Maui Electric Responds to Mayor’s Plans to Explore Utility Options
By Wendy Osher
Executives at Maui Electric Company responded to an announcement made yesterday indicating that Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa would be exploring utility options for Maui amid concerns surrounding the proposed NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger.
Maui Electric President Sharon Suzuki said that while she respects the mayor’s decision to explore options; she said Maui Electric’s efforts to bring clean energy to Maui County reflect the same goals.
Suzuki noted that she recently met with the mayor and issued the following statement:
“As with other utility services like water and sewer services, ownership is only one aspect to consider when dealing with a critical need such as energy for homes, businesses, and public facilities such as medical care centers – lowering costs and providing energy that’s reliable is expected.
“We’ve made significant progress and will continue to move forward on our transformation efforts. Currently, 33% of our energy on Maui comes from renewable sources and more than 10% of our customers have rooftop PV systems, far exceeding the national average of less than one percent.
“All of our employees at Maui Electric feel a deep commitment and sense of responsibility to serve Maui County’s energy needs. This has not changed in our 90-plus year history and we remain committed to the community we live and work in.”
The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development yesterday announced they are seeking Request for Proposals to study the options available for a new electric utility model in Maui County.
The $30,000 analysis is aimed at providing information to help determine if it would be best to start a County utility like the co-op on Kauaʻi, allow the NextEra deal to go through, or invest in another option.
The deadline to submit a proposal is on Friday, June 5, 2015.