Electric rates rise, except on Big Island
HILO - Hawaii Electric Light Co. says Big Island customers are seeing slightly lower rates - but all other islands saw their rates go up.
New base electric rates went into effect this week, which translates into a $4 decrease on a monthly bill for a typical Big Isle residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours.
The utility said the new rates replace rates that had been in effect as a result of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission's interim decision on a 2010 rate case. Those rates reflected a 1.5 percent interim increase, or $5 million in revenues.
The rate case was requested to help pay for more than $200 million in capital improvements. In February, the PUC issued its final decision in the case, requiring the calculation of adjustments to the approved amount.
On Maui, customers of Maui Electric Co. saw their rates climb to 36.5 cents per kilowatt-hour from March's 36.3 cents, meaning the typical Maui bill rose by $1.30 to $226.76.
Oahu customers saw their typical Hawaiian Electric Co. bill increase by 51 cents to $204.25, while on Kauai the rate charged by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative rose to 45.8 cents per kilowatt-hour from March's 42.6 cents.
State allows market to continue, for now
HALEIWA, Oahu - A popular farmers market on Oahu's North Shore ordered by the state to shut down has been given a reprieve until the end of the month.
The Haleiwa Farmers Market was deemed illegal because of a state law prohibiting selling from public highways. Since 2009, the market has been operating on Sundays on a parcel of land that's zoned for agricultural use and not business. The state Department of Transportation issued a cease and desist order after officials were told by the attorney general's office that vending is prohibited on the site.
After meeting with lawmakers and transportation officials Thursday, organizers announced the market is allowed to continue for the next three Sundays. Organizers hope to find a new home for the market that attracts more than 2,000 people weekly.