HECO • VOLUME XXXI • NO. 5 CONSUMER LINES M AY 2 0 1 2 Important information about our new billing system O n May 29, we will transition to a new customer service information and billing system that will allow us to provide you with better service. What you should know: Your patience is appreciated. Due to the normal familiarization period with the new software, even with extensive training and extra staff, our call center representatives may take longer than usual to answer phones and process requests. New account number. All customers will be issued a new account number; your account number will appear on your monthly electric bills starting in June. New bill format. There will be slight changes to your electric bill. For your convenience, a brochure explaining how to read the new bill will be included with your first revised electric bill. Automatic bill payment. If you pay your electric bill automatically Melissa Naniseni is one of our helpful customer service representatives. from your checking or savings account through our automatic bill payment system, monthly bill payments will continue to be deducted from your designated bank. No action is required on your part if you would like this service to continue. Online customers — re-registration required. If you currently view your electric bills online on our website, the new system will require you to re-register for this service. Once the new system is activated, you will receive an e-mail from us that includes a personalized link to our new Online Customer Service Center. For more information about the changes you can expect, please visit our website: www.heco.com Decoupling revenue adjustment filed On March 30, we submitted our annual Revenue Decoupling Mechanism filing to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The adjustment is part of decoupling, a new method of setting electricity rates approved by the PUC as one of many steps to support Hawaii’s transition to clean energy. In the past, the more electricity used by our customers, the more money we collected. That formula is not consistent with our state’s current energy policies. Hawaii’s electricity is largely generated by burning imported oil. To reach our state’s clean energy goals, we must find ways to use less oil, not more. To pro- mote this, decoupling breaks the link between electricity use and our revenues. Under decoupling, the PUC decides in a rate case which services we should provide to our customers and determines how much revenue we may collect to cover the cost of those services. Rates are adjusted: (1) as total electricity sales vary to allow those costs to still be recovered and (2) to allow us to reflect cost increases or decreases largely related to inflation and PUCapproved capital additions. If our actual rate of return exceeds the amount approved by the PUC in our last rate case, the excess will be returned to customers in the form of an earnings sharing credit. We will not make additional profits from higher sales. Decoupling does not guarantee us a profit; we could make less money if we don’t manage expenses efficiently. Your individual electric bill will continue to be based on the amount of electricity you use, so you will still save money by conserving electricity. This year’s filing calculates a revenue adjustment of 1.7%, or $30.3 million. The impact will vary by type of customer and actual electricity use. If the PUC approves the calculation, a typical residential household using 600 kilowatt-hours per month would see its monthly bill increase by about $2.40, beginning June 1. P r o d u c e d f o r c u s t o m e r s o f : H awa i i a n E l e c t r i c C o m pa n y • MAUI E l e c t r i c C o m pa n y • H awa i i E l e c t r i c L i g h t C o m pa n y C o n s u m e r L i n e s • P. O . B o x 2 7 5 0 • H o n o l u l u , H awa i i 9 6 8 4 0 • t e l e P h o n e : 5 4 3 - 5 6 7 0 • h t t p : / / w w w. h e c o . c o m What is the price of electricity on Oahu? During 2011, the significant increase in the cost of fossil fuel used to produce electricity caused a corresponding increase in the cost of electricity. The price of fuel impacts the cost you pay for electricity because more than 50% of each bill is comprised of fuel costs. Additionally, effective July 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved an interim rate increase of 2.2% to help pay for system improvements. To help you understand the price of electricity, to the right is a chart that provides the average price paid in cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2011 by each category of customers. Electricity rates are not the same for all categories of electricity in Hawaii.The electrical systems on each island are independent; there are no neighboring utility companies from which to draw power in the event of a problem. Therefore, Rate Schedule 2011 Average Cents per kWh for system reliability we must have reserve gener“R” Residential 32.04 ating capacity and multiple distribution routes. “G” Small Power Use Business 33.50 This increased infrastruc“J” Medium Power Use Business 28.97 ture is supported by our electricity rates. “P” Large Power Use Business 26.85 because the rates are based on the cost of serving each category. Our isolated geographic location also contributes to the higher cost “DS” Large Power Use Business, Directly Served 26.05 “F” Street and Park Lighting 30.19 These figures are derived by dividing the total revenue by the total kWh sold for each category during the year. To stabilize the cost of electricity for our customers, as well as to protect our environment, we need to continue to add clean, renewable energy resources to the island’s grid. Hold on to those metallic balloons! It’s graduation time, and we urge you to hold on tight to shiny metallic balloons. Just one stray metallic balloon can get tangled in electric lines and create a power outage. To prevent the safety hazard, always add a heavy weight to the end of the balloon’s ribbon or string and make sure the string is tied securely to the balloon at the sealing point. See a metallic balloon caught in a power line? Leave it alone and call 548-7961 to report it. Thanks to our partner MidWeek for sharing this safety message, and remember, please hold on tight and keep your celebrations bright! Bill payment help for low-income households During June the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be accepting applications from individuals with household incomes and assets below a certain level who want to apply for a one-time credit on their electric bill to help pay for heating or cooling their home. To apply you must present: 1) your most recent electric bill, 2) proof you occupy the service address on the bill, 3) Social Security numbers of all household members older than 1 year old, 4) ID for all adult members, and 5) proof of gross annual income and assets to one of the following Honolulu Community Action Program (HCAP) offices during the period June 1 to June 29. HCAP will determine whether you qualify. HCAP Central...........................488-6834 HCAP Kalihi/Palama.............847-0804 HCAP Leahi...............................732-7755 HCAP Leeward........................696-4261 HCAP Windward....................239-5754 RECIPE OF THE MONTH Bistek (Marinated Beef) 1 1/2 pounds tri tip or flap beef 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 cup shoyu Dash of fresh ground pepper 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large sweet onion, sliced 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced Slice beef diagonally and thinly. Combine lemon juice, shoyu, and ground pepper; pour over beef. Let stand for at least 1/2 hour. In a large skillet, combine marinated beef and marinade with water. Stirring occasionally, cook on medium heat until liquid evaporates. Add oil, onions, and bell pepper; cook until vegetables are slightly wilted. Recipe makes 6 servings.
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