Water power cost charge decrease proposed

Hawaii County water consumers will have the opportunity to speak out on a proposed decrease to the power cost charge.

Users currently pay $2.01 per 1,000 gallons of water and, if the proposed decrease is approved, would pay $1.71 for the same amount.

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With the proposed 30-cent decrease, a family of five, which consumes on average about 12,000 gallons of water per month, will see its bimonthly water bill decrease by $7.20.

A public hearing is set for 9:15 a.m. today, just before the Water Board’s monthly meeting to be held at 10 a.m. The meeting is being held virtually and will be livestreamed on the department’s Facebook page at HawaiiDWS.

The power cost charge change does not impact the department’s revenue as the money collected goes to Hawaii Electric Light Co. to cover the electrical cost of transporting water to county customers. The charge may be adjusted every two months as the price of oil, and therefore the price of moving water to customers, changes.

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The cost charge was last changed Aug. 1 when consumers saw it increase from $1.90 to $2.01 per 1,000 gallons. In February, the rate was decreased from $2 per 1,000 gallons to $1.90.

Two years ago, in August 2017, the power cost charge was $1.73. In September 2009, the charge was $1.68 per 1,000 gallons.

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