Ulupono Initiative’s Statement Regarding PUC Order Terminating Hawaiian Electric’s Triennial Rate Case Cycle

Apr 30, 2020


HONOLULU — On April 29, 2020, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued Order No. 37119 in Docket No. 2008-0274, terminating Hawaiian Electric’s mandatory triennial rate case cycle. The triennial rate case cycle, established in 2010, allowed Hawaiian Electric to request changes to customer electricity rates every three years. Order 37119 represents the PUC’s commitment to transition away from traditional Cost of Service Regulation (COSR) to Performance-Based Regulation (PBR) in light of Hawaii’s transforming electric system. As efforts continue within the PUC’s Performance-Based Regulation proceeding (Docket 2018-0088), the issuance of Order 37119 provides Ulupono Initiative and other stakeholders with confidence that the process underway is more than exploratory — establishing a foundational component of a new regulatory framework that aligns Hawaiian Electric’s financial incentives with customer needs and state policy goals.

Murray Clay, president of Ulupono Initiative, stated:

“The Order demonstrates how serious the Commission is in moving away from the traditional ‘Cost of Service Regulation’ toward a regulatory framework focused on the utility’s performance and achievement of public policy goals. Renewable energy advocates like us celebrate this decision, as it establishes a key element of ‘Performance-Based Regulation,’ allowing for cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy generation in alignment with our state’s energy goals, and will aid in Hawaii’s economic recovery and long-term energy resilience.”

In passing Senate Bill 2939 SD2, the 2018 Hawaii Legislature concluded that a change to the regulatory compact was necessary to promote decisions and strategies that will maximize public benefit, reduce ratepayer risk, and meet Hawaii’s energy goals. The bill was signed into law as Act 5, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, and codified as Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) section 269-16.1.

About Ulupono Initiative

Founded in 2009, Ulupono Initiative is committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Hawaii by working toward sustainable solutions that support and promote locally produced food, renewable energy, clean transportation, and better management of water and waste. For more information about Ulupono Initiative, visit www.ulupono.com or connect with Ulupono on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.