comscore HEI earnings up 18% as renewable goal stays on track | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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HEI earnings up 18% as renewable goal stays on track

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s earnings jumped 17.7 percent in the first quarter even as the holding company’s utility shifted $9 million worth of tax reform net benefits to customers.

The parent of Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co. and Hawaii Electric Light Co., as well as American Savings Bank, said today that net income rose to $40.2 million, or 37 cents a share, from $34.2 million, or 31 cents a share, in the year-earlier period as both subsidiaries posted strong performances.

Revenue rose 9.2 percent to $645.9 million from $591.6 million.

In January, the state Public Utilities Commission said as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that it would work with regulated utilities and the Consumer Advocate to ensure that Hawaii customers benefit from lower federal tax rates on their utility bills.

HEI said that at its current pace it is on track to meet or exceed the state’s next renewable milestone of 30 percent by 2020. The state is targeting 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

“We have recently seen the groundbreaking of several large solar projects, including our own 20-megawatt photovoltaic project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,” HEI President and CEO Connie Lau said. “Through our renewable generation (standards), we are providing a platform for third-party development of approximately 300 megawatts of additional renewable, and last week we filed applications to add two grid scale batteries on Oahu to help integrate more renewable while improving resilience.”

HEI reported that its utility’s net income increased 28 percent to $27.5 million from $21.5 million in the year-earlier quarter primarily due to $11 million more revenue from rate adjustments and an additional $5 million from rate increases on Oahu and Hawaii island, but these amounts were partially offset by increases in costs not recovered in rates.

American Savings, the state’s third-largest bank, reported on April 30 that its earnings jumped 20 percent to a best-ever quarter of $19 million amid 7.1 percent deposit growth and savings from the new corporate tax law that reduced its tax expense by about $3 million from the year-earlier period.

HEI’s stock closed up 29 cents at $34.16 on Thursday. The financial results were released about three hours after the market began trading.

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