Kauai News

Kauaʻi’s sole electric provider seeking 9.4% rate increase; public hearing March 28

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Tonight, Hawaiʻi’s Public Utility Commission will hold a public hearing about a proposed 9.4 percent electric rate increase at King Kaumuali’i Elementary School in Līhuʻe at 6 p.m.

The need for the increase is mainly due to inflation, according to David Bissell, CEO of the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative.

End users of the island’s sole electric provider received a letter dated March 18, notifying them about the hearing, although these notices were delivered to homes several days later by the U.S. Postal Service.

In the letter, KIUC stated: “This rate adjustment is necessary to assure the cooperative’s financial stability. … While KIUC’s electricity sales have remained relatively flat over the last 12 years since the last rate increase, inflation has cumulatively increased by about 37 percent during this period. While KIUC has taken many cost control measures over the years, … the gap in sales growth versus inflation is unfortunately no longer sustainable.”


The cooperative is asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve an increase of $16.7 million in its electric revenues, which currently is $177 million at present rates.

The cooperative proposes to allocate the revenue increase among its customer classes through rate changes and increases across the board, according to the letter.

“The commission will investigate whether the proposals in the application, including revisions to KIUC’s rate schedules, are just and reasonable.”


The increases in rates and charges that are ultimately approved by the Public Utilities Commission, if any, may be higher or lower than the proposed rate changes noted in the application, Bissell wrote.

Members of the public can provide testimony at the March 28 hearing.

Daren Jenner
Daren Jenner has eight years of journalism experience, most recently has a frequent contributor to The Phuket News in Thailand. He is a retired firefighter and has 17 years of experience as an EMS paramedic and instructor. He has lived on Kauaʻi for five years.
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