HECO seeks rates for low-income customers


POSTED: Friday, May 01, 2009

Hawaiian Electric Co. has filed an application with the state Public Utilities Commission to offer monthly credits to the state's low-income families on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

The Lifeline Rates Program would provide a fixed, monthly bill credit to qualified customers, regardless of family size, of $25 for Oahu, $30 for Maui and $35 for the Big Island, Molokai and Lanai.

“;We started developing this proposal late last year, but it's especially timely now given the economic challenges our community is facing, and the need to help those most vulnerable,”; said Dick Rosenblum, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.

The monthly credits for each island's customers would be paid through a monthly surcharge applied to all electric bills on that island.

If approved, the surcharge for a typical monthly residential electric bill is estimated to be up to 31 cents on Oahu, up to 77 cents in Maui County and up to $1.54 on the Big Island.

The program, which would be open to customers enrolled in one of three government-assistance programs, requires PUC review and approval before going into effect.

HECO made a commitment to develop the program as part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.