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Electric rates down in Feb. on all islands except Kauai

Residential electricity bills fell in February on every island except Kauai, the state’s two major electric utilities reported today.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said a typical 600-kilowatt-hour bill for Oahu residential customers fell to $200.41 in February from $204.17 in January. The effective rate for electricity in Honolulu dropped to 32 cents per kilowatt-hour in February from the 32.6 cents last month.

HECO also operates Maui Electric Power Co. in Maui County and Hawaii Electric Light Co. on Hawaii island

Maui Electric Co. customers saw rates fall to 35.8 cents per kilowatt-hour this month from month’s 37.6 cents. The typical Maui bill fell by $10.35 to $222.24.

Hawaii island residential rates fell to 40.6 cents a kilowatt-hour from last month’s 42.1 cents. The typical bill fell by $9.32 to $253.52.

On Kauai, the rate rose to 41.40 cents per kilowatt-hour. Last month the rate charged by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was  40.30 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The main driver behind the monthly decline in rates was not lower prices for fuel oil, which remain high in the Asia Pacific market, according to HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg. Instead, the drop in rates was primarily due to a quarterly reconciliation HECO does to confirm its operating costs based on which generators were run and for how long, he said.

 “In February, this ‘true up’ resulted in a slightly lower effective rate,” Rosegg said.

Hawaii typically has the highest cost for electricity in the nation. The national average 9.83 cents per kilowatt-hour in according to the most recent numbers available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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