Richard Ha writes:
Monday night’s PUC hearing in Hilo went very well. The overwhelming sentiment was that enough is enough. People will not take any more electricity rate hikes.
Big Island Video News has posted a video about the PUC meeting.
VIDEO: Aina Koa Pono, HELCO rate hikes blasted at PUC hearing
October 30, 2012
Video by David Corrigan, Voice of Stephanie Salazar
HILO, Hawaii: Residents of East Hawaii packed the Hilo High School cafeteria, to tell the Public Utilities Commission what they think about a proposed electricity rate hike and and biofuel surcharge…. Watch the Big Island Video News video here.
It's hard to remember that until the BICC dared say it, no one could imagine we could actually get lower rates. We have made good progress. People are now saying they want lower rates, and expecting it.
In its “Off the News” section this morning, the Star-Advertiser wrote:
Electricity bill too high? Wear slippers
"Not to make light of a serious situation such as rising electricity bills, or a consumer group's desire to show solidarity. In an era when pennies – and dollars – must be pinched to get by, solidarity over cost-of living issues is a good thing.
That said, it was interesting to see that the Big Island Community Coalition opposed to a surcharge to finance the use of biofuels to produce power, urged its members to wear rubber slippers to last night's public hearing as a show of uniform solidarity. This being Hawaii, what other footwear would folks don for a pau hana (after work) forum?
Of course this may have been a smart strategic move. This way the PUC might have scanned the room and figured that every last person was opposed. It also ruled out slippers as a footwear choice for commission members, too…."
It was a civilized hearing and most of the many testimonies were on point.
About 150 people were in attendance and it was a diverse audience, including: Faye Hanohano, Fred Blas, Jeff Melrose, Richard Onishi, Russell Ruderman, PGV people from Nevada, Jim Albertini, Deborah Ward, Patrick Kahawaiola‘a, Mililani Trask, John Cross, Ka‘u people, ILWU, IBEW, Carpenters, Laborers, HELCO group, the Aina Koa Pono (AKP) core group, Sierra Club and other community members.
Other than HELCO, AKP and those who needed to be cautious, most of the rest were allies of low-cost electricity.
In today's Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Mayor Billy Kenoi made it very clear that he is against the AKP project for several reasons.
Kenoi criticizes biodiesel proposal
By ERIN MILLER
Aina Koa Pono’s biodiesel proposal isn’t a good deal for Hawaii County residents, Mayor Billy Kenoi said Monday, hours before the Public Utilities Commission was set to begin its first Big Island hearing on the subject.
“This to me looks like one of those deals, after 10, 20 years, we ask how did we let that happen?” Kenoi said. “Ultimately, there is no benefit to the people of the Island of Hawaii...."
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald also wrote about the PUC meeting itself.
Online Extra: HELCO rate hikes blasted
By COLIN M. STEWART
Tribune-Herald Staff Writer
No more increases.
That seemed to be the main message relayed to members of the state Public Utilities Commission on Monday night by more than 100 Big Isle residents who showed up at a public hearing at the Hilo High cafeteria to weigh in on two separate electricity rate hikes proposed by Hawaii Electric Light Co. Inc....
Tonight is the West Hawai‘i PUC meeting (Tuesday, October 30, 2012) at 6 p.m. in the Kealakehe High School cafeteria.
And the third and final meeting will be held this Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 6 p.m. at Farrington High School.