Consumer Advocacy – Public Utilities (DCA)
The Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA) protects and advances the interests of Hawaii’s consumers of regulated public utilities and transportation services.
For more information about the Division and the work we do please read through an overview of services that we provide to the public.
WHAT’S NEW, HOT TOPICS & IMPORTANT DOCKETS
West Hawaii Water Company is proposing to change the presentation of its monthly water bills. Please click here to read more about it and for answers to frequently asked questions.
The September 2013 Edition of Consumer Spotlight is now online. Download it and the Division of Consumer Advocacy’s previous newsletters here.
Energy Tip of the Month: Water heating is one of the largest energy expenses for typical households, accounting for about 18% of your electric bill. Four common ways to cut it down is by using less hot water, insulating the water heater, turning down the thermostat (120 ° F is typically recommended), and of course getting a more efficient water heater (or go solar!). You should also check for leaks around the house and repair it immediately. Install aerating, low-flow shower heads and faucets. Also follow the water heater manufacturer’s maintenance directions to prolong the life and efficiency of the heater, this may include draining about a quart of water from your tank every couple of months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer.
The October 2012 Edition of Consumer Spotlight is now online. Download it and the Division of Consumer Advocacy’s previous newsletters here.
The U.S. Department of Energy is holding a series of public meetings across the State in September to seek public input on a programmatic environmental impact statement for a possible undersea transmission cable linking renewable energy projects on different islands. A programmatic EIS is separate from a standard EIS. The programmatic EIS allows the Department of Energy to develop guidance in future decisions supporting the State in its clean energy goals. Separate environmental reviews would still need to be conducted to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. See the dates and locations for meetings in your area below. You can also visit http://www.HawaiiCleanEnergyPEIS.com for more information.
September 11, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., McKinley High School, Honolulu.
September 12, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, Lihue.
September 13, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Kealakehe High School, Kailua-Kona.
September 14, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Hilo High School, Hilo.
September 17, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Pomaikai Elementary School, Kahului.
September 18, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Lanai Elementary & High School, Lanai City.
September 19, 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Mitchell Pauole Community Center, Kaunakakai.
September 20, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Castle High School, Kaneohe.
The Hawaii Once Call Center (HOCC) and the Public Utilities Commission is holding a series of informational seminars on the HOCC Advance Warning to Excavators program and Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 269E in May. Those interested should register by May 15, 2012. Dates and times vary by island. For more information and a copy of the registration form, click here.
You should also download the HOCC’s reference guide to the Hawaii One Call Law. The PDF file is available here.
2012 Lifeline information has been updated. Federal poverty income requirements have changed, so those that previously did not qualify, may qualify now. To check and read more information on this discounted phone service, click here.
KIUC is holding informational meetings on its Smart Grid plans on
October 26, 2011 and December 8, 2011
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Hana Kukui Building, Main Conference Room at 4463 Pahee Street
September 13-19, 2010 is National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week! Lifeline and Link-Up are federal/State programs that provide financial assistance to qualified consumers of telephone service. Eligible customers in Hawaii can save about $8 per month. Hawaii ranks among the lowest in the nation for participation in the program. The DCA and PUC hopes more of Hawaii’s qualified residents take advantage of the aid. For more information, visit our Lifeline & Link-Up information page here.
On February 19, 2010, the Public Utilities Commission approved a second interim rate increase for Hawaiian Electric Company. The new increase is to offset the cost of HECO’s new bio-diesel generating unit at Campbell Industrial Park. To review a copy of the PUC’s Interim Decision & Order click here.
On June 4, 2009, the Public Utilities Commission approved an interim rate increase for The Gas Company. To review a copy of the PUC’s Interim Decision & Order click here.
The Public Utilities Commission denied the requests of Molokai Public Utilities, Inc. and Waiola O Molokai, Inc. to submit unaudited financial statements in their respective rate increase applications. You can view a copy the April 2, 2009, PUC Decision and Order for MPU here and for Waiola here. You may also view a copy of the Division of Consumer Advocacy’s filed Statement of Position on the matter for MPU here and Waiola here.
On March 2, 2009, Molokai Public Utilities, Inc. and Waiola O Molokai, Inc. both filed applications for rate increases. To view a copy of MPU’s application click here.
To view a copy of Waiola’s application click here.
The Public Utilities Commission has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for Lanai Water Company’s request to provide and charge for non-potable water service in Manele-Hulopoe. Please note that this is a tentative date, time, and location, so please look for the official notice to be posted later. We will also update the information on this website when it is confirmed.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Lanai High and Elementary School Cafeteria
555 Fraser Avenue, Lanai City, Hawaii
Visit our Public Hearing Notices section for more information on how to participate at public hearings.
On January 12, 2008, the Public Utilities Commission initiated an investigation into the Oahu power outage on December 26, 2008. To read a copy of the order, click here. Hawaiian Electric believes lightning strikes caused the shutdown of its generators and the eventual island-wide blackout based on its preliminary findings. Both HECO and the Division of Consumer Advocacy will conduct their own thorough and independent investigation into the outage. We will look at the procedures and activities of the company before and during the outage to see if it could have been prevented, or if restoration could have been established sooner. We will also look at reasonable ways to prevent repeat occurences before delivering our recommendation to the PUC.
If you would like to file a claim for damage you believe was caused by power interruption click here to open and print a claim form.
For more details about filing a claim click here to link to HECO’s website.
***Remember that claims need to be filed within 30 days of the date of the alleged incident.
The Public Utilities Commission on December 19, 2008 determined that the activities and performance of HECO, HELCO, and MECO before and during the power outages immediately following the earthquake on October 15, 2006 were reasonable and in the public interest. Click here to view a copy of the PUC Decision & Order.
On October 20, 2008, Governor Lingle announced an Energy Agreement among the State of Hawaii, Division of Consumer Advocacy, and Hawaiian Electric Companies. The pact streamlines the goal to separate Hawaii from dependence on oil and improve energy efficiency. Click here to read a copy of the 44-page agreement.
Our October 2008 Consumer Spotlight Newsletter is now online. Click here to jump to it or click on the Consumer Spotlight Newsletter link in the column on the right for a complete list of back issues.
On July 3, 2008 Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) filed for a 5.2% rate increase in 2009. Public input on the proposed hike is welcomed and encouraged. Please mark your calendars as a date has been scheduled for a public hearing on the matter.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Public Utilities Commission Hearing Room
465 South King Street
Not sure how to participate in a public hearing or need help preparing testimony? Please visit our Public Hearings section.
The PUC approved a temporary rate increase, subject to certain conditions, for Molokai Public Utilities, Inc. and Wai`ola O Moloka`i, Inc. Click here to read the order.
2008 Report to the Legislature Relating to the Emergency Appropriation to investigate the major power outages that occurred on October 15, 2006, on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. Read a copy of the report.
2007 MECO rate increase approved by Public Utilities Commission on December 21, 2007. Read Interim Decision and Order 23926.
2007 HECO rate increase approved by Public Utilities Commission on October 22, 2007. Read Interim Decision and Order 23749.
“Ocean Energy Development Guidelines” for those considering the introduction of new ocean energy technology to Hawai`i. It is a proactive approach to deal with anticipated community concerns and not intended to be a substitute for any of the federal, state, or county regulatory requirements.
Get Free Utility News & Information Delivered to Your In Box
In an effort to help consumers become more informed about regulated utility issues, the DCA publishes a semi-quarterly newsletter. Each issue explores different aspects of public utilities. May 2008 issue is now online.
You can receive a free copy of “Consumer Spotlight” delivered straight to your e-mail. To sign up, send an e-mail to email@example.com and put “Newsletter Request” in the subject line. Put your e-mail address in the body of the e-mail and we will add you to our distribution list. You can also get a copy of past and present issues by clicking on the Consumer Spotlight link at the main menu on this page.
Keeping You Up to Date
We are always adding new content and information to our site to keep you better informed. So check us out often as we continue our efforts to bring you a site filled with up to date utility information that you can use.