EWA BEACH, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After residents in a gated Ewa Beach Community complained of unusually high electric bills the management company that runs Kapilina Beach Homes said it found no errors after reviewing billing statements.
Kapilina Beach Homes had temporarily suspended bill payments amid complaints of surging utility bills.
Kapilina said in a statement Friday, the last billing cycle covered 35 days instead of 28, and because of recent high temperatures, the company says more air conditioning was used.
In a packed meeting at the Asing Community Park last Monday night, some tempers flared as residents demanded answers.
Some say their electricity bills have more than doubled. Others said their bills were over $1,000, even though they are limiting their electricity use.
“We’re told essentially, ‘deal with it. This is Hawaii. The bills are going to be higher.’ Okay, we can understand some of these hardships. We do live in Hawaii; however, when our bills are still $900, $1,000, and we’re not -- literally, we have some people who have a $1,600 bill this month. This is unacceptable,” said resident Valinda Thomason.
The Navy provides electricity from its grid to power the gated Ewa Beach community. They were originally set to raise rates 60% starting last Tuesday, but Kapilina Beach Homes officials says residents won’t feel the full force of the hike.
“They’re gonna charge the property 32 cents. Our charge back to you will still be a discounted rate,” Kapilina Beach Homes property manager Christine Carpio said. “Obviously this is a concern. I feel your frustrations. I also live there myself, so I’m speaking as a resident myself.”
Carpio says residents are only seeing a half-cent increase every billing cycle. Still, many tenants are skeptical.
“Every single year our rent goes up. [When] we started renting there, we were paying $1,600. We’re now over $2,300. I’ve only lived there for two years,” Thomason said.
Last Monday’s town hall meeting was hosted by state senator Kurt Favella. He told the crowd that he plans to hold another meeting in the future.
This story may be updated.