MECO seeking to boost rates 9.7%


POSTED: Friday, October 02, 2009

Maui Electric Co. is seeking a 9.7 percent rate increase for Maui County that could boost monthly household bills of some residents by as much as $14.61 a month.

The Hawaiian Electric Co. subsidiary filed an application late Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission and said the additional $28.2 million in revenue from Maui, Molokai and Lanai customers is needed to help pay for $122 million in new capital projects and increased operating and maintenance costs.

The company said the rate case also serves as a starting point for a potential new regulatory model that could move MECO away from earning revenue based on the amount of electricity sold and instead encourage the utility to help its customers use less electricity and install more distributed renewable generation.

“;We've made concerted efforts to contain costs and improve efficiency, but we must also make the investments to fulfill our responsibility to provide reliable service to our customers,”; MECO President Ed Reinhardt said.

MECO's last rate increase — 3.7 percent — was implemented in December 2007 and was the company's first increase in nearly nine years.

Any rate increase, if approved, would not take effect until at least mid-2010.





        If the full request is approved, Maui County households likely would see the following changes:

» Maui (600 kilowatt-hours per month): $13.43 per month increase; total bill: $172.46


» Lanai (500 kwh per month): $14.61 per month increase; total bill: $181.80


» Molokai (500 kwh per month): $13.65 per month increase; total bill: $172.69


Source: Maui Electric Co.