Your Views for November 9


Bills incorrect

This summer I had photovoltaic solar panels installed on my house. I just received a HELCO bill that contained some very odd figures — like an energy-usage charge for one day of $43.14?

I called HELCO, and they acknowledge that there was an error and said that a number of customers’ accounts were billed incorrectly. They said a new bill should arrive soon.

I asked what my new correct balance due would be and was told they did not have access to that information. So much for their new billing system!?

I questioned why customers had not been alerted to these “billing errors.” They indicated that most errors seem to be related to customers who just had photovoltaic panels installed. Yikes!

Why yikes? Get this! I had to agree to a service contract with HELCO when I installed my photovoltaic system that states I forfeit — give for FREE to HELCO — all the energy my photovoltaic panels produce in excess of my usage by the end of each year.

Will someone be producing a report that states just how much free power HELCO grabbed from customers? Maybe even more profits can help pay for yet another upgraded billing system.

Tim Hansen

Hilo

Plan to test sirens

In regard to the tsunami warning sirens not working, I’d bet there are enough people in our communities who are home during the scheduled test times, and they could volunteer to be the contact people to report if they did/did not go off.

There could be a Civil Defense employee who could be the designated contact person. During scheduled tests, the community member could call in and report if the siren did or did not go off.

Perhaps there could be four volunteers assigned per siren — two on duty and two back-ups in case one or both of the first two aren’t available. There could be another list of those interested in helping. They could replace anyone who no longer wanted to do it.

One article stated that there would be a county employee assigned to each siren on this most recent testing day. How much extra time, money, gas did that cost our county? Volunteers could have done it for free.

That the police went ahead and had an unscheduled, unannounced testing of the warning system is ludicrous. Who made that call? How could they not have foreseen the consequences?

Whoever made such a call should apologize to the community for the unnecessary concern and work it caused. From what I’ve read, it sounds like the mistake was made by the Police Department. Why are they even involved in the testing? Shouldn’t that be the Civil Defense’s job?

Mel Holden

Hilo

 

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