Mr. Rosegg makes a good point regarding the price of oil used by HECO, followed by a far less substantial claim about TV ads. The following section of my original article was cut by the editors:
“HECO spokesperson Peter Rosegg points out that the oil HECO uses has a higher market price in part because, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan has moved rapidly away from nuclear to oil-fueled power.Naturally, with more solar and wind coming online at lower costs, we’ll be watching to see if HECO and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) find ways to shrink rates accordingly.”
As for Mr. Rosegg’s claim that TV ads “were paid for out of shareholder funds,” all income that pays Hawaiian Electric’s bills comes from its ratepayers, including any sums HECO designates as money for shareholders. It follows that ratepayers, not shareholders, pick up the tab for all of HECO’s TV ads promising more renewable energy.
And with HECO profits up 43 percent recently, and return on equity up 49.7 percent, is it possible that someone at HECO is making a choice to reward shareholders instead of lowering costs for ratepayers?