Public hearing set for water power cost charge increase

KAILUA-KONA — Hawaii County water consumers will have the opportunity to speak out on a proposed increase to the power cost charge.

Users currently pay $1.96 per 1,000 gallons of water and, if the proposed increase is approved, would pay $2 for the same amount.

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With the proposed 4-cent increase, a family of five, which consumes on average about 12,000 gallons of water per month, will see its bimonthly water bill increase by 96 cents.

A public hearing is set for 9:45 a.m. Sept. 24, just before the Water Board’s next monthly meeting to be held at 10 a.m. in Hilo at the Department of Water Supply Hilo Operations Conference Room at 889 Leilani St.

The power cost charge change does not impact the department’s revenue as the money collected goes to Hawaii Electric Light Co. to cover the electrical cost of transporting water to county customers. The charge may be adjusted every two months as the price of oil, and therefore the price of moving water to customers, changes.

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The cost charge was last changed June 1 when consumers saw it increase from $1.89 to $1.96 per 1,000 gallons. In February, the rate was decreased from $1.94 per 1,000 gallons to $1.89.

Two years ago, in August 2017, the power cost charge was $1.73. In September 2009, the charge was $1.68 per 1,000 gallons.

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