HONOLULU, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) announced today that electric customers on Oahu will receive a small refund as the result of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission's (PUC) final decision in Hawaiian Electric Company's 2011 rate case.
The total estimated refund is approximately $800,000 including interest, although Hawaiian Electric must still finalize and submit to the PUC for review the detailed calculations. The company estimates a typical residential customer using 600 kilowatt-hours a month will receive a refund of 85 cents, which includes interest since July 2011 when the original interim increase was approved.
The refund will be issued in the form of a credit on customer electric bills. The timing will depend on the customer's normal billing cycle. The refund credit is expected to start showing up in bills sent out in August.
Aside from the refund, the PUC's ruling will not have any further impact on the amount Oahu customers currently pay for electricity. This is because the decision finalizes the remaining interim rates which are already reflected on customers' bills.
The majority of the final 3.4% increase was approved by the PUC and included in rates almost a year ago in July 2011, with the remainder effective in April 2012.
SA: PUC gives final approval for HECO 2011 rate hike
The Public Utilities Commission on Friday approved the rate hike, which will be used to help pay for capital improvements, such as grid modernization and other projects that allow HECO to increase its use of renewable energy.
The interim PUC ruling had allowed HECO to collect an additional 3.4 percent in revenue from customers beginning July 26, 2011. HECO officials are still calculating what the impact of the PUC’s final ruling will have on customers' bills, but it will not result in an increase in the interim rate, a utility spokesman said.
The interim rate hike provided an additional $59 million in revenue for HECO, which is helping pay for about $80 million in capital improvements.