A Message from Hawaii Electric Light

Jay Ignacio

Every three years, Hawaii Electric Light is required to file a rate review with our regulators to give them the opportunity to see if our rates are reasonable.

I want to let you know that we have recently filed a rate review application and that it includes a request for an increase.

If it seems like we just had a rate review, you're right. Earlier this year, the Public Utilities Commission issued an order that resulted in virtually no net change to customer rates overall, thanks in part to a new federal tax law that resulted in savings passed through to customers.

Rate reviews are supposed to happen every three years, but this filing came up sooner than usual because we delayed our previous review. Once this review is finished, we'll be back on the three-year schedule set by our regulators.

The review takes about a year, so if an increase is approved, it wouldn't take effect until late 2019. Read more in our news release >

I know no one wants to pay more, but like everything else, the costs that go into providing electric service - equipment, materials and 24/7 personnel - are going up. Here's just some of the work we're doing:

  • Responding to the Kilauea eruption, including repairs to grid infrastructure and increased operation of our power plants to make up for loss of the Puna Geothermal Venture facility
  • Enhancing cybersecurity to keep our island's power grid secure and customer information safe
  • Expanding grid maintenance and upgrades, supporting reliable service and the interconnection of renewable energy
  • Increasing vegetation management, resulting in an estimated 50 percent reduction in vegetation-related power interruptions over the past five years
  • Increasing renewable energy use from 35 percent in 2010 to 63 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Though the final number for the year will be lower due to the loss of PGV, Hawaii Island will still be among the state's top renewable energy producers
  • Integrating more than 12,000 private rooftop solar systems into the grid, using new technology to make interconnecting faster and easier for customers
  • Acquiring 60 megawatts of solar and 240 megawatt-hours of storage through partnerships with independent power producers whose projects, if approved, will help lower costs for all customers

If you were affected by storms, flooding, earthquakes or the eruption, then you saw our employees in action. That we continued to make progress toward our state's renewable energy goals while responding quickly and effectively to emergencies is a tribute to the commitment of our employees and their pride in serving our communities.

Thank you for your consideration and for the opportunity to serve you.

Jay M. Ignacio
Hawaii Electric Light