by Andrew Walden
Electric ratepayers complaining of bills as high a $1600 and frequent power outages caused by termite-ridden overhead power poles are suing the State of Hawaii over its regulation of the Hawaiian Electric Company.
Complaining of an "outdated and archaic grid structure, and non-commitment to fostering new and innovative technology," the plaintiffs point out "the public trust has never been understood to safeguard rights of exclusive use for private commercial gain" and challenge "Defendant State of Hawaii's act of entering into and continuing to enforce and uphold the provisions of (an) October, 2008 Agreement, having set aside the provisions of the (Federal) Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) and substituting a state sanctioned unreasonable and excessively burdensome competitive bidding framework."
Suit was filed September 25, 2013 in Honolulu's First Circuit Court by Attorney John Carroll. The six Hawaii ratepayers argue "they are materially and adversely affected by 'Energy Agreement Among the State of Hawaii, Division of Consumer Advocacy of the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, and Hawaiian Electric Companies'" (otherwise known as the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative) and are requesting recognition as representatives of a class consisting of all HEI ratepayers.
LINK: FULL TEXT OF LAWSUIT