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Hawaii regulators approve Hawaii Electric Light rate increase

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Hawaii regulators approve Hawaii Electric Light rate increase

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on June 29 approved a request to increase Hawaii Electric Light Co. Inc. rates.

The regulators allowed a revenue requirement of $290.7 million, a return of equity of 9.50% and a rate of return on average rate base of 7.80% for the utility.

The Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. subsidiary originally requested a revenue requirement of $314.8 million, or a 6.50% increase over revenues at current effective rates, based on 2016 fuel oil prices and an 8.44% rate of return.

An interim decision from the PUC allowed the utility a revenue requirement of $300.7 million, or a 3.42% increase over revenues at current effective rates. However, the utility sought to further lower the interim rates to incorporate the effects of the federal tax overhaul, which the PUC granted in its latest order.

HELCO asked for the rate relief due to higher costs of operating and maintaining its existing utility infrastructure and the costs of supporting the state's clean energy objectives, among other reasons. (Hawaii PUC Docket No. 2015-0170)