Business briefs


POSTED: Thursday, December 10, 2009

HELCO seeks 6 percent rate increase

Hawaii Electric Light Co., which serves 79,700 customers, has applied to the state Public Utilities Commission for a 6 percent rate increase that would generate $20.9 million.

If the entire increase is approved, a typical residential household using 500 kilowatt-hours a month would see its monthly bill increase by $9.57 to $177.51 from $167.94.

The increase would cover more than $289 million in investments in new capital projects since 2006, including the net 16-megawatt steam-generating unit at Keahole and associated construction for noise mitigation; the two West Hawaii transmission line upgrade projects; power plant controls upgrades and other upgrades or replacements to increase efficiency and reliability of aging generating units; and investments in overhead and underground cables, as well as transformers, poles, meters and other facilities to maintain reliable servers and fulfill new service requests from customers.

HELCO's last rate increase was 7.58 percent in April 2007 and generated $24.6 million.

The PUC is expected to hold a public hearing on the proposed increase in early 2010 and an evidentiary hearing is likely to be held in late 2010. The PUC may grant an interim increase within the next 10 to 11 months.


Honolulu weekly wage hits $801

Honolulu County's average weekly wage was $801 in the first quarter of 2009, according to data scheduled to be released today by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's just slightly above the $800 weekly wage in the first quarter of 2008.

Honolulu County also reported a 3.4 percent decrease in employment level in the first quarter of 2009 from the year-earlier quarter.


4 diamonds for Hyatt Regency Waikiki

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa said it has once again received AAA's Four Diamond Rating. To qualify, a hotel must excel in delivering a luxury experience that is complete with a high level of service, impressive surroundings and amenities.

The AAA diamond rating system is used throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. To be considered for a diamond ranking, a hotel must first meet 27 requirements. Professionally trained evaluators are also sent unannounced to the establishments to properly assess the services and amenities.

According to AAA, a Four Diamond hotel is upscale in all areas and includes an extensive array of amenities and a high degree of hospitality and attention to detail.


Isle real estate Web sites team up

An alliance between Hawaii real estate Web sites www.hawaiilife.com and HawaiianBeachRentals.com will allow the companies to share about 2 million visitors a year.

The sites, both ranked No. 1 by Google, will share traffic by linking to each other's sites through their main navigation. People searching for real estate are often looking for property management companies offering vacation rentals. By contrast, many people who stay in a vacation rental want to purchase vacation property in Hawaii.



;  » Bank of Hawaii has promoted David Oyadomari to senior vice president of online and mobile banking from vice president. His experience includes serving in executive roles in the hospitality and telecommunications industries and Internet companies locally and on the mainland.

» The HTH Corp., owner of Pacific Beach Hotel and Pagoda Hotel, has named Lacianne Terry as sales manager for the domestic and international markets for both hotels. She was previously a catering coordinator at the Pacific Club as well as contracts processor and destination representative in the vacation industry.

» Tradewinds Pet Suites has announced Summer Hillen as a part-time kennel technician. She currently works part time at Waianae Veterinary Clinic and was previously at VCA Southeast Area Animal Hospital and Aspen Commons Animal Hospital, both in Denver.

» Mahealani Perez-Wendt, a Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. executive director, is retiring this month. Under her leadership, NHLC has focused on problems and challenges faced by native Hawaiians in maintaining their traditional relationship to their lands, natural resources and cultural practices.