comscore HECO proposes to increase rooftop solar fee | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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HECO proposes to increase rooftop solar fee

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / 2013
    Some installations are put on hold while the utility requests to pay lower rates for energy it gets back. HECO’s refusal to approve the systems is viewed as a tactic to pressure the Public Utilities Commission. The decision lies in the hands of the commission, which has not indicated when it would rule.
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In a filing with the Public Utilities Commission on Monday, Hawaiian Electric Co. proposed to increase the minimum monthly bill for new rooftop solar owners to $25 on all islands.

The current minimum bill for all residental customers is $17 on Oahu, $18 on Maui and $20.50 on Hawaii island.

In the Monday filing, HECO also proposed to credit new solar customers on Oahu at a rate of 18 cents per kilowatt-hour for all solar energy sent to the grid. Currently solar customers are credited at the retail rate for electricity, which averaged 35 cents on Oahu in 2014.

The new charges would not affect current solar customers, who would continue to pay the $17 minimum on Oahu and get the retail rate for solar sent into the grid.

Restructuring the rate paid to future solar customers with rooftop solar is what is fair, said HECO.

The new proposals “protects reliability, safety and fairness for all customers,” said Jim Alberts, HECO senior vice president of customer service.

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