(BIVN) – An update on Hawaiian Electric’s Shift and Save pilot – which will test new time-of-use rates on Oʻahu and the island of Hawaiʻi starting February 1, 2024 – was provided in a Monday news release.
From Hawaiian Electric:
Hawaiian Electric has expanded the Shift and Save pilot program on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island to 16,000 participants who will test new time-of-use (TOU) rates starting Feb. 1. The randomly selected customers, including 4,000 newly added households and businesses, will be notified via email or postal mail by Dec. 5.
In September, the Public Utilities Commission ordered that the pilot would begin on Feb. 1, 2024, instead of Oct. 1, 2023, and that commencement of the study on Maui would be temporarily suspended. However, eligible Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi customers may voluntarily enroll in the TOU rates.
Due to the postponement of the pilot, the TOU rates announced in the summer no longer apply and the new rates for all islands can be viewed at hawaiianelectric.com. Rates for all other customers remain unchanged.
New residential TOU rates for Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island pilot participants are as follows:
The purpose of Shift and Save is to encourage customers to shift electricity use from the evening and overnight period when energy is generated by expensive fossil fuels to the daytime
period when solar energy is abundant and less expensive. Time-of-use rates have the potential to reduce bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions from power generation.
Earlier this month, the commission allowed Hawaiian Electric to increase the number of participants in the 1-year study on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. The approximately 16,000 Shift and Save participants on the two islands represent less than 4% of Hawaiian Electricʻs total customers and includes about 12,000 randomly selected residential and commercial customers identified earlier this year, plus an additional 4,000.
Hawaiian Electric will send email or postal mail to customers selected for the pilot by Dec. 5. If customers don’t receive a notice, they are not enrolled in the Shift and Save pilot. Customers selected for the pilot can choose not to participate.
The pilot will collect data and customer feedback that will be critical for the commission to determine how and whether this program will ultimately apply to all customers in the future. It was developed collaboratively by Hawaiian Electric, the state Consumer Advocate and representatives from the solar industry and reviewed and authorized for implementation by the PUC in June 2023.
Residential and commercial customers participating in the new TOU rates will be protected from an unanticipated increase in their bills for the first six months with a “bill protection” credit. During the first six-months on the new TOU rates, residential bills will be capped at no more than a $10 increase compared to what would have been charged on the existing rate for the same month, giving customers time to adjust their energy-use habits.
Commercial bill increases for those on the new TOU rates will be capped at no more than a 4% increase compared to what would have been charged on the existing rate for the same month. Hawaiian Electric doesn’t make or lose any money based on bill increases or decreases under Shift and Save.