BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big island residents will soon be paying more for electricity.
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved an interim 3.4 percent increase to electricity rates Tuesday.
Hawaii Electric says the increase is expected to generate an additional $9.9 million in revenue. The money will be used for capital improvements, grid upgrades and continuing trimming of vegetation from power lines around the island. The company says the trimming helps to significantly reduce the amount of outages that occur during storms.
Originally, Hawaii Electric sought a 6.4 percent increase, but that was reduced in a settlement reached last month with the Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy.
Hawaii Electric says the PUC will further review the increase request before making a final decision to raise long-term rates.
On average, residential electricity bills on the island were about $162.58 over the last 12 months. The company says the average 500-kilowatt-hour residential bill may increase by about $5.
The date when the increase will go into effect has not yet been set.