KAHULUI, Hawaii (AP) - Some Maui residents are hesitating to support a utility merger that NextEra Energy says would lower electric bills.
The Maui News reports that more than 200 people gathered Friday and 49 offered testimony at the first of seven community hearings about the proposal before the state Public Utilities Commission.
NextEra and Hawaiian Electric valued the deal at $2.6 billion in December, or $4.3 billion including Hawaiian Electric's debt.
Many attendees said they worried NextEra's Florida headquarters is just too far away to properly care for customers in Hawaii.
But while most of the residents who testified were against the acquisition, some said they believe the larger utility will help increase the use of renewable energy.