Utility Model Study
The Hawaii State Energy Office hosted a series of community meetings across the state to solicit community input for a study being done on future models for utility ownership and regulation in Hawaii. Contractor London Economics International and subcontractor Meister Consultants Group led the community meetings October 9-13, 2017.
At the request of the state legislature, the Hawaii State Energy Office is embarking on a study to evaluate the costs and benefits of various electric utility ownership models, as well as the viability of various utility regulatory approaches, to aid Hawaii in achieving its state energy goals.
Through a competitive sealed proposals procurement, the Hawaii State Energy Office contracted London Economics International, LLC to perform a study to evaluate utility and regulatory models for Hawaii. The study is expected to be completed by January 2019.
The goal of the study is to evaluate utility ownership and regulatory models in Hawaii and the ability of each model to:
1. Achieve state energy goals;
2. Maximize consumer cost savings;
3. Enable a competitive distribution system in which independent agents can trade and combine evolving services to meet customer and grid needs; and
4. Eliminate or reduce conflicts of interest in energy resource planning, delivery, and regulation.
The study shall aid in understanding:
1. The long term operational and financial costs and benefits of electric utility ownership and regulatory models to serve each county of the state;
2. The process to be followed to form such ownership and regulatory models and;
3. If establishing such models would create synergies that are not currently available, particularly in the areas of:
- Increasing local control over energy sources serving each county
- The ability to diversify energy resources
- Economic development
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Increasing system reliability and power quality
- Lowering costs to all consumers
The study will engage a wide range of stakeholders and perspectives across all islands, providing multiple opportunities for input and participation.
Study objectives and timeline:
A working session was held at the VERGE Hawaii Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit. The workshop provided an opportunity for attendees to hear from leading voices in the energy policy discussion, and to provide direct feedback through small-group facilitated discussions to inform the investigation of electric utility ownership and regulatory models to serve each county of the State.
Session Title: Future Models for Utility Ownership and Regulation in Hawaii
Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Event description: State officials, energy industry leaders, and project staff discussed the possibilities for Hawaii’s energy future at this session, which served as the public introduction of this extensive effort. The session provided an opportunity to hear from leading voices in the energy policy discussion. Panelists included Terry Surles, Interim Energy Administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office; Scott Seu, SVP Public Affairs, HECO; Dean Nishina, Utilities Administrator, Division of Consumer Advocacy; and David Bissell, President and CEO, KIUC. The session was moderated by AJ Goudling, President, London Economics.
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