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December electricity rates fall statewide

By Star-Advertiser staff


An 11 percent decline in residential electricity rates in December means this Ewa Beach home can keep its elaborate computer-controlled Christmas light show on a little longer.

Keeping the Christmas lights on will cost you a little less this year.

Residential electricity rates fell 11 percent on Oahu this month compared with December 2011. The typical bill on Oahu dropped to its lowest level since the spring of 2011.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said a typical 600-kilowatt-hour bill for Oahu residential customers this month is $195.38, down from $219.03 a year ago. The typical December bill was $4.80 less than November's $200.18 bill and was the lowest since May 2011 when the typical bill was $188.88.

The effective rate for electricity on Oahu in December is 31.1 cents a kilowatt-hour, down from 31.9 cents a kilowatt-hour last month. Electric rates also fell in November and October.

Still, Hawaii has the highest electrical rates in the nation. The statewide average of 37.07 cents a kilowatt-hour in September was more than triple the national average of 12.3 cents a kilowatt-hour, according to the most recent numbers available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Idaho, where hydroelectric power supplies 80 percent of the state's electricity needs, had the lowest average rate at 8.1 cents a kilowatt-hour.

Neighbor islands also reported a drop in electric rates.

» Maui Electric Co. customers saw rates fall to 39.5 cents per kilowatt-hour this month from 39.6 cents in November. The typical Maui bill fell by $3.18 to $218.12.

» Hawaii island residential rates fell to 38.7 cents a kilowatt-hour from last month's 39 cents. The typical bill fell by $2.03 to $242.46.

» On Kauai the rate fell to 42.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, down from the 43.9 cents per kilowatt-hour charged last month by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

The state's two electric utilities, HECO and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, adjust their rates monthly largely to reflect changes in fuel costs. The utilities generate 75 percent of their electricity from petroleum, making rates sensitive to volatility in oil prices.

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manakuke wrote:
Relief during the holiday season
on December 21,2012 | 04:48AM
allie wrote:
HECO is way too expensive and their service unreliable
on December 21,2012 | 05:43AM
mustangguru wrote:
Well, you could get a PV system but when HECO goes down, guess what, you cannot run off the grid. Current regulations require you to be hooked up to the grid. So when the power goes down, your PV goes down too. Cute yeah?
on December 21,2012 | 08:58AM
fstop wrote:
Inverters switch off to prevent power feeding back to the grid from your PV system and possibly electrocuting a HECO worker that assumes the power is off.

I wonder if there is a way around this...If the power goes out for an extensive period of time, turn off the main breaker so you are not connected to HECO, plug in a small generator anywhere in your home and your inverter detects the presence of voltage and switches back on, supplying power to your home from your PV system during the day.

When electricity is restored, turn off the generator and turn on the main breaker.

on December 24,2012 | 05:32AM
Wazdat wrote:
so this should last what about 2 months until they raise the rates again.
on December 21,2012 | 05:58AM
McCully wrote:
Just a tease folks!!!!
on December 21,2012 | 06:08AM
localguy wrote:
Why doesn't HECO publish how much less oil they are buying thanks to all the increasing solar water and PV systems going in? Could it be they keep charging ratepayers the same amount even though they are buying thousands of less barrels? Required to make regular payments to their CEO's pension plan? Be honest HECO, show us the money.
on December 21,2012 | 06:12AM
islandsun wrote:
Big deal. Havent they raised rates every month for the longest time. They will be sued for runnung a ponzi scheme.
on December 21,2012 | 06:42AM
steveoctober wrote:
Hilarious seeing Maui's electric rates so disproportionately high with all those rampant stupid eyesore windmills on the islands. Nothing but scams putting them up. Auwe.
on December 21,2012 | 07:37PM
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