Frustrated Kauai residents balk at new utility rate hike

The island’s utility cooperative is proposing a 9% increase to their electric rates.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:20 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 9:50 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai residents are pushing back on an idea that could significantly increase their electric bills.

The island’s utility cooperative is proposing a 9% increase to their electric rates.

It would be KIUC’s first rate hike in over a decade, raising the average customer’s bill about $19 a month.

But critics said a closer look at the breakdown shows that some residential customers could pay nearly double that.

The Public Utilities Commission heard feedback from the community Tuesday night.

“A 9.5% rate increase I believe is too much for one year,” said one Kauai resident at the community meeting.

“No matter how frugal the organization is, eventually in the face of rising operating costs, rates must be revised.”

Meanwhile, KIUC said in the past year, it’s achieved the lowest residential rates of any island in the state.

If approved, the increase could start this summer.