Reps. Thielen and Ward address HB 425 – Public Utilities Commission; Electric Utility Rates
H.B. No. 425, H.D. 3, S.D. 2 RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES. (Public Utilities Commission; Electric Utility Rates) PASS FINAL READING
The stated purpose of this bill is to direct PUC to: (1) Consider the need for a diverse portfolio of fossil fuel resources and (2) Mitigate supply disruptions and cost impacts on electricity ratepayers.
**The SD2 draft of this bill is exactly the same as the HD2 draft.**
The current (SD2) draft
• (1) Has a purpose paragraph that, in part anticipates: “[U]nless there are major technological breakthroughs, it is anticipated that in 2030, 60% of electricity generation will come from fossil fuels.”
• (2) Adds new subsection (c) to HRS 269-6 (General powers and duties of the PUC)
that states in full:
(c) In exercising its authority and duties under this chapter, the public utilities commission shall consider the costs and benefits of a diverse fossil fuel portfolio and of maximizing the efficiency of all electric utility assets to lower and stabilize the cost of electricity. Nothing in this section shall subvert the obligation of electric utilities to meet the renewable portfolio standards set forth in section 269-92.
Note: HRS 269-92 sets minimum standards for the amount an electricity utility company’s portfolio that must be renewable energy (as a percentage of net electricity sales).
This bill could distract PUC from concentrating on how to end Hawaii’s use of expensive, imported fossil fuels that do not contribute to clean energy innovation.
Sierra Club: Purpose section assumes we need to gel approximately 60% of our power from fossil fuels in 2030. New statutory language should say “diverse energy portfolio” instead of “diverse fuel portfolio”.
Blue Planet Foundation: “This policy amendment would distract the PUC from what we believe should be a primary focus: end the use of expensive, imported fossil fuel in Hawaii.
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