Hawaii utilities panel orders Maui Electric refund

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii's utilities commission is ordering Maui Electric Co. to refund customers more than $8 million after finding the utility was inefficient.

The state Public Utilities Commission said Monday it's also ordering the company to develop a plan to accelerate infrastructure upgrades so it can accommodate more wind power and cut electricity costs.

Parent company Hawaiian Electric Co. says Maui Electric will return the typical customer between $39 and $49 as part of the refund. The utility plans to give customers a credit on their electric bills.

The refund comes after the commission approved a lower rate increase than the interim increase it approved for Maui Electric last year.

The commission says all Hawaiian Electric companies need to use sound business practices and focus on customer value.