from the company’s safety division, to make sure that safe and proper practices were in place. Two of them were company attorneys, all of them wearing safety helmets, all of them really nice and easy to talk. It felt very comforting to know that safety comes first and that it is taken very seriously with this company.
It was a very exciting busy day as well as a very fortunate day because the street did NOT have to ripped open. The new replacement gas lines were blissfully threaded through the existing old pipe deep under the street asphalt and re-routed so that they were completely out of the way for Aunty’s new carport. Booyah! This was all done without a single hitch or unexpected problem, and after the lines were run, they were strapped, and reattached to our gas meter. The water heater was started up, stove and dryer checked, and all was well. They even cleaned up the yard so it looked even better than before!
This was a really big job with a lot of people involved, all of them skilled and good at what they do. If Aunty had to hire the various jobs out it would have cost thousands of dollars and extra careful coordination.
Instead, because Aunty is an existing Hawaii Gas customer, it was $Free, nada, zippo, gratis. The only expense of the day was providing bentos from Kokorotei (another post one of these days) for lunch, which is what Aunty likes to do whenever we have construction going on at our house.
Aunty also got the chance to pass out her logo magnets with the Garlic Mayo Shrimp recipe and 5 rules of wealth during their lunch break. The “boys” were all good natured and good looking and put up with Aunty popping in and out to see how the job was progressing.
New customers will have to pay for their gas lines to be installed, as well as having to pay a plumber to run the gas lines from the meter to their appliances. Most of the neighbors that Aunty spoke to were happy enough with just electricity.
If, however, in the future, they do decide to have gas like Aunty, the Gas Company will give rebates towards the purchase of new gas appliances as well as give Aunty referral fees. How can the company afford to do that when they only collect $40/month from Aunty? Aunty was worried but reassured by the boys that the company is in good shape because most of their business comes from commercial accounts such as hotels.
Aunty was very pleasantly surprised at the super job the good looking Gas Company boys did.
If you decide you want to join with Aunty and Jumping Jack Flash (it’s a gas-gas-gas!), then call Aunty’s pal Sharon Shigemoto at (808) 535-5933 and the job will be set up by Adolph Samuels in his leetle Toyota Corolla.
Also, if you get stuck with cold water only in the case of electrical power outage – remember we had one whole night one time kinda long time ago? – you can come take a bath at Aunty’s house, in the dark. Bring your own towel though, okay?