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Maui Electric lowers rate increase request to 3.3%

Star -Advertiser staff

Maui Electric Co. said it has scaled back its request for a rate hike under an agreement reached with the state Consumer Advocate.

MECO is seeking a 3.3 percent increase, down from the 9.7 percent hike it had sought in its original request filled with the Public Utilities Commission last fall. The revised rate hike request would generate annual revenue of $10.3 million compared with $28.2 million in the original request, MECO said.

The majority of the difference is the result of MECO revising its sales and expenses estimates since the case was filed, the utility said in a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For example, MECO agreed to limit the investment in a heat and power system installed at a Maui hotel to $3.5 million. The actual cost of the system was $4.8 million. As a result, MECO said it plans to write off $1.3 million of the investment.

The PUC is expected to issue an interim ruling in the case by late summer.

MECO also has a second rate case pending before the PUC. The case filed in 2007 calls for a 3.7 percent rate increase. 

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