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PUC gives final approval for HECO 2011 rate hike

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:54 p.m. HST, Jul 2, 2012

State regulators have given final approval for a Hawaiian Electric Co. rate hike that the utility had been collecting for nearly a year on an interim basis.

The Public Utilities Commission on Friday approved the rate hike, which will be used to help pay for capital improvements, such as grid modernization and other projects that allow HECO to increase its use of renewable energy.

The interim PUC ruling had allowed HECO to collect an additional 3.4 percent in revenue from customers beginning July 26, 2011. HECO officials are still calculating what the impact of the PUC’s final ruling will have on customers' bills, but it will not result in an increase in the interim rate, a utility spokesman said.

The interim rate hike provided an additional $59 million in revenue for HECO, which is helping pay for about $80 million in capital improvements.

The PUC last year reduced the amount of the interim rate hike from a 6.6 percent increase originally sought by HECO.

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