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 HELCO seeks rate increase
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terracore
Punatic

5272 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  16:07:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Utility uses Trump tax windfall as opportunity to raise rates

HILO — Hawaii Electric Light Co. is seeking a 3.4 percent increase in base rates it says is needed to keep up with operation costs.

The proposal announced Friday afternoon is part of a rate review required every three years, and is subject to approval by the state Public Utilities Commission.

Any increase is not expected to take effect until late 2019.

HELCO estimates the rate hike will generate $13.4 million in additional revenue.

It would cost a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity another $8.21 per month.

In a press release, the utility said part of the increase would be used to fund grid modernization efforts, repairs to facilities damaged by the Kilauea eruption and increasing operation at power plants due to the loss of Puna Geothermal Venture, increased vegetation management, repairing and repowering the Waiau hydro plant, enhancing cybersecurity, and equipment upgrades or repairs.

Additionally, HELCO says the funds would help pay for power grid improvements to integrate more renewable energy sources.

PGV has a capacity of 38 megawatts and remains offline. Ormat Technologies, which owns the lava-locked facility, says it plans to restart. It began building a road over the cooling lava channel this week.

The loss of the geothermal power plant required HELCO to increase production at its steam power plants, which burn oil.

The utility’s monthly rates can fluctuate based on the price of oil.

In early 2018, the utility generated 63 percent of its power from renewable sources. That’s down to about half without PGV, HELCO said.

On Thursday, HELCO President Jay Ignacio said he hadn’t done an analysis, but he doesn’t think losing PGV had a significant impact on rates since most of the power purchased from the plant is already tied to the price of oil.

For instance, the first 25 megawatts is paid at “avoided costs,” meaning HELCO pays PGV the cost difference for not needing to burn as much oil to produce power. Ignacio said there are different rate schedules for power supplied above that amount.

“The last increment (of 8 megawatts) was where we really got favorable rates not connected to the price of oil,” he said.

Ignacio said PGV was producing at above capacity shortly before the eruption forced it to shut down.

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/2018/12/15/hawaii-news/helco-seeks-rate-increase/

Chunkster
Punatic

1913 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  16:57:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And the Public Utilities Commission will say, "Yes, sir! Right away, sir!"
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Obie
Punatic

USA
3419 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  17:06:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"Utility uses Trump tax windfall as opportunity to raise rates"

Didn't see this in the article.
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terracore
Punatic

5272 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  17:50:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That was my commentary, article below.
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macuu222
Punatic

Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
2946 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  19:28:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Speaking of rate increases...My electric bill this month was $30.00 higher. Same kilowatt hours and same amount of days as last month...only $30.00 higher. What's that all about?
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alohanaia
Newbie

USA
28 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  19:28:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just shameless. With oil well below the 10 year average, why exactly does Helco need to raise the highest electric rates in the country? Why are they the worst in the country at what they do, and getting worse? How could any legitimate, non-captured regulatory body grant such a request without demanding that the problems be transparently identified and fixed? It would be cheaper to fire everyone at helco, refund the salaries of the PUC, sell the grid for scrap, and buy every resident a generator.

I am willing to consult on this project. Will work for avoided cost.

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glinda
Punatic

USA
1005 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  19:34:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why are they the worst in the country at what they do...

Really, they are? I had no idea. Got any examples?
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EightFingers
Punatic

USA
2435 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  19:39:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This was in last month’s bill. I posted it. Does anyone read the inserts that come in their bills?
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alohanaia
Newbie

USA
28 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  21:07:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by glinda

Why are they the worst in the country at what they do...

Really, they are? I had no idea. Got any examples?



Sure thing glinda:
https://www.electricitylocal.com/states/hawaii/hilo/
The average residential electricity rate in Hilo is 42.47˘/kWh
Residential rates in the U.S. range from 8.37˘/kWh to 37.34˘/kWh (sic)
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glinda
Punatic

USA
1005 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  22:07:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that alohanaia, though I am hard pressed to see how that suggests that they are the worst in the country at what they do, but rather just that they have the highest rates. I mean come on, I thought you were going to tell me how the linemen are all left handed or they run their wires backwards or some such!

I know the highest rates thing is a bitch, but when you think of where we are, and how spread out our population is, ie how much the cost of running their system is, I kind of think you will find several reasons to justify some seriously high rates. But nothing about all that is bad (as I took your use of the word worse to imply), it's just the facts of life on the island, in every industry. For all of us. If you want it cheap, you should consider moving.

I think if people want to bitch about the costs of our electricity they should look at the regulators (PUC) and the government (who makes deals that include too many subsidies) not the regulated.
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7697 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2018 :  23:24:28  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"In a press release, the utility said part of the increase would be used to fund grid modernization efforts, repairs to facilities damaged by the Kilauea eruption and increasing operation at power plants due to the loss of Puna Geothermal Venture, increased vegetation management, repairing and repowering the Waiau hydro plant, enhancing cybersecurity, and equipment upgrades or repairs."

[...]

"On Thursday, HELCO President Jay Ignacio said he hadn’t done an analysis, but he doesn’t think losing PGV had a significant impact on rates since most of the power purchased from the plant is already tied to the price of oil."

So which is true?
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RWR
Kamaaina

607 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2018 :  00:05:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bat charged. Its all about the estimate 222 check ur bill tiny print next.

Sheesh, if anything, there should be LESS maintenance/upkeep since a lot just gone .. never be seen again.

Now I've explained myself. How about you join in the conversation and post something about the subject Tom. What's your opinion? So far, you've posted nothing in this thread that discusses the subject,


Edited by - RWR on 12/16/2018 10:55:13
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TomK
Punatic

USA
7697 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2018 :  00:27:05  Show Profile  Visit TomK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
RWR slurred:

"Its all about the estimate 222 vjeck ur bill ..sheesj if anything, theybha LESS maintenance /upkeep since a lot just gone .. never to n
Be
"

Thanks. Very helpful.
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randomq
Punatic

USA
1346 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2018 :  08:19:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hope their grid modernization efforts will remove the excuses for not feeding more rooftop solar back into the grid. Better grid isolation, battery storage of various technologies, etc. Is there a public forum where we can ask these questions, or have the PUC ask them for us?

I've also read our island is almost 50% renewable, at what percentage can we finally expect rates to drop?
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leilanidude
Punatic

USA
3398 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2018 :  08:34:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rates will never drop as long as the PUC allows HELCO to purchase high priced electricity from producers like the biomass plant, solar farms, wind farms, etc, that sell the power at inflated rates compared to what similar mainland power producers sell it for. If you were HELCO, wouldn't you go for a 50% markup on 20 cent per KWH over 8 cent per KWH which is what PGV stated they would be willing to produce it at?
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Mimosa
Punatic

USA
1133 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2018 :  16:48:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
500 kilowatt hours of Helco power a month is HUGE .
We have PV and grid power and our monthly bill has dropped by 45 percent on average - month in month out .
The Trump deal was for corporate - not consumers .
Helco will always need to up grade and keep the share holders happy at an average of 2.1 percent yearly in dividends .
Utilities are one of the better stocks / shares to own in a long term hold as they seldom lose money.Always look at the P/E ratio going back 15 to 20 yrs when investing in utilities .
Lucky we live Hawaii Nei .
Mrs.Mimosa

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