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Rate Hikes Coming: Consumer Advocate Urges Public to Participate in Energy Equity Docket
By News Release @ 4:43 AM :: 2608 Views :: Energy, Cost of Living

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION ENCOURAGED IN ENERGY EQUITY DOCKET TO SHAPE HAWAII’S FUTURE

News Release from DCCA, Aug 3, 2023

HONOLULU – The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA) invites all members of the public to actively participate in shaping Hawai‘i’s equitable and sustainable energy future.

Energy Equity Docket 2022-0250 is a significant proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that focuses on addressing critical issues related to clean energy access, affordability, and fairness in Hawai‘i. At its core the docket seeks to ensure that all residents, regardless of income level or location, have access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy options.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and consumer empowerment, we encourage all residents to get involved and have their voices heard in this important process,” said DCA Executive Director Michael S. Angelo. “We hope all stakeholders are informed and take action so that we together can create an energy future that is inclusive, sustainable, and fair.”

The PUC is interested in hearing from communities that host energy facilities, people with a high energy burden, and individuals that do not typically participate in Commission dockets. By actively participating in this docket, consumers can help shape the policies and regulations that govern energy services in our state, ensuring they are just and equitable for everyone.

Public comments on Energy Equity Docket 2022-0250 are due Friday, August 4, and can be submitted online at http://puc.hawaii.gov/contact/public-comments.

A series of public meetings and listening sessions is being conducted to gather input and feedback directly from stakeholders. For a schedule of events and more information visit https://puc.hawaii.gov/energy/equity.

Key Issues Being Addressed in the Energy Equity Docket

The following five tracks have been identified and expanded as the key issues when addressing Energy Equity:

Procedural Equity: This track focuses on making sure that the processes and actions of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) are fair and just for everyone. It includes developing a plan to promote equity and justice, making PUC proceedings more accessible to the community, and improving engagement with customers to provide better education about energy matters.

Energy Affordability and Direct Payment Assistance: This track is all about making energy more affordable for everyone. It includes things like offering rate discounts, subsidies, or bill credits to help people with their energy bills directly.

Equitable Siting and Hosting of Energy Infrastructure: This track addresses where energy facilities, like power plants, are located and how they impact communities. It aims to ensure that the process of deciding where these facilities go takes into account the concerns and needs of the communities they affect. It also looks at how communities can benefit from hosting these energy facilities.

Equitable Access to Clean Energy: This track focuses on making sure that everyone has equal opportunities to access clean and renewable energy options. It includes expanding participation in programs that support clean energy and enhancing financing options to make it easier for people to adopt clean energy solutions.

Utility Performance and Tracking: This track is about holding utility companies accountable and making sure they are transparent in their actions. It includes increasing reporting and transparency, making sure there are no disconnections for non-payment during certain times, and adjusting how they handle accounting for unpaid bills.

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About the Division of Consumer Advocacy

The Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA) is a crucial state agency dedicated to safeguarding consumer interests in public utility services. It represents and assists customers across various utility sectors, ensuring fair and equitable energy practices. Working alongside the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission and other agencies, the agency reviews utility company applications to keep rates affordable while ensuring safety and reliability. Follow DCA on social at http://facebook.com/DCCAHawaii/.

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