Starting June 1, the average household on Molokai will pay an additional $5.25 a month on its electric bill with the approval by the Public Utilities Commission for an interim rate increase for Maui Electric Company.
The increase, granted by the PUC on Monday, reflects a settlement agreement between Maui Electric and the state Division of Consumer Advocacy, according to MECO. The commission is expected to continue to review MECO’s request for a permanent rate hike, and, if a lower final increase is approved, then the difference will be refunded to customers with interest, the utility said in an announcement.
The increase is expected to generate an additional $13.1 million in revenue for the utility.
The estimated increase for Molokai is based on a household using 400 kilowatts a month. The $5.25 monthly increase would raise the average monthly bill to $193.21.
As part of this rate hike, MECO said it will now have the revenue to cover the operations and maintenance costs of better integrating renewable energy sources into the electrical grid. Upgrades and improvements to the Pala’au power generating facility will also be made that will increase efficiency, improve reliability and reduce emissions.
The utility’s original request for a rate increase was submitted in July 2011 and sought a 6.7 percent increase, or $27.5 million in revenue. MECO sought the interim rate hike May 14.