Electric Services

There is currently one provider of electric services on each island that supplies power to homes and businesses.

There are a number of different factors that go into making sure power goes where it is needed. This section of our site has been designed to help you learn more about how this is done and includes tips on taking control of your energy use.

Understanding the Grid

How does electricity get from the power plant to your home? Click here for an infographic that can help you understand how electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed for use in our homes.

How are Electric Services Regulated?

The Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA) works with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and electric companies in an attempt to ensure that this necessary service is available at reasonable and affordable prices. As much as possible, we try to balance a number of factors, each of which are important, but sometimes not necessarily compatible. For instance, intuitively, everybody probably wants energy that’s “green”, which means energy generated by means friendly to the environment, such as photovoltaics (solar power converted into electricity). However, some of these technologies are expensive or have other characteristics that may prevent widespread adoption of these technologies. We do our best to balance these interests and, hopefully, represent the ratepayers adequately.

Regulated Electric Companies

These companies currently provide electric utility services in Hawaii. Clicking on them will take you to that companies homepage.

Your Electric Bill

You must pay your electric bill in a timely fashion in order to receive continuous electric service. The basic form of your electric bill will contain common elements regardless of which company provides your electric service. See a sample bill from Hawaiian Electric below.

What does my bill include?
  1. Account Summary
    This section provides the electric service billing period for the current bill and summarizes what is owed on the current bill.

  2. Outstanding Balance
    The previous balance line item shows the total charges on your last electric bill. The payments you made toward the last bill are subtracted from the previous balance to determine how much, if anything, remains to be paid toward the previous bill. That amount is the outstanding balance.

  3. Due Date
    This is when your payment should be received by Hawaiian Electric to avoid a late payment charge.

  4. Total Amount Due
    This is how much you currently owe. The total amount due includes the current charges, any adjustments made to your bill, plus the outstanding balance. Adjustments may include items such as: fees for service establishment, reconnection, late payment, returned check, or Sun Power for Schools donation. The date provided is the final date by which your payment should be received by Hawaiian Electric to avoid a late payment charge.

  5. Bill Period
    This box contains data that describes your electricity use during the billing period and the rate schedule (such as R Residential Service) used to compute your electricity charges. The beginning and ending dates of the electric service billing period and the number of days in the billing period are provided.

    Meter # is the identification number on the electric meter. Register provides the meter's unit of measure. KWH means kilowatt-hours.

    Current Reading is the cumulative number of kilowatt-hours shown on the meter when it was read for the current electric bill. Previous reading is the cumulative number of kilowatt-hours shown on the meter when it was read for the previous bill. The difference is computed by subtracting the previous reading from the current reading.

    For accounts that use large amounts of electricity, the meters may not register electricity use by single kilowatt-hours. They may register electricity use by tens or hundreds of kilowatt-hours. That is explained by the multiplier. For most residences the multiplier is 1. For large power users the multiplier may be as high as 240. When the difference is multiplied by the multiplier, the electricity usage for the billing period is determined in kilowatt-hours.

    At times, your electric bill may have to be estimated. In those cases, (EST) will be printed on the bill next to the current reading.

    For accounts that have two electric meters, the second meter number and corresponding data will be shown below the data provided for the first meter.

    Residential and Schedule G commercial customers with advanced meters may see a KW line item underneath their KWH usage. Please disregard this at this time as it does not factor into your bill calculation. It may be used in the future when additional rate options and programs become available.

  6. Usage Profile
    This section provides you with a historical view of your electricity use. The handy bar graph on the left side tells you at a glance how much your average daily electricity use has fluctuated over the past year.

    The electric usage profile for your meter can help you monitor your electricity use. It provides a record of the electricity use for your account for the past year. The date is the ending date of a billing period. KWH is the number of kilowatt-hours used during that period. The amount and days are the total current charges on your electric bill and the number of days in that billing period, respectively. KWH/day lists the average number of kilowatt-hours of electricity used per day during the period. $/day tells you, on average, how much your electricity costs per day.

  7. Messages
    This area contains useful information and tips for managing your electricity use. It also may contain specific messages for individual customers about their electric account.

  8. Bill Detail
    This section describes the charges on your electric bill. It lists the previous balance on your account and subtracts the incoming payment you made toward your last bill to arrive at the outstanding balance.

  9. Current Charges
    Your current charges are itemized based on the type of rate schedule applicable to your account. For residential electric service the following charges may be itemized on your bill:

    Customer Charge - Covers some of the fixed costs of maintaining electric service to your home, whether you used any electricity or not. These costs include reading your meter and processing your bill.

    Non Fuel Energy - Covers some of the costs, excluding fuel costs, to provide electric service to you. These include costs to operate our power plants and maintain the electric system.

    Energy Cost Recovery - Recovers fuel and purchased energy expenses and is increased or decreased monthly in accordance with changes in the cost of purchased energy from independent power producers and in the price of fuel used in our power plants.

    IRP Cost Recovery - Allows Hawaiian Electric to recover the costs of its long-term energy planning process, Integrated Resource Planning, and the costs of certain energy management programs.

    PBF Surcharge (Public Benefits Fund Surcharge) - Collects funds that are used to pay for energy efficiency programs, including customer incentives such as rebates, to reduce electricity use in Hawaii. The programs are managed by a third party administrator, Hawaii Energy, reporting to the Public Utilities Commission.

    Purchased Power Adjustment - Applies to residential rate schedules R, TOU-R, TOU EV, and EV-R. It recovers expenses and related taxes for non-energy purchased power costs from independent power producers, which were formerly recovered through the Non Fuel Energy Charge.

    RBA Rate Adjustment - The Revenue Balancing Account Rate Adjustment, is a charge or credit approved by the Public Utilities Commission under a new method of setting electric rates called decoupling, which supports Hawaiian Electric's clean energy efforts.

    Renewable Infrastructure Pgm - A charge approved by the Public Utilities Commission to collect funds that are used to recover the cost of certain projects that facilitate the development and/or integration of renewable energy.

    Interim Increase - Adjusts bills to reflect any interim rate adjustments approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

    Green Infrastructure Fee - Supports the State of Hawaii Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program to provide low-cost loans to those who cannot afford upfront costs or cannot qualify for other financing for green infrastructure improvements such as photovoltaic systems, energy storage, advanced inverters and energy monitoring devices.

Having a solid understanding of the items on your bill can be an important first step to becoming an empowered energy consumer.

LIHEAP: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

LIHEAP provides assistance to eligible households to offset the rising costs of home energy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers the program nationally, and distributes Federal monies among state and other grantees.

LIHEAP Details

If eligible, households receive a one-time credit deposited directly into their utility accounts. The Hawaii Department of Human Services administers LIHEAP statewide, and utilizes local community action agencies on each island to process applications for the department. For more information, visit the Hawaii DHS website here.

Applicants may apply for one of two types of credit once per year:

  1. Energy Crisis Intervention (ECI)  assists households in crisis. The electric or gas service has been or will be disconnected, and the household has been notified via a disconnection notice from the utility company.
    *Applications for ECI are accepted year-round, but the amount of approvals each month are limited and fill quickly.
  2. Energy Credit (EC) assists households who are not in crisis but need assistance with bill payment for the heating and cooling of their residence .
    *Applications for EC are accepted once a year, June 1-30.

Details of how to apply and contact information for the Hawaii program can be found on the Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP) website

Saving Energy

For great tips on how to cut back on energy use and lower those electric bills click here.

If you are a renter view these tips to save energy while renting.

Going Solar?

To learn more about purchasing and installing PV systems, view some consumer tips here first, and also read RICO’s Going Solar brochure.