Shift and Save pilot program postponed, revised
Study to include only Oahu, Hawaii Island customers starting Feb. 2024
News Release from HECO, 9/26/2023
HONOLULU, Sept. 26, 2023 – Hawaiian Electric has postponed the start of the new Shift and Save pilot program for approximately 17,000 residential and business customers who were selected at random to test time-of-use (TOU) rates on Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui, by order of the Public Utilities Commission. Hawaiian Electric will notify these selected customers about this postponement by email or postal mail.
For Oahu and Hawaii Island customers who were previously identified for the study, the TOU rates and study will begin on Feb. 1, 2024, instead of Oct. 1, 2023. The PUC also temporarily suspended the commencement of the program on Maui. However, eligible Maui customers may voluntarily enroll in the TOU rates at their own discretion.
The purpose of Shift and Save is to encourage customers to shift electricity use from the evening and overnight period when energy is generated by expensive fossil fuels to the daytime period when solar energy is abundant and less expensive. It was developed collaboratively by Hawaiian Electric, the state Consumer Advocate and representatives from the solar industry and reviewed and authorized for implementation by the Commission in June 2023.
The 1-year pilot program included only about 4% of Hawaiian Electric’s customers. Rates for all other customers remain unchanged. The pilot will collect data and customer feedback that will be crucial for the Commission to determine how and whether this program will ultimately apply to all customers in the future. Customers selected for the pilot can choose not to participate.
On Aug. 19, County of Maui Mayor Richard T. Bissen asked the Commission and Hawaiian Electric for a temporary suspension of the pilot program for the randomly selected customers on Maui due to the recent wildfire events and ongoing recovery on that island.
On Sept. 8, Hawaiian Electric filed its recommendation to the Commission to delay the start of the pilot program and exclude Maui customers from the pilot study until further notice. The company also recommended that Maui island customers with an advanced meter and reliable connections through the network, including those customers initially selected for the Shift and Save pilot, may opt-in to TOU rates.
The revised schedule allows Hawaiian Electric to continue to deploy and dedicate necessary resources to responding to the Maui emergency and also will allow for a more informed study for the benefit of customers.
The Commission also postponed the launch date of the Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Program Structure from Nov. 1, 2023 to March 1, 2024. Enrollment in the Battery Bonus program on Oahu was extended to Feb. 29, 2024.
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