Maui County electric customers to get refund

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The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued decisions for Maui Electric’s 2012 rate case and the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ decoupling filings.

The PUC’s final decision in Maui Electric’s 2012 rate case will result in a refund for Maui County electric customers.

The amount approved in the PUC’s final decision is $7.8 million less than the interim increase approved last year. In its final decision the PUC authorized a 1.29 percent increase in annual revenues, or $5.3 million, for customers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The earlier interim increase of 3.16 percent, or $13.1 million, has been reflected in customer bills since June 2012.

The difference, including interest, will be refunded to customers in the form of a credit on electric bills. The estimated refund, with interest, is $8.1 million, resulting in a one-time refund in the range of $39 to $49 for a typical Maui Electric residential customer.

Maui Electric must perform detailed calculations to determine the exact amount of the refund. Those calculations must be submitted to the PUC for approval before the refund may be issued to customers.

Former customers during the time the higher interim increase was in effect will also be eligible for the refund. Instructions will be publicized later for those customers. Current Maui Electric customers do not need to take any action to receive the credit.

“We understand the hardship on our customers from high energy prices. That is why we are working hard to replace high priced oil through the use of clean energy,” said Sharon Suzuki, Maui Electric president.

Maui Electric has made significant progress in integrating increasing amounts of clean energy. Currently, more than 20 percent of the electricity used by Maui Electric customers comes from renewable resources.

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