A 15 percent rate hike at this time is not warranted

The Hawaii Public Utility Commission is set to discuss a 15 percent price hike for natural gas for Maui County customers. The price of natural gas is at an all-time low and so is inflation. Our wages and income have not risen 15 percent so a rate hike at this time is not warranted. Hawaii needs to dump the current one-utility-company monopoly and allow other power companies to compete for your business with lower prices.

In Dallas, Texas, consumers have over 45 different power companies to choose from. The consumer decides on the power company based on pricing and service. Consumers decide, not the state or local government. Utility costs in Texas are one third the cost in California — all from competition.

Look what competition has done for the cellphone industry. How about cable TV competing against the Dish and Direct TV? Now throw in Apple TV and Roku streaming and we are now seeing pricing drop dramatically.

On Maui, have grocery prices gone up or down when since Costco came to town? Hawaii needs to open up the power market place and give consumers the freedom to choose. Time to end these 15 percent price hike proposals.

Thomas Marchetti

Rockwall, Texas