Hawaiian Electric has expanded the “Shift and Save” pilot program on Oahu and Hawaii Island to 16,000 participants who will test new time-of-use (TOU) rates starting February 1, 2024.
The randomly selected customers, including 4,000 newly added households and businesses, will be notified by Dec. 5.
The purpose of Shift and Save is to encourage customers to shift electricity use from the evening and overnight period when energy is generated by expensive fossil fuels to the daytime period when solar energy is abundant and less expensive. Time-of-use rates have the potential to reduce bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions from power generation, Hawaiian Electric said.
In September, the Public Utilities Commission ordered that the pilot would begin on Feb. 1, 2024, instead of Oct. 1, 2023, and that the commencement of the study on Maui would be temporarily suspended. However, eligible Maui, Lanai and Molokai customers may voluntarily enroll in the TOU rates.
New residential TOU rates for Oahu and Hawaii Island pilot participants are as follows:
|Daytime (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
|Evening Peak (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
|Overnight (9 p.m. to 9 a.m.)
|17 cents per kilowatt-hour
|52 cents per kilowatt-hour
|35 cents per kilowatt-hour
|21 cents per kilowatt-hour
|62 cents per kilowatt-hour
|41 cents per kilowatt-hour
Earlier this month, the commission allowed Hawaiian Electric to increase the number of participants in the 1–year study on Oahu and Hawaii Island. The approximately 16,000 Shift and Save participants on the two islands represent less than 4% of Hawaiian Electricʻs total customers and include about 12,000 randomly selected residential and commercial customers identified earlier this year, plus an additional 4,000.
The pilot will collect data and customer feedback that Hawaiian Electric says will be critical for the commission to determine how and whether this program will ultimately apply to all customers in the future. It was developed collaboratively by Hawaiian Electric, the state Consumer Advocate, and representatives from the solar industry and reviewed and authorized for implementation by the PUC in June 2023.
Hawaiian Electric says residential and commercial customers participating in the new TOU rates will be protected from an unanticipated increase in their bills for the first six months with a “bill protection” credit. During the first six months on the new TOU rates, residential bills will be capped at no more than a $10 increase compared to what would have been charged on the existing rate for the same month, which Hawaiian Electric says will give customers time to adjust their energy-use habits.
Commercial bill increases for those on the new TOU rates will be capped at no more than a 4% increase compared to what would have been charged on the existing rate for the same month. Hawaiian Electric doesn’t make or lose any money based on bill increases or decreases under Shift and Save.
Originally published in Power Grid International.