Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Is this a New Day at the Public Utilities Commission?

By Henry Curtis

HECO-MECO & HELCO signed an agreement for HELCO to buy biofuels from Aina Koa Pono (Pahala, Hawai`i Island). HECO proposed that HECO Ratepayers subsidize HELCO ratepayers to cover the significantly higher costs of biofuels. According to HECO, the microwave technology used to manufacture biofuels in this process has never been commercially tested. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) agreed in principle to the contract.  

On July 1, 2011 the PUC issued Notice of Public Hearings, signed by the current PUC Chair. The August 2, 2011 hearings will be held in Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Residents of Pahala who will be affected from the untested technology will have a long drive to testify, and a short drive to any problems that will happen. The residents of O`ahu who will pay higher rates will have to fly to the hearing.

PUC Notice: "As described by the Companies, the proposed Biofuel Surcharge
Provision is a mechanism to spread among the Companies' customers
(excluding MECO's customers) the difference between the price of the locally
grown and produced biodiesel and the petroleum diesel that it replaces.
The Companies maintain that, in effect, the achievement of the State's energy
policy goals such as reducing the State's dependence on imported fossils fuels
(primarily oil), energy independence and security, local economic and agricultural
benefits, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 'will benefit all customers, and
not just those customers consuming the biodiesel.' For this reason,
the Companies contend that 'it is reasonable to spread the cost differential
among customers.'"

* A few days after the blog was posted, the PUC added an O`ahu hearing. That will take place on August 4, 2011.


more like Rise and Shine Hawaii....

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