In October the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission ordered that the very successful 14-year-old Net Energy Metering program (which allowed home and business owners who installed photovoltaic systems to be credited at the full retail rate for electricity produced) be brought to an immediate close across the HECO, MECO and HELCO service territories. In its place, an alphabet soup of new options became available—CGS, CSS and TOU. What are these new programs? And what are the new rules of the game?
And what of the proposed takeover of Hawaiian Electric Industries by Florida-based NextEra Energy and efforts on the Big Island by the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative to turn HELCO into a coop similar to what Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has done on the Garden Isle? This merger was announced in December 2014. Where are things now 1 ½ years later? How likely is it that HELCO could be turned into a coop? And what would that mean for the close to 200,000 residents of the Big Island?