Bill Text: HI SCR200 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Requesting The Public Utilities Commission To Consider Reasonable Ratemaking Treatment And Cost-effective Solutions To Lessen The Burden Of Energy Costs On Low- And Limited-income And Special Medical Needs Customers.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-15 - Report adopted; referred to the committee(s) on CPC with none voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Eli, Gates, Holt, Nakamura excused (4). [SCR200 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SCR200-Amended.html

THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

200

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION TO CONSIDER REASONABLE RATEMAKING TREATMENT AND COST-EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS TO LESSEN THE BURDEN OF ENERGY COSTS ON LOW- AND LIMITED-INCOME AND SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS CUSTOMERS.

 

 


     WHEREAS, Honolulu ranked the third-highest in cost of living among two hundred sixty-eight urban areas in the United States during the third quarter of 2018 and over the last twelve months; and

 

     WHEREAS, in the State, there are 165,000 Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) households, constituting thirty-seven percent of the population, while another 47,066 households live below the poverty level, constituting eleven percent of the population; and

 

     WHEREAS, in total, forty-eight percent of Hawaii households meet or fall below the ALICE threshold; and

 

     WHEREAS, limited and low-income households are challenged with paying for the costs of basic necessities, including electric utility services; and

 

     WHEREAS, some electric utility customers depend on life support equipment at home or may have increased heating or cooling needs due to a medical condition; and

 

     WHEREAS, on January 18, 2017, the Hawaiian Electric Companies filed a Special Medical Needs Tariff, Transmittal No. 17-01, requesting that the Public Utilities Commission establish a Special Medical Needs Pilot Program for the two-year period from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2019; and

 

     WHEREAS, on March 28, 2017, the Public Utilities Commission expressed concern that establishing social policy with respect to support for low-income families or customers with special medical needs is more appropriately within the province of the Legislature; and

 

     WHEREAS, this body finds that reasonable programs and initiatives that may moderate the impact of energy costs on low- and limited-income customers and those with special medical needs is consistent with and would support State public policy; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Public Utilities Commission is requested to consider reasonable ratemaking treatment and cost-effective solutions that would lessen the burden of energy costs on low- and limited-income and special medical needs customers; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Utilities Commission is requested to approve a subsidy through utility rates to establish a program to assist low-income customers and customers with special medical needs until a state-funded program is established; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Public Utilities Commission and interested stakeholders, including the electric utility companies, are requested to explore cost-effective solutions that lessen the burden of energy costs on low- and limited-income and special medical needs customers; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chair of the Public Utilities Commission, Consumer Advocate, and Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Report Title: 

Public Utilities Commission; Rate Making; Special Medical Needs; ALICE Households; Low Income

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