HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that, for farmers and ranchers to remain competitive and self-sustaining, the State must provide incentives and mechanisms to ensure that all means of supporting the local agricultural industry are implemented. The public utilities commission regulates the rates charged by public utilities that provide essential services to the agriculture industry such as water, interisland shipping, and electricity.
The purpose of this Act is to provide for preferential rates for certain public utility services provided to ratepayers engaged in agricultural activities.
SECTION 2. Section 269-26.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Preferential [ water] rates for agricultural activities. (a) It is
the policy of the State to promote the long-term viability of agriculture by
establishing mechanisms that provide for preferential rates for [ potable
water for] public utility services that are provided to ratepayers that
engage in agricultural activities. The public utilities commission [ shall
have the authority to] may establish preferential rates for [ potable
water] water, electricity, and freight transport services that are used
by ratepayers for agricultural activities in a public utility's service
(b) Upon receipt of a bona fide request for
preferential rates for [
potable water] public utility services to
be used for agricultural activities[ ,] on lands within an
agricultural district, and proof that the customer engages in agricultural
activities[ ,] on lands within an agricultural district, a public
utility shall provide proposed preferential rates for [ potable water] the
requested public utility service for water, electricity, or freight transport,
and to be used only for qualified agricultural activities to the public
utilities commission for approval. All [ such] rates approved by the
public utilities commission pursuant to this section shall be subsidized
by the [ potable water] rates charged to other customers of the public
utility, if required, as determined by the public utilities
commission. In reviewing the proposed preferential rates, the public utilities
commission, in consultation with the department of agriculture, may establish
additional criteria to qualify bona fide agribusinesses for [ water] public
utility services used solely for agricultural activities. [ For rate
cases initiated pursuant to this section, the public utilities commission shall
allow the recovery of any reasonable unamortized costs incurred by the public
utility in its previous rate case; provided however, upon full amortization of
these costs, rates shall be adjusted accordingly.]"
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Agriculture; Rates; Public Utilities
Directs public utilities to establish certain discounted utility rates for water, electricity, and freight transport for agricultural activities. (HB501 HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.