HELCO Rates Increase

February 28th, 2012, Uncategorized, alex

HELCO has predicted 2012 profits will be impacted as a result of customers solar panels. HELCO announced on February 8th, that they will be raising their rates to compensate for their estimated lost profits. Clearly PR isn’t their strong point, and they aren’t phased by the negative public perception.

This announcement villainizes those who try to offset their carbon footprints, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and put a little less diesel, Naptha or bunker oil exhaust up into the big island’s atmosphere. It also further burdens those rate payers who need a break the most (those being the families and businesses that can least afford our astronomical utility rates). Why do we listen ad nauseum, year after year, about how our private for profit regulated monopoly power company is in the midst of R&D to help us?

I feel so confident in their ability to help put shareholders interests ahead of our community’s economic viability and energy security, that I’d buy their stock if I ever had any money left over after paying my electric bill: Feb 9, 2012 Motley Fool on msnbc.com announces ” Hawaiian Electric Industries Crushes Estimates” I did a quick finances check on HEI today, their 2011 4th quarter net income was 34.2 million dollars up from 24.7 million in 2010. The revenues for the quarter were 851.03m up from 695.74m last year. The stock was at 26.25 a share just below its 52 week high of 26.79. I think they can eat their loss!

Like most of us, I wonder aloud why it is that we have an abundance of the most viable alternative energy sources in the world and yet still have the highest utility rates in the country by a factor of 4 and most of our power being generated by foreign oil. It is time to decouple our rates and separate generation of power from distribution of power so that our utility can stick to distribution and get out of the generation business where they’ve been robbing us blind for decades. It really is laughable to listen to the complaining coming from the utility’s mouthpieces about the “predicted” dip in their profits on the eave of one of their most profitable quarters ever.

How narrow minded of our utility to squeeze our community for profits at every chance and not look towards an Icelandic (sustainable) model where cheap clean energy drives the growth, the jobs, the industry of the future.

 

Up next, a look at Geothermal. Stay tuned….

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