HELCO`s Proposed 6.5% Rate Hike – Tell the PUC What You Think!

Forum Reference: Energy forums of September 2015 and September 2016 for more information on Clean Energy options for Hawai’i


The Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is coming to Hilo on December 13 and Kona on Wednesday, December 14.

The PUC wants to know if Big Island residents are happy with the amount they are spending on their electric bills, and whether residents are willing to pay 6.5 percent more and continue to subsidize HELCO’s expensive dirty energy path.

Those who think the utility is doing a great job, a reasonable job, or a poor job, have the opportunity to let the regulators know.

With the exception of any entity that intervenes in the proceeding, this will be the LAST opportunity for the public to influence the outcome of this rate hike proposal.

Those who submit written testimony, or who show up at the hearings, should be aware that the purpose of the hearings will also influence state regulators and the future of Hawaii’s energy future.

The Public Utilities Commission and the State Consumer Advocate will be examining every aspect of the operations of the utility.

Is HELCO efficient, or are they wasting ratepayer funds?

Should HELCO adopt a clean energy transition plan – one that promotes rather than slows the adoption of zero emissions rooftop solar, wind, storage (pump-hydro, battery, etc.), and micro-grid opportunities?  Should they work closer with Parker Ranch, Tesla, and other private sector clean energy partners to achieve Hawaii’s 2045 renewable energy goals?

Is a business-as-usual rate increase justified, or is the utility ignoring opportunities for greater efficiencies through 21stcentury clean energy options – and at what continuing expense to ratepayers?

Should HELCO receive a greater share of its revenue from performance incentives rather than guaranteed power generation revenues?  If so, what incentives are reasonable?

Is the utility open to hearing what consumers want, or are they single-minded in their approach to ram unpopular projects through the regulatory process?

Should HELCO buy Hamakua Energy Partners’ naphtha-burning power plant in Honoka`a, or invest in non-polluting clean energy alternatives?

Should ratepayers fund efforts to increase geothermal, Liquefied Natural Gas, or grid upgrades to allow greater amounts of rooftop solar and integrate storage options?

Is the HELCO medical plan reasonable?

Is HELCO working on its operating cost inefficiencies, or as Hawai’i Island’s energy monopoly are they living high off the backs of ratepayers?

Bottom line: Is HELCO heading in the right or wrong direction?

The Public Utilities Commission and the State Consumer Advocate will be examining every single cost that HELCO incurs.

The bulk of ratepayers are not engineers, accountants, or lawyers.  As ratepayers and customers of HELCO, and the Community’s opinions matter to the PUC.  Your participation in this important to the otucome of the hearing process — tell the PUC what YOU think!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

Hilo High School Cafeteria

556 Waianuenue Avenue

Hilo, Hawaii 96720


Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

West Hawaii Civic Center

County Council Chambers

74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740


The Commission will accept testimony in-person, or written testimony by snail mail, or by electronic mail. Written comments should reference Docket No. 2015-0170, and include the author’s name and the entity or organization that the author represents.


Postal (Snail) Mail

Public Utilities Commission

465 South King Street #103

Honolulu, HI 96813


Electronic Mail


Special acknowledgement and thanks to Ililani Media for their contribution to this notice.
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