KAHULUI, Hawaii, July 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Maui Electric (MECO), subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) (NYSE: HE), today filed a request for a rate increase with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for Maui County customers in 2012. The increase would cover the cost of improvements to integrate additional renewable energy and improve the reliability of service to its Maui, Lanai and Molokai customers.
If approved, the request would result in an increase of 6.7% or $27.5 million in net revenues. Any increase, if granted, would not go into effect until mid-2012 at the earliest.
If the full amount requested is granted, the monthly increase would vary by customer depending upon customer category and the amount of electricity used. Based on the tiered rate structure approved by the PUC in January which rewards customers who use less electricity with lower rates, a typical bill for residential customers on each island would increase by approximately $13 a month. Typical monthly residential electric bills would increase to $243 ( Maui - 600 kilowatthours), $243 ( Molokai - 500 kilowatthours) and $241 ( Lanai - 500 kilowatthours).
"We know that any increase is difficult for our customers," said MECO President Ed Reinhardt. "It is critical that we continue to make investments that will enable us to add more clean energy to our grid and ensure service that our customers can continue to count on."More than 15% of the electricity sold by MECO in 2010 came from renewable sources. In addition, more than 1,200 solar and wind systems have been installed under the company's Net Energy Metering program. MECO will also begin integrating an additional 21 megawatts of wind energy from the new Kaheawa Wind Power II project in early 2012.