HECO: Residential electricity bills continue to drop

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Electric bills continue to fall across the state.

Hawaiian Electric says typical residential bills continue to be at their lowest levels in four years thanks to a combination of plummeting oil prices and increase in renewable energy.

On Oahu, the residential effective rate is 27.9 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). A typical 600 kWh bill is $177.45, a decrease of $9.77 since last month, and the lowest since March 2011.

Hawaii Island’s residential effective rate is 33.8 cents per kWh and a 600 kWh bill is $214.71; that is $12.49 lower than last month, and the lowest since October 2010.

Maui’s effective rate is 31.5 cents per kWh and a typical 600 kWh bill is $198.78, $21.46 lower than last month and the lowest since February 2011.

“Nobody knows obviously (how long these drops will last),” said HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg. “It could go up again tomorrow, but I think most experts predict that it’s going to stay relatively low until toward the end of the decade.”

HECO says it is also continuing to work on efficiency improvements, pursuing cleaner, low-cost natural gas to replace oil and increasing use of renewable energy.

“We want to be sure that while we’re enjoying the low cost right now, we don’t let that distract us from the fact that we still need to get off oil and on to renewable energy and that natural gas is the best fuel to use as we go from here to that point of the most renewable energy we can,” Rosegg said.

The company aims to get 65 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

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