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POSTED: Friday, June 05, 2009

Oahu electricity bills rising again

The typical household bill (600 kilowatts per hour) on Oahu in June went up slightly due to higher fuel prices, at an average of $120.36, up 2.4 percent from $117.45 from the average bill in May.

It's the first time rates have gone up since September, according to Hawaiian Electric Co., although Oahu's rates are still 40.5 percent lower than they were during the peak nine months ago.

On Maui the typical bill rose to $146.89, 5.4 percent higher than $139.34 in April. The Maui rates do not include Molokai and Lanai.

The typical bill on the Big Island will average $186.32 this month, just 0.5 percent more than $185.47 in May.

June's effective kilowatt-per-hour rates, which include fuel and other charges, were 18.63 cents on Oahu, 29.21 cents on Maui and 23.14 cents on the Big Island.

Rates vary on different isles due to different sources of fuel and storage capacities.

HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said the slight bump reflects higher fuel prices from about a month and a half ago, in addition to higher demand during the summer. Continuing high fuel prices will result in higher electricity rates next month as well, he said.

Windward Mall gets new tenants

Windward Mall has added a few new retail tenants to its directory this summer, including Fresh Inc Stationery, Thinker Toys and Aeropostale.

Fresh Inc Stationery, owned by Kaneohe resident Shauna Kahiapo, opened in early May at Center Court. The store offers stationery, gift items and recycled paper goods.

Aeropostale opened last Friday, while Sindication, a clothing retailer for young adults, reopened on the Upper Level Macy's wing.

Thinker Toys, which has a store at Kahala Mall, is slated to open next door to Aeropostale on July 1.

Old Republic moves headquarters

Old Republic Title & Escrow of Hawaii has signed a lease for more than 13,000 square feet at Pioneer Plaza.

The title insurance company's headquarters will occupy the entire 19th floor and will move into the location from the Pacific Guardian Center in September.

Old Republic operates nine branch offices throughout the state.

Wal-Mart to create 22,000 jobs

BENTONVILLE, Ark. » As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opens about 150 new or expanded stores in the U.S. in 2009, the company expects to hire about 22,000 people for new positions.

Those positions include plenty of cashiers and stock clerks, but the world's largest retailer also will be adding store managers, pharmacists and personnel workers.

Wal-Mart is holding its annual shareholders meeting today, and employees from its stores around the world are spending the week in Bentonville at company headquarters.

Unlike many retailers, Wal-Mart has managed to keep sales growing since the recession began in late 2007, helped greatly by the company's stock of necessities such as groceries and health and wellness items. With cash tight, many consumers are attempting to spend solely on things they need.

On the move

» Heide & Cook Ltd. has hired Melissa Sekigawa as sales and marketing coordinator. She previously was a credit counselor for Hawaiian Community Assets.

» Ho'ala Landscape & Maintenance has appointed Jack Urbanski as building maintenance manager. He previously was lead carpenter at Ho'ala's parent company, Jacobsen Labor Services, and at the Queen's Medical Center. He also served in the Navy at Barbers Point.