Skyrocketing electric bills have Ewa residents demanding audit

Skyrocketing electric bills have Ewa residents demanding audit
Ewa Neighborhood Board meeting (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kapilina Beach Homes residents voiced their concerns about skyrocketing electric bills ― some topping $1,000 ― to the Ewa Neighborhood Board Thursday night.

"Most people’s rates have gone up at least 50% in the past nine months. It’s getting to the point where residents in Iroquois can’t afford to live there but they can’t afford the $6,000 it cost to break the lease,” said Kapilina Beach Homes resident Erik Myers.

“It’s becoming very detrimental to the betterment of parents and their families.”

Residents didn't get many answers from board members, which left some residents feeling even more frustrated.

Myers says there are about 1,400 homes in Ewa Beach gated community and some residents’ electricity bills have topped $1,000 a month.

He asked board members for their help in installing monitoring systems to track consumption.

The bills started creeping up at the start of the year. Charles Johnson said he paid about $200 for electricity in February. Now, his bill is approximately $1,000.

“Talked to them and said, ‘Hey, something is going on. Either there’s bad wiring or something.’ So, they sent a crew by on Wednesday to check everything out and they keep telling us everything is fine. But it still doesn’t make any sense,” Johnson said.

The Navy, which powers the gated community, said they were raising the rates to match Hawaiian Electric’s rates. The property manager assured residents they would still be getting a discounted rate.

Kapilina Beach Homes announced it would temporarily suspend bill payments on Sept. 30 until they investigated the complaints. On Oct. 4, residents received an email from the property management company saying after an extensive review over the last few days, they “found no errors.”

Valinda Thomason’s electric bill is due next week.

She asked the neighborhood board for help in demanding an audit.

"We're also concerned because when we do speak out about Kapilina, we are told that we will not have our lease renewed," Thomason said.

State Rep. Bob McDermott and state Sen. Kurt Favella will be holding a town hall meeting to better address these concerns.

McDermott said he invited Congressman Ed Case, Kapilina Beach Homes and the Navy.

The meeting will be held on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at Iroquois Point Elementary School.

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