HONOLULU (KHON2) — Over the last few years, there have been many reasons leading to higher electricity bills on the islands.
Hawaiian Electric announced on Wednesday, May 3, that electric bills are going down from the prices experienced since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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May electric bills are lower one year after the oil price surge. Hawaiian Electric bills have decreased in ranges from $6 on O‘ahu to $30 less on Lāna‘i, according to Hawaiian Electric.
“Typical residential electric bills on all five islands served by Hawaiian Electric are now lower than a year ago, when a global surge in oil prices drove rates higher,” said Hawaiian Electric.
HECO said typical bills in Hawaiʻi are beginning to settle closer to the level they were before the Russian invasion of Ukraine when oil prices and elevated electric rates spiked beginning in the spring of 2022.
Hawaiian Electric said that bills in May on O‘ahu are $6.54 lower than May 2022; however, bills continue to be nine percent higher than they were before the oil price surge.
The discontinuation of burning coal, a fuel that has been linked to global warming, for power generation last year has contributed the increase.
“Most of the reduction in electric bills can be attributed to prices stabilizing and declining in global oil markets in recent months,” said Hawaiian Electric.
Hawaiian Electric released Island by Island information from between May 2022 and May 2023:
- On O‘ahu, the use of 500 kWh of power in May 2022 was $208.73 while it was $202.19 in May 2023.
- On Hawaiʻi, the use of 500 kWh of power in May 2022 was $241.26 while it was $221.83 in May 2023.
- On Maui, the use of 500 kWh of power in May 2022 was $223.53 while it was $210.60 in May 2023.
- On Lāna‘i, the use of 400 kWh of power in May 2022 was $226.35 while it was $195.65 in May 2023.
- On Moloka‘i, the use of 400 kWh of power in May 2022 was $205.10 while it was $198.42 in May 2023.
According to Hawaiian Electric, the Public Utilities Commission are the ones who regulate the formula for rates of electricity. This includes fuel costs that fluctuate with world markets.
“Under a fuel-cost risk-sharing regulatory mechanism, the company’s shareholders may be required to pay some of the cost when oil prices surge, resulting in a slightly lower rate for customers,” said Hawaiian Electric.
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Hawaiian Electric expects to have at least 70% of its grid to be coming from renewable resources by 2030.