Graphic Opposition to Aina Koa Pono & 4.2% HELCO Rate Increase

Richard Ha writes:

More PUC testimony from a Big Island resident opposing the Aina Koa Pono biofuels project and the proposed 4.2 percent HECO rate increase.

See below where he charted the price of crude oil over the past two years, as well as how much his HELCO bill increased over the same period of time, and didn't find much correlation.

Dear Chair Morita & Commissioners:

I want to express my most sincere opposition both to the Aina Koa Pono Biofuel project and the Helco 4.2% rate hike. 

In today's day and age it is inconceivable that while we are living in one of the most privileged locations on the planet with regards to renewable energy resources availability we still depend on a single utility company that holds a true monopoly on the power generation and that continues to ignore what would be the most efficient path towards energy independence. 

South Puna seats on a rich geothermal zone that could provide enough power for the entire Big Island. South Kona & Kohala areas have enough sun radiation to produce a significant supplement to the grid, and South Point and Saddle Road areas provide some of the most reliable wind patterns for wind generation. Yet, here we are debating on whether we should lock in a $200/barrel deal with a biofuel company. Who in its right mind would opt for this option!?

As for the rate hike, the following graph shows my cost per kWh at my home for the past two year (since Jan 2010)


As you can see from the graph, my price has increased from $0.36/kWh to $0.42/kWh, that is a 16.7% increase in just two years. Now they want an additional 4% increase? under what justification? meanwhile, HELCO continues to report record profits year after year. 

And do you know what the real kicker is? look at the following graph, that shows the price per barrel of crude oil (WTI) between January 2010 and November 2012 (source: 


Notice any discrepancy between the two graphs? In Jan 2010 the price per barrel of crude oil was $82.00, in November 2012 the price is $87.50 an increase of 6.7%. Helco has increased their rates 2.5 times the net increase of the price of oil, and now they want another increase.


Rodrigo F.V. Romo, Ch.E., MBA, LEED AP

VP Engineering

Zeta Corporation