State roundup for October 19
UH may freeze construction
HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii’s board is considering freezing construction to give the school an opportunity to address a half-billion dollar repair and maintenance backlog.
Board of Regents member Benjamin Kudo proposed the moratorium on Thursday.
He’s concerned that spending too much on new projects is affecting the school’s ability to take care of the rest of its buildings.
Repair and maintenance needs across the 10-campus system total $487 million. More than 80 percent is on the flagship Manoa campus, many of them dating from the 1990s.
In recent years the school has opened a $120 million cancer research center in Kakaako and has been building a $43 million information technology center in Manoa.
A few more projects are in the design phase: a College of Pharmacy building at the Hilo campus budgeted at $28 million, an administration building for the new West Oahu campus expected to cost $19 million and $32 million Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College.
“All new buildings, all new proposals, are worthy, and it’s difficult for us to say no, but at some point we have to delay or hold off and slow down so that we have a chance to catch up,” Kudo said.
Electricity rates increase in state
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii residents are paying more for electricity this month.
Residential rates rose on Oahu in October and the increase was tied to a higher cost of fuel and power purchased from independent producers, according to Hawaiian Electric Co.
Rates jumped on other islands also.
A household on Oahu using 600 kilowatt hours of electricity paid in $208.32 in October, up $5.26 from September, according to Hawaiian Electric. The newer rate is 33.2 cents a kilowatt hour.
Low-sulfur fuel oil makes up more than 50 percent of a customer’s bill, according to the utility. Hawaii residents in July paid an average of 36.6 cents a kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The national average is 12.6 cents per a kilowatt hour.
In Hawaii, rates are highest on Kauai. Homeowners paid 42.3 cents per kilowatt hour in September and 42.9 cents in October.
On Big Island, the rate increased from 40.4 cents to 41.4 cents.
Maui Electric Co. increased rates from 36.3 cents to 37.4 cents per kilowatt hour.
The high rates have led to customers using solar photovoltaic systems. Hawaii electrical utilities last year led the nation in solar energy penetration, according to a Solar Electric Power Association report. Maui Electric Co. had 5.4 percent of its customer base owning or leasing a photovoltaic solar system. Hawaiian Electric was second at 5.2 percent.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.