Hawaiian Electric Co. is seeking to raise rates for Oahu customers by 6.9 percent.
The state’s dominant electric utility submitted a filing for the increase today with the state Public Utilities Commission. If approved, it would boost revenue for the company by $106 million and increase customers’ bills by $8.71 a month based on the December bills.
The bill for an Oahu household using 500 kilowatt-hours in December was $132.32.
HECO said the base rate increase would help improve customer service, pay for operating costs and add more renewable energy resources to the electric grid. The utility said it has spent more than $900 million replacing and upgrading equipment on Oahu.
HECO said due to lower fuel prices, if its proposed rate case is approved, the average bill still would be lower than the bills customers saw last year.
The last rate case that HECO filed seeking an increase was in May 2010. HECO asked for a 6.6 percent increase at that time. The total amount requested was $113.5 million, according to HECO. The PUC ended up approving a 3.4 percent increase in September 2012. That resulted in a revenue increase of $58.1 million.
The PUC has to complete its review and issue its decision before nine months from the date that HECO filed this latest application.
HECO’s base rate is only part of the rates customers see on their bills.
The rates customers pay change monthly, as rates include HECO’s base rate as well as surcharges such as the Energy Cost Adjustment, the Purchased Power Adjustment, IRP Cost Recovery, Revenue Balancing Account Adjustment, and the Renewable Energy Infrastructure Program.