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Electric Rates to Increase June 1

A coming rate increase for Maui Electric Company (MECO) customers will mean a 3.16 percent increase for ratepayers in Maui County. That means a typical Molokai household using 400 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will pay an extra $5.25 on their monthly bill, for a total of about $193.

The interim rate increase was approved last week by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The rate increase is effective June 1.

Originally in July 2011, MECO filed for a 6.7 percent increase, but months of review and discussions with the state Division of Consumer Advocacy culminated in this interim agreement. The PUC will continue to review details of the original request and issue a final decision. If a lower final increase is approved, the difference will be refunded to customers with interest, according to a MECO press release.

MECO says the rate increase will help fund maintenance costs of the system and integrate additional technology to support future renewable energy integration. The increase will also help pay for more than $80 million in investments including improvements to generation facilities on Maui, Lanai and Molokai to increase efficiency, improve service reliability and help to reduce emissions, according to the release.

Other facility upgrades will take place on Maui, such as installation of fiber optic equipment at the Ma`alaea Power Plant.


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