The Hawai'i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has granted Maui Electric Company (MECO) an interim rate increase, effective June 1. PUC approved an increase for customers on Maui, Molokai, and Lana'i of 3.16 percent, or $13.1 million.
The increase reflects a previously announced settlement agreement between Maui Electric and the state Division of Consumer Advocacy after months of detailed review of the request. PUC will continue to review the request and later issue a final decision. If, at that time, a lower final increase is approved, the difference will be refunded to customers with interest.
The actual increase will vary by type of customer and actual electricity usage. The impact on a typical residential household on Maui (600 kwh/month) will be an increase of $6.60 per month increase, totaling $242.23 per month.
The increase will help cover the operations and maintenance costs of safely and reliably integrating existing and future renewable energy resources into MECO's three isolated electrical grids. Also included are energy storage projects that will help integrate even higher levels of variable resources such as wind and solar, including a battery energy storage system at MECO's Wailea Substation and an energy storage system on a distribution circuit in Central Maui.
MECO originally submitted its rate increase application in July 2011 and requested 6.7 percent, or $27.5 million in net revenues.