Hawaii utilities panel orders Maui Electric refund

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii's utilities commission is ordering Maui Electric Co. to refund customers more than $8 million after determining the utility was inefficient.

The state Public Utilities Commission said Monday it's ordering the company to lower fuel costs.

Maui Electric parent company Hawaiian Electric Co. says the order will result in a 1-time refund between $39 and $49 for the typical customer. Maui Electric plans to give the money back to customers in the form of credit on their electric bill.

The utility must make the refund after the commission approved a lower rate increase than the interim increase it approved last year.

The commission says all Hawaiian Electric companies need to use sound business practices and focus on customer value.

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