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Electric bills up in March on all islands

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Residential electricity bills in rose in March on all islands, the state’s two major electric utilities reported today.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said a typical 600-kilowatt-hour bill for Oahu residential customers rose to $203.74 in March from $200.41 last month. The effective rate for electricity in Honolulu rose to 32.6 cents a kilowatt hour in March from 32 cents per kilowatt-hour in February.

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

Maui Electric Co. customers saw rates rise to 36.3 cents a kilowatt-hour this month from 35.8 cents a kilowatt hour in February. The typical Maui bill rose by $3.22 to $225.46.

Hawaii island residential rates rose to 41.3 cents a kilowatt-hour from last month’s 40.6 cents. The typical bill rose by $5.67 to $259.19.

On Kauai, the rate rose to 42.6 cents a kilowatt-hour. Last month the rate charged by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was 41.40 cents a kilowatt-hour.

The main driver behind the increase was higher prices for fuel oil, which remain high in the Asia Pacific market, according to utility officials.

Hawaii typically has the highest cost for electricity in the nation. The national average was 11.52 cents per kilowatt-hour in December, according to the most recent numbers available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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