West Hawaii Water Company Proposed Tariff Change FAQ
Waikoloa Water Company, Inc. dca West Hawaii Water Company (“WHWC”) is proposing to change the presentation of its monthly water bills. WHWC wants to reflect the total electricity expense incurred to provide water service as a single line item. Currently, electricity expense was shown in the Quantity Rate and the Power Cost Adjustment Charge (“PCAC”). After every rate case, the entire electricity expense was included in the Quantity Rate and the PCAC was reset to zero. Under the proposed bill presentation, the PCAC will be removed from the bill and will be replaced by the Power Cost Charge (“PCC”). The PCC will reflect 100% of the electricity expense incurred for each customer’s water usage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is WHWC requesting this change?
A. Based on comments received from customers in recent public hearings and letters sent to the Public Utilities Commission, WHWC believes there is confusion about what is reflected in the current PCAC. Currently, the electricity expense is included in both the Quantity Rate and the PCAC. In an effort to be more transparent and address customers’ concerns, WHWC wants to show the total electricity expense required to pump water to each customer as a separate item on your bill.
Q. How is the electricity expense calculated?
A. The electricity expense is based on four factors:
a. The amount of water you consume.
b. The most recent electricity rate charged by HELCO.
c. The electricity required to pump each gallon of water.
d. The Public Service Company Tax and Public Utilities Commission fee.
The electricity expense is based on your water usage for the month.
Q. How much is the Public Service Company Tax?
A. It is 5.885% (Set by Hawaii Revised Statutes).
Q. How much is the Public Utilities Commission fee?
A. It is 0.5% (Set by Hawaii Revised Statutes).
Q. How will this affect my bill?
A. There should be no impact on your total bill amount. This only changes the presentation of your bill, it will have no impact on the total amount you pay.
Q. Will the proposed Power Cost Charge change every month?
A. The Power Cost Charge will change from month to month based on your total water consumed and the changes in electricity costs.
Q. Has the Public Utilities Commission approved this change?
A. No, it has not. The Public Utilities Commission will review the proposed change in conjunction with WHWC’s request for a rate increase and then issue a Decision and Order.
Q. When will this change take place? When will the PUC issue its Decision and Order?
A. The change will occur once the PUC has reviewed WHWC’s request for a rate increase and issues its Decision and Order. We cannot provide a specific date when the PUC will decide. This may take place within the next six months.
Q. Do other utilities use the proposed Power Cost Charge?
A. No, not in Hawaii. However, the County of Hawaii’s water bills contain a similar Power Cost Charge.
Q. If we do not agree with this proposed change, what can we do?
A. We will record your comments and forward them to the Public Utilities Commission for their consideration. Or you can send your comments directly to the Public Utilities Commission.
Q. If there are many objections to the proposed change, will the Public Utilities Commission approve the change?
A. The Public Utilities Commission will take all public comments under advisement before making its decision.
Q. Can you please explain how the bill is computed?
A. Please contact our office so we can further explain this to you.