S.C.R. NO.














reQUESTing the public utilities commission TO APPROVE a subsidy through utility rates for REASONABLE RATEMAKING TREATMENT 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 are ALICE households and below; and


     WHEREAS, limited and low-income households are challenged with paying the costs for 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 approve reasonable ratemaking treatment to lessen the burden of energy costs on low- and limited-income and special medical needs customers, as this is in the public interest; 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