HECO cuts back proposed rate hike
The reduced increase came after talks with the state consumer advocate
Hawaiian Electric Co. has scaled back its proposed rate increase from the 7.1 percent it sought in December to 5.3 percent.
HECO's parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., said in documents filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission that the move would pare back the expected revenues from the increase from the original $99.6 million to $75.5 million.
The original request would have added $6.80 to a typical homeowner's $111.05 monthly bill for 600 kilowatt-hours.
The revised request, made in the wake of negotiations with the state consumer advocate and the U.S. Department of Defense, must still be approved by the state Public Utilities Commission.
HECO has submitted a statement to the PUC saying it is "probably entitled" to an interim rate increase of 4.96 percent, or about $70 million annually, subject to refund with interest, based on its talks with the consumer advocate and the DOD.
Darren Pai, senior communications consultant for HECO, said yesterday that a decision on the interim increase is expected by the end of October. If the PUC does allow the interim increase, it may take more time to issue a final decision on the larger request.
Some of the projects the funds would pay for include a new system operations dispatch center, an emergency management system and infrastructure improvements, such as replacing underground lines in portions of Waikiki.
HECO serves about 292,000 customers.