Tag Archives: HEI

Where Kauai Utility and NextEra Stand

Richard Borreca wrote an editorial for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “On Politics” column Sunday. It’s called “Compared to NextEra, Kauai’s Utility Looks Good.”

He notes that all the talk about Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) merging with NextEra Energy comes when Hawaii is, more and more, being recognized for its moves into alternative energy. “HECO,” he writes, “with its flickering support for solar programs, has caused consumers to vote with the checkbook as they scramble to go solar and leave the grid. Unfortunately, the public utility getting much of the praise is not HECO, but the tiny Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.”

Compared to NextEra, Kauai’s utility looks good

It has been a year-and-a-half since Hawaiian Electric Industries announced it was set to merge with Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. in a deal worth $4.3 billion.

If talk were watts, the still-not-approved purchase could power the state. Everyone has an opinion on the publicly traded local company.

The talk may be up as the companies have set a June 3 time limit for consummating the deal, which also needs a decision by the state’s Public Utilities Commission to approve, reject or modify the merger…

Read the rest (behind Honolulu Star-Advertiser paywall)


Hawaii Island Energy Co-op ‘Better, Faster & Cheaper’

Big Island electric customers are estimated to save much more money with the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative (HIEC) than they are promised with the proposed sale of the Hawaiian Electric companies to NextEra Energy.

Read more below, as well as in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Pacific Business News, and in the Hawaii Star-Advertiser (behind their paywall).

The difference in the business model of a co-op model, such as HIEC, is that it’s non-profit. At a for-profit utility, such as NextEra, revenue goes to shareholders. That’s not the case with a non-profit co-op, and that’s one reason for the significant savings.

Also, co-ops, by definition, cooperate. HIEC can call up the electrical co-op on Kaua‘i, and they will share information. Hawai‘i Island’s co-op can call up the national headquarters and they will share information. Avoiding mistakes saves money.

It’s all very practical. The co-op model is a better model to help ratepayers prepare for the future.

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative’s Press Release:

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative would deliver transformation better, faster and cheaper

(HILO, HAWAII, DECEMBER 9, 2015)—Conversion of the electric utility on Hawaii Island to a nonprofit cooperative is expected to deliver greater savings than those promised with the proposed sale of the Hawaiian Electric companies to NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Florida.

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative (HIEC) analyzed financial information filed by the Hawaiian Electric companies (HE) and NextEra Energy (NEE) with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC).

By lowering the cost of capital, eliminating federal income taxes and the profit margin built into Hawaii Electric Light Company’s rates, the financial analysis found that Big Island customers could save as much as $113 million on the existing HELCO rate base and up to $234 million including investments to modernize the grid over a four-year period. This compares to $60 million in savings estimated by NEE for customers on all five islands served by HE over a four-year period.

In proceedings now being held on the proposed sale by the HPUC, NEE has asserted that the primary question the Commission should ask itself is whether the customers of HE and the State of Hawaii are better off with or without the sale going through.

HIEC has argued that the Commission should also consider the merits of the cooperative ownership model for Hawaii Island.

In addition, HIEC makes the case that a cooperative has the ability to accelerate the island’s clean energy transformation faster and with more focus than a mainland-based investor-owned utility.

“For Hawaii Island, the reality is that the 190,000+ residents of the island would be better served by a cooperative. Beyond the lower cost of capital and the lower electric bills that follow, the benefits of a coop include local, democratic ownership and control of one of the most important infrastructures on the island,” said Marco Mangelsdorf, HIEC director and spokesperson.

Other advantages of the cooperative business model

■ HIEC would be able to access low-cost debt capital.

• Traditional cooperative lenders include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), and Co Bank.

• The combined borrowings of electric cooperatives from these sources is over $85 billion.

■ The cooperative network of 900 utilities has equivalent, and perhaps better, buying power and economies of scale for technology, administration, pensions and insurance. Many companies that support the cooperative program, including CFC and CoBank, are owned by their electric cooperative customers.

• National Rural Electric Cooperative Association provides a multi-employer pension plan on behalf of electric cooperative employees that is fully funded.

• Through national programs the electric cooperative network has led the utility industry in the deployment of smart grid technologies.

■ Cooperatives can be more nimble and quick in integrating more and cost-effective renewable energies. Emulating the example of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), HIEC should be able to move faster to provide the advantages of renewable energies to Hawaii Island consumers.

• KIUC has gone from approximately 10 percent renewable in 2011 to almost 90 percent during prime sun hours today through a portfolio of utility-scale solar, biomass generation, distributed solar and legacy hydropower.

• KIUC’s smart grid initiative, which enables customer choice and is a key to the efficient integration of renewable energy, was completed nearly two years ago.

•Over the past two years, KIUC has built the two largest solar arrays in Hawaii, generating electricity cheaper than similar arrays proposed on Oahu. As well, KIUC is in the approval process for the nation’s first utility-scale solar array with dispatchable energy storage, moving solar energy to the nighttime hours and displacing millions of gallons of oil.

Noted HIEC president Richard Ha, “HIEC is able to focus on only our Hawaii Island and its unique needs, desires and resources. The single island focus and urgency created by a customer-elected board of directors to set the strategy is KIUC’s greatest strength and the reason they have been so successful in the transformation of their island’s utility system.”

About Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative:

HIEC is a non-profit cooperative association that seeks to establish a member-owned electric utility and encourage non-petroleum-based transportation for Hawaii Island. HIEC presents a unique opportunity for all electricity consumers to “Own the Power.” For more information, visit www.hiec.coop. HIEC is on Facebook and Twitter @HiEnergyCoop



Letter: Why Hawaii Island Energy Co-op Makes Sense

Michelle Galimba’s letter to the editor in Friday’s Hawai‘i Tribune-Herald offered a great overview of why the Hawai‘i Island Energy Cooperative makes great sense for the Big Island.

Here’s Michelle’s letter:

Support the Co-op

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative is a group of local people who want to offer an alternative path to the NextEra-HEI deal. We want to make our Hawaii Island more resilient and equitable by keeping decision-making and accountability here on our island.

We want to offer the possibility of taking responsibility for the energy future of our island communities by means of an energy cooperative that will be owned by all energy users on Hawaii Island. This is a path that already has been taken by the citizens of Kauai, and by more than 900 other communities across the United States.

We will have the opportunity to make our voices heard on the question of the ownership of the energy utility for our island at the Public Utility Commission’s public hearings at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Hilo High School cafeteria and at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Kealakehe High School auditorium.

Let’s let the PUC know we support an energy cooperative for Hawaii Island!

Michelle Galimba, Naalehu

Please come out this Tuesday (at 6 p.m. in the Hilo High cafeteria) or Wednesday (at 6 p.m. in the Kealakehe High cafeteria) to let the PUC know that you support the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative. Read more about why this is important.


See Mina Morita’s Blog Post on NextEra Merger

Mina Morita is former chair of the Hawaii State Public Utilities Commision. At her Energy Dynamics blog, she wrote the post Let the Consumer Advocate & PUC Do Their Jobs!

I generally agree with what she writes. Referring to a wave of politicians who want to explore a public utility option instead of the proposed NextEra/HEI merger, she writes:

During this time of transformation a well-functioning electric utility requires insightful leadership, nimble and flexible strategic planning and strong analytical capacity. 

That is exactly why a group of community leaders and business persons formed the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative. When the proposed NextEra/HEI merger was announced late last year, we arranged for a briefing by the KIUC folks. It looked very promising, so we formed a steering committee.  At that time, though, there wasn’t a willing seller so we waited to see if there would be an opportunity down the road.

The other day I spoke as part of a League of Women Voters forum. I told the moderator, Pearl Johnson, that we decided to use the Wayne Gretsky strategy. Gretsky said to skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is. That’s an example of insightful leadership. We decided to prepare a co-op option in case an opportunity arose. If we had waited to start when an opportunity came up, it would have been too late.

The co-op model allows for nimble and flexible strategic planning. I told Pearl Johnson that it isn’t the strongest, largest or smartest that survives, it’s the one that can adapt to change.

A board of directors directs a co-op model. In the case of Kaua‘i’s co-op, nine members sit on the board. The terms are staggered and every year three positions become vacant, which allows the co-op to quickly respond to changes. It is especially important now because declining natural resources require us to be nimble, flexible and strategic, as Mina points out.

What we should consider is which business model will give the next generations tools they need to cope in an uncertain future.

There are many qualified people the board can hire to help with technical analyses.

The HIEC is not opposing the NextEra/HEI merger. What we are doing is positioning ourselves to be a viable option.

The Big Island has a huge advantage in working to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. We already have 40 percent renewables, and HELCO itself projects 92 percent renewables by 2030. It appears that we could probably avoid LNG entirely.

When I visited Iceland several years ago, they showed us an oil-fired plant that had been on standby since the 1970s. We could do that, too. I don’t see many opportunity costs foregone. If we change nothing at all, the co-op model would still have the advantage of some tax savings.

If we are successful in acquiring HELCO, we will need legislators to work with us to make legislation that will encourage the usage of “curtailed” (thrown away) power.

As we move toward the future of 100 percent renewable energy, we must remember that this is about all of us, not just a few of us. The co-op has an incentive to lower costs.

So yes, we do agree with Mina. We’re waiting.


40+ Hawaii Politicians Say Let’s Explore Public Utility for Big Isle

A Civil Beat article lists more than 40 politicians interested in exploring the idea of a utility cooperative or other options, rather than the proposed for-profit NextEra/Hawaiian Electric merger.

From Civil Beat:

State, County Lawmakers Want to Explore Public Utility Option for Hawaii

A diverse group of more than 40 elected officials wants more options on the table as the merger deal between NextEra and Hawaiian Electric is being considered.


More than 40 state and county lawmakers united Thursday in a commitment to explore the potential of public utilities in Hawaii.

Their announcement comes as the Public Utilities Commission considers approving the proposed $4.3 billion sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Florida-based NextEra Energy.

…“Public utilities don’t need higher rates to make profits for shareholders, and as a result they tend to have significantly lower rates than for-profit utilities across the country,” state Rep. Chris Lee, who heads the House Energy and Environment Committee said at a news conference in the Capitol.

He was flanked by 20 other lawmakers who support looking at fundamentally changing the monopoly for-profit utility model that has served Hawaii for the past 100 years.

Among the supporters was Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin, who said the county will be the biggest consumer of electricity in the state, even surpassing the military. Council members Ikaika Anderson and Kymberly Pine joined him.

House Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto Chang, along with fellow Republican Rep. Cynthia Thielen, also said the public utility option needs to be explored.

“As Republicans and Democrats, we have differences,” Fukumoto said. “But we can all agree that the skyrocketing cost of electricity is detrimental to local familites. Until NextEra provides a framework for customer savings, it would be irresponsible not to explore options like co-ops and other alternatives.”

Read the rest

Chris Lee also spoke about this on Hawaii Public Radio recently. Listen here (10:11):


Cost-Effective For Whom? Responding to NextEra

I cringed when I saw this morning’s Hawaii Tribune-Herald article NextEra Adviser: Co-ops Not Cost-Effective. Now NextEra, the company hoping to acquire Hawaii Electric Industries (HEI), has a Massachusetts-based spokesman speaking for it.

NextEra says it’s sensitive to Hawai‘i, but this spokesman is from Massachusetts. It’s exactly what many of us are wary of – mainland advisors with no idea of the complexity of the issues. The NextEra spokesman didn’t even seem to know that the Big Island has an abundance of natural resources quite different from what’s available on the mainland.

NextEra says if it purchases HEI in its proposed $4.3 billion deal, it would let us have an advisory board – but that doesn’t really mean anything. An advisory board wouldn’t have any power. It would be the same thing as a representative to Congress back in the Territorial days.

NextEra would be investor-owned, which means its goal would be to make money for it investors and shareholders. That would be the priority. If it benefits the Hawai‘i ratepayer at all, that would be incidental.

Contrast that with the co-op, which is non-profit and it is not taxed (that savings is returned to the ratepayers). Right there, even without making any other changes, a co-op already saves money compared to an investor-owned utility because it pays no taxes.

The co-op is not going to tell you exactly what it is going to do. We are going to set the framework so we and future generations will always be equipped to make decisions and do what is best as conditions change. There’s no way we can know now what the future holds.

Co-ops have a nine-member board of directors, with each member having a staggered term. Every year, three positions come up for election. This keeps it sensitive to what’s going on in the community. The co-op’s board structure is a self-correcting mechanism that is responsive to what the people are thinking as attitudes change over time. You don’t see that in a powerful company that’s located far away.

A company like NextEra tells you what it’s going to do and then locks it in – because that’s how it makes money for its investors. Not because it works for the local community, or saves money for ratepayers.

Keep in mind, it’s not the biggest or the strongest that survive; it’s the ones that can adapt to change. NextEra is by far the biggest (but so were the dinosaurs, and they’re not around anymore).

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative is big enough (it will be part of a 900-member cooperative association with its own, healthy, financial institution) and it’s about adapting. It’s about doing what we have the opportunity to do for the Big Island right now – changing our energy utility to a cooperative model –  so we, and future generations, can adapt to changing conditions as needed, and survive and thrive.


Community Listening Sessions: The PUC Wants To Hear

This is probably the last chance in this generation to have a say in how our electric utility is run.

The PUC is going to travel around the state in September holding “community listening sessions.” They want to know what we think about the HEI/NextEra merger application.

Here on the Big Island, we want to ask the PUC to consider a co-op model, similar to the Kauai Island Energy Cooperative.

The reason I say it’s probably our only opportunity is because you have to have a willing seller to put such a plan into place, and in the absense of something earth-shattering, this probably won’t come up again in our lifetime. It’s speak up now, or miss our chance.

It’s definitely in our best interest to show up at these PUC meetings and ask them to consider our co-op model: the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative. Otherwise we miss our chance to make a change for the better.

If you are not clear on what a co-op model would look like, it’s really very simple: We’re only suggesting a change in the business model of how the electric utility operates, and that means three essential differences from how things operate now.

Some people will say we don’t have enough qualified people. Well, let’s say we didn’t change any of the employees running Hawaiian Electric, but only changed the business model. There goes that argument. There is no argument.

Essentially, there would just be three differences.

1)    The co-op would be an investor-owned, non-profit utility that does not pay taxes, and the money we save would go straight back to the people.

2)    The co-op would be a non-profit model that existed to do what the people want. People would elect the board of directors, and if people were not happy with the board of directors, they could fire them by not electing them again.

3)    People always wonder if the co-op would have enough money. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, or NRECA, which is made up of 900 co-ops in the United States, owns its own finance company; its own bank. Its whole objective is to manage co-ops. That’s why they are called co-ops—they cooperate with each other. They have plenty of money.

It’s not any more complicated than that. The big question here is which business model will work best for the people in terms of managing our utility. This is not rocket science.

It’s important that we show up and speak up when the PUC asks us to. Attend the meetings next month — I’ll post when and where they are — and ask the PUC to consider the co-op. Ask them to consider what’s really best for the people of the Big Island.


Thoughts on the NextEra Purchase of HEI

Richard Ha writes:

NextEra Energy’s purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), just announced yesterday, will be very good for Hawai‘i.

Here’s what we know about NextEra: It’s a publicly traded company headquartered in Florida. Its principal subsidiaries include Florida Power & Light Company, which was recognized by Market Strategies International earlier this year as the nation’s most trusted electric utility, and NextEra Energy Resources, which together with its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources), is North America’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun.

NextEra says it will spin off HEI’s American Savings Bank, which makes a lot of sense. NexEra.jpg

NextEra has the balance sheet and other resources to support significant investment in Hawai‘i’s transmission and distribution system to enable much higher levels of renewable energy sources.

Most of all, this change in ownership of our electrical utility will finally make much needed new and different approaches possible. What we all want is a lower cost of electricity.

And each island needs to take advantage of its own resources. One size does not fit all.

For example, the Big Island and Maui each have the options of using wind, solar, and possibly geothermal and some biofuel.

O‘ahu has wind, solar and biofuel but no proven geothermal and so limited opportunities to lower rates. Solar is a possibility. Coal is cheap, but unacceptable. LNG is possible as a bridge fuel.

Maui has its own issues, which are different from both O‘ahu and Maui.

We are unique on the Big Island. Beside solar, wind and biofuels, we have proven geothermal. Once it’s developed, geothermal wants to run 100 percent of the time, and the more it runs, the cheaper it is to the rate payers.

What if we guaranteed the geothermal developer, say, 25MW, and put no restriction on generating electricity for hydrogen manufacturing over and above the 25MW. If, for instance, the geothermal company installed a 30MW generator, they could sell 25MW to the utility and sell the excess 5MW cheap to make hydrogen. That would solve our liquid transportation problem, via hydrogen fuel cells, and we could make nitrogen fertilizer so as not to be dependent on petroleum byproducts. That’s only one example of what we could do with new thinking.

I would resist the temptation to advocate for a cable going from the Big Island. We need to see demonstrated results first.

This sales is an unexpected but very interesting turn of events. We welcome NextEra.


Women as ‘Economic Growth Strategy’ & East Hawaii’s Business Woman of the Year

Richard and June had a table at the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce’s Athena luncheon yesterday, for the presentation of East Hawai‘i’s Business Woman of the Year, and they invited me to join them. It was a good lunch at ‘Imiloa, and a nice event.

Before the Athena award was presented, Connie Lau, President/CEO of HEI, gave a talk about empowering women that I found really interesting.

She discussed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy at a recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

(Clinton) articulated important steps in a path toward the Participation Age—where every individual has the opportunity to be a contributing and valued member of the global marketplace—including strategies to remove barriers that have prevented women from being full participants in the economy and unlock their potential as drivers of economic growth.

Clinton said that unlocking the potential of women in the work force, where women are underutilized or are bumping their heads on glass ceiling after glass ceiling, would add 9 percent to our GDP, 13 percent to the Euro Zone’s, and 16 percent to China’s.

At a time when the U.S. is struggling to have a 2.5 to 3 percent GDP, seeing it bump up to 12 percent would mean we would even surpass China (currently at 8.5 percent), Lau pointed out.

It’s all about “women as an economic growth strategy.” Wow, what a sentence. Another interesting concept: “Empowering women is not only the right thing to do, it’s an economic imperative.”

From here:

If we address the barriers to women’s economic participation, we can fundamentally transform our economies.

  • The World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report shows that where the gender gap is closest to being closed in a range of areas—including access to education, health survivability, economic participation, and political participation—countries and economies are more competitive and prosperous.[ix]
  • Reduction in barriers to female labor force participation would increase the size of America’s GDP by 9 percent, the Euro Zone’s by 13 percent, and Japan’s by 16 percent.[x]
  • Narrowing the gender gap could lead to a 14 percent rise in per capita incomes by the year 2020 in several APEC economies, including China, Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Korea.[xi]
  • Globally, women will control $15 trillion in spending by the year 2014. And by 2028, women will be responsible for about two-thirds of consumer spending worldwide.[xii]
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent. This increase could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 percent and reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 percent, or up to 150 million people.[xiii]
  • Women disproportionately spend more of their earned income on food, healthcare, home improvement, and schooling, which has a multiplier effect in local communities.[xiv]
  • Research shows a correlation between the number of women on boards and higher corporate profits. One analysis found that companies with more women board directors outperform those with the least by 66 percent in terms of return on invested capital, by 53 percent in terms of return on equity, and 42 percent in terms of return on sales.[xv] Another study indicates that one-third of executives reported increased profits as a result of investments in employing women in emerging markets.[xvi]

I found the data and topic really interesting. There’s lots more, and you can go here to read the rest.

And how about East Hawai‘i’s Business Woman of the Year, you ask? Congratulations to Charlene Masuhara, a counselor and Key Club Adviser at Hilo High School.


Democratic Party Resolution Supports Geothermal for Baseload Electrical Power

The following is a resolution that the Hawaii County Democratic Party adopted at its 2011 County Convention. It recognizes the value of geothermal as an indigenous resource, and it recognizes that low cost is a relevant and important aspect that benefits society.

It also notes that the EPA has directed the HECO companies to retrofit its oil-fired plants to comply with emission standards. But that will cause oil-fired plants to stay in operation longer than desirable, and will result in higher cost to ratepayers.

Note especially this:

“NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Hawai‘i County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i hereby formally requests the 2012 Hawai‘i State Legislature to direct the Public Utilities Commission to require HELCO to develop a timely plan to retire its fully depreciated fossil fuel power generation facilities and accept geothermally generated electrical power as the primary baseload source. HELCO should continue to include other alternative energy sources – such as wind, solar and hydro – in its mix of sources, but geothermally generated electricity must become the primary baseload source for Hawai‘i Island within the next five years; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the PUC should continue to implement contractual procedures between HELCO and geothermal power producers that represent an equitable return on investment but, as important, reduce the kilowatt hour cost to consumers whenever possible.”

The Resolution:

Requesting the 2012 Legislature to Mandate PUC to Require HELCO to Develop A Timely Action Plan To Retire All Depreciated Oil-Fired Power Plants on Hawai’i Island And Transition to Geothermally Generated Electricity As the Island’s Primary Baseload Power Source

WHEREAS, the Hawai‘i County Democratic Party adopted a resolution at its 2011 County Convention supporting the use of indigenous, renewable geothermal energy to generate baseload electrical power to (1) reduce dependency of imported fossil fuels, (2) reduce our carbon footprint and other environmental risks, and (3) hold the line or reduce electrical energy costs to consumers; and

WHEREAS, Puna Geothermal Venture has proven the safety and reliability of geothermally generated electrical power for Hawai‘i Island consumers for about 18 years; and

WHEREAS, this geothermal power has also generated royalty payments to the State and County of Hawai‘i and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs running in the millions of dollars over the past 18 years; and

WHEREAS, the Public Utilities Commission has in the past year initiated new contractual procedures between HELCO and PGV which are successfully reducing the kilowatt hour cost of geothermally generated power to consumers; and

WHEREAS, all but one of HELCO’s existing fossil fuel-dependent power generation facilities on Hawai‘i Island are fully depreciated but continue to be operated, which has destructive environmental and economic consequences, including forcing Hawai‘i Island consumers to pay the highest kilowatt hour charge in the state – a cost that will continue to increase as the global peak oil situation further drives up the cost of fossil fuel;

WHEREAS, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has recently directed all HEI companies including HELCO to retrofit existing oil fired plants to comply with EPA emission standards. This expensive undertaking will force continued usage of these plants and perpetuate a level of emissions and kilowatt hour costs that exceed that of geothermal. Also, this investment – which will inevitably be borne by consumers – should, instead, be dedicated to the transition to environmentally and economically preferred geothermal power production and/or distribution;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Hawai‘i County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i hereby formally requests the 2012 Hawai‘i State Legislature to direct the Public Utilities Commission to require HELCO to develop a timely plan to retire its fully depreciated fossil fuel power generation facilities and accept geothermally generated electrical power as the primary baseload source. HELCO should continue to include other alternative energy sources – such as wind, solar and hydro – in its mix of sources, but geothermally generated electricity must become the primary baseload source for Hawai‘i Island within the next five years; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the PUC should continue to implement contractual procedures between HELCO and geothermal power producers that represent an equitable return on investment but, as important, reduce the kilowatt hour cost to consumers whenever possible.

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