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.

What does my bill include?

The bill must include:

  1. The meter reading at the beginning and end of the service period for which the bill is rendered;
  2. The dates of the billing period;
  3. The quantity and kinds of units metered;
  4. The applicable rate schedule or identification of the applicable rate schedule;
  5. The total amount of the bill;
  6. The word “estimate”, if the bill is an estimated bill;
  7. If used, any conversion factors necessary to convert meter reading units to billing units;
  8. If used, any multiplier used to determine billing units; and
  9. A comparison of the average daily kilowatt hour consumption for the billing period and for the previous month and the previous calendar year.

What else does my bill include?

Other items that you may see on your electric bill are:

  1. Energy cost, purchased power, and RBA rate adjustments;
  2. IRP/DSM charges;
  3. PBF surcharge;
  4. Renewable Infrastructure Program; and
  5. Green Infrastructure Fee.

 

1) Energy cost adjustments are cost recovery mechanisms approved by the PUC to minimize the impact that changes in fuel prices experienced by the utility has on the need for regulatory filings. Basically, whenever the prices on the fuel used by the electric utility to generate electricity goes up, the energy cost adjustment will increase; conversely, when the fuel prices go down, the adjustment will decrease. It also applies to energy purchased from independent power producers. The purchased power adjustment recovers some expenses for non-energy purchased power costs from the independent power producers. The RBA, Revenue Balancing Account, rate adjustment is part of the utility’s decoupling rate structure, which the Public Utilities Commission approved. The intent of decoupling is to remove the linking of revenue to the amount of electricity sold, thereby promoting more clean energy in Hawaii.

2) IRP/DSM charges are related to an electric company’s Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) and Demand Side Management (DSM) programs (see further discussion of IRP and DSM). The Commission has authorized the companies to recover reasonable costs incurred to conduct integrated resources planning and to implement cost effective DSM programs.

3) The PBF, Public Benefits Fund, surcharge collects monies that fund Hawaii Energy, a third party administrator, that creates and manages energy efficiency programs, including the energy star appliance and CFL/LED bulb rebates.

4) The money collected through the Renewable Infrastructure Program helps to recover the cost of projects that facilitate the development and integration of renewable energy.

5) The Green Infrastructure Fee supports the State’s Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program, which provides low cost loans to those that cannot afford the upfront costs of green projects. For more information on the GEMS program, click here.

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

This two-page Decoding Your Power Bill guide features a sample bill developed from examples from electricity providers across the United States and includes easy-to-understand definitions for 19 of the most common terms found on these bills, including “Kilowatt-hours”, “Average Monthly Temperature”, “Meter Readings” and “Rates”.

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.