Amid record heat, electricity demand up as residents crank up ACs
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Electricity demand is up statewide as residents blast their home air conditioning units to seek some relief amid record high temperatures.
Hawaiian Electric said residential electricity usage on Oahu in July was up 14% compared a year earlier.
On Maui, it was up 13%. And statewide, usage was up 12%.
No surprise to consumers: More usage means higher electricity bills.
HECO said the typical bill for an Oahu residential customer in July was $183, nearly $30 more than the typical bill for the same month last year. Statewide, the typical bill climbed by about $20.
Hawaii has seen close to 200 record high temperatures this summer thanks to a number of factors, including warmer ocean temperatures. And forecasters warn that next summer could be worse.
HECO said it started to see demand rising noticeably in May ― about a month earlier than normal.
From May to August, Oahu and Maui residential usage increased by 5% compared to the same four months in 2018. Usage was up 6% on Lanai, 2% on Molokai, and dropped 1% on the Big Island.
The record highs come as more and more residents install air conditioning in their homes.
On Oahu, some 68% of homes now have air conditioning, up to 14% in 1970 and 50% five years ago.
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