HECO to customers: Expect your bill to be higher in October
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Heads up Oahu residents, expect your electricity bills to jump 7% this October.
Hawaiian Electric says it’s the short-term cost of transitioning from coal to renewable energy.
When Hawaii’s last coal plant in Campbell Industrial Park shuts down on Sept. 1, Hawaiian Electric will need to use oil until more renewable energy is available.
That’s because some clean energy projects were delayed due to the COVID pandemic, supply chain issues and inflation.
HECO spokesman Jim Kelly said losing coal as a fuel source was projected to cost customers $2 more a month. But with rising oil prices due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, that cost is now estimated to be about $15 more a month for a typical customer using 500 kilowatt hours.
“It’s not always going to be like this. We have nine renewable energy projects that are underway right now on Oahu, every one of those projects is going to be producing electricity at significantly less cost than than using oil. And those are going to be coming online,” Kelly said.
The projects are meant to help HECO reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70%.
One of the world’s largest battery energy storage projects is expected to launch in Kapolei early next year
“What that will do is that will enable us to store up solar energy that’s produced during the day. And then when we hit the peak in the evening hours, when people come home and start cooking and taking showers running the air conditioning, we can use that stored energy to cover those hours in the evening, rather than just exclusively relying on fossil fuels like coal or oil,” Kelly said.
Clearway Energy Group’s Mililani I Solar project is set to be dedicated this week.
Project updates are available on Hawaiian Electric’s Renewable Project Status Board.
To lower energy costs, HECO advises customers to consider rooftop solar and limit the use of appliances and air conditioning. Links to resources are available at hawaiianelectric.com and at hawaiienergy.com.
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