And they call this a cooperative

21 July 2004 - 2:00am

by Ray Chuan on 20 July 2004

One would expect that as a supposedly rate-payer-owned utility, operating as a "cooperative" KIUC would deal with its members straight when it comes to escalating electricity cost. But, no, we are getting the same kind of spin that we would expect Kauai Electric to put out – namely, blame the users for the higher bill month after month, by their indulging in high-tech gadgets. The fact is that KIUC is using a substantially higher "Energy Adjustment" than can be justified by the price of fuel.

Let’s look at the numbers in my bills for the last two months. My daily usage this past month was 17 KWH (kilowatthour) per day, compared to 17.83 the month before, and 20.26 for the same period last year. My bill for August, 2003 was $121.51 for a daily useage of 17.4 KWH per day. My latest bill? $$163.76!! That’s an increase of 34.8%!!

Where is the trick then, we ask? In the so-called Energy Adjustment, that’s where. This is supposed to adjust for changes in the cost of fuel. Let’s look at the numbers:

Energy Adjustment was -
Aug 2003 $0.0339 per KWH
Dec 2003 $0.0461 per KWH (up 37%)
Apr 2004 $0.0546 per KWH (up18%)
Jun 2004 $0.0852 per KWH (up 56%)

From August, 2003 to June, 2004 the Energy Adjustment went up 251% !!!

According to the July 12, 2004 Garden Island: "Although the rising cost of oil is partly to blame – electric companies are able to pass on those added costs to consumers under the state Pubic Utilities Commission rules – one primary reason for the spike in prices is the increase in usage." WRONG!

All the "Experts", including KIUC’s own Energy Expert Ray Mierta, use the same spin: "Blame the victims!"

Would Mr. Mierta explain the 251% increase in his Energy Adjustment from August, 2003 to June, 2004? It’s a good thing the gasoline we use is not sold by a Cooperative, or we’d be paying $5.50 a gallon today, instead of $2.60!


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