A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to get consumer input on an application to the state Public Utilities Commission by Hawaiian Beaches Water Co. to raise rates to their customers in Puna.
The PUC hearing will be 6 p.m. at Keonepoko Elementary School, 15-890 Kahakai Blvd., in Pahoa.
Hawaiian Beaches Water Co., a private firm, said in a written statement the proposed rate hike is needed to help the company “keep pace with rising operating costs and to recover expenses incurred for necessary infrastructure and operational improvements including, without limitation, construction of a new office, operations and warehouse building that is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.”
“HBWC’s current rates do not now and will not in the foreseeable future produce sufficient revenues to allow us to recover our prudently incurred expenses and earn a fair return on our prudently incurred investments,” the statement continued. “At present rates, HBWC projects a 2014 test year operating loss of $87,823, and a negative rate of return of 6.29% on an average rate base of $1,395,808. The proposed rate increase is designed to recover these losses and earn a fair return. Pursuant to the application, HBWC, in effect, is seeking PUC approval for an overall net revenue increase of $270,748, or an approximate 37.351% increase over present revenue rates.”
If the request is granted, customers with a 5/8” meter would see their fixed monthly charge per unit rise from $30 monthly to $41.43, an increase of 38.1 percent, while those with a one-inch meter would pay $45.20 a month, an increase of 50.1 percent. The monthly water consumption charge would rise from $4.22 per 1,000 gallons to $5.78, a 37 percent increase.