Energy Equity and Justice (Docket No. 2022-0250)

Background|Announcements|Upcoming Events|Past Events|Participation|Key Issues|Working Groups|Key Orders|More Information

Background

Energy equity refers to the goal of achieving equity in both the social and economic participation in the energy system, while also remediating social, economic, and health burdens on those historically harmed by the energy system. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission strives not only to address energy equity generally, but to ensure that existing energy inequity is not exacerbated or overlooked during the renewable energy transition.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission opened Docket No. 2022-0250 to investigate how to better integrate equity and justice considerations across Commission proceedings and the Commission’s work more broadly, including in its role overseeing and regulating the functions of public utilities. The Commission also notes that regulatory processes can be challenging to access and will use this webpage to provide regular updates on its progress in Docket No. 2022-0250.

Announcements

Upcoming Events

Date (and recording if available) Topic Track Description Notice, Agenda, Materials
TBD Equity Docket (2022-0250) Opening Conference Forthcoming

Past Events

Date (and recording if available) Topic Description Notice, Agenda, Materials
December 6, 2022 LIHEAP LIHEAP Working Group Meeting #4 Agenda
Slides
November 15, 2022 LIHEAP LIHEAP Working Group Meeting #3 Agenda
Slides
October 18, 2022 LIHEAP LIHEAP Working Group Meeting #2 Agenda
Slides
September 27, 2022 LIHEAP LIHEAP Working Group Meeting #1 Agenda
Slides

PARTICIPATION

Docket No. 2022-0250 is unique in its call for public input and will test new methods of public participation. The PUC encourages anyone interested in providing input to participate.

The PUC is particularly interested in hearing from communities that host energy facilities, people with a high energy burden, and people that do not typically participate in Commission dockets.

You may participate a number of ways including:

    • Submit a Public Comment: Send your input for the Commission’s consideration in a public comment. Your comment will be posted to the official record for Docket No. 2022-0250 for everyone to view. Because the Commission’s goal is to promote broad participation in Docket No. 2022-0250, public comments in this docket will be given the same attention and consideration as formal motions filed by parties, participants, and intervenors.
    • Formal Participation or Intervention:  A participant or intervenor is an official party to the docket and as such, you may be required to answer formal questions from other parties. You will also be consulted for input on issues. For more details on intervention and formal participation without intervention, see HAR § 16-601-55 and 56.

Although formal participation or intervention is not required to have your voice heard, for those wishing to be an official party in this docket, the Commission has indefinitely extended the deadline to file a motion to participate or intervene and has waived the $15 filing fee to remove barriers to participation. To take advantage of this waiver, select “Other Motions” option from the “Document Type” drop-down menu when e-filing the motion to intervene or participate.

Key Issues

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (“Commission” or “PUC”) observes that among other challenges, Hawaii’s electricity rates are the highest in the country, many low- and moderate-income residents struggle to pay their energy bills, certain communities have historically shouldered the impacts of hosting energy infrastructure, and that distributed renewable energy is not accessible to all residents. These considerations should be given extra attention now during the State’s accelerating transition to 100% renewable energy.

Initially, the Commission will use this proceeding to consider a suite of actions under four broader categories

(1) energy affordability & direct payment assistance (e.g., rate discounts, subsidies, bill credits, etc.);

(2) equitable access to clean energy (e.g., expanding participation in customer programs, exploration of community benefits packages, expanded and enhanced clean energy financing programs, etc.);

(3) utility business model reforms (e.g., increased reporting and transparency, disconnection moratoriums, modified accounting practices for non-payment, etc.); and

(4) procedural equity improvements (e.g., developing a PUC equity and justice action plan, improving accessibility of PUC proceedings, improved community engagement and customer education, etc.).

The Commission will hold an opening conference to further define the scope of this docket and future actions and activities.

Working Groups

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

In response to 2022 Legislative resolutions (SCR 242, SR 133, HR 43) the PUC convened a working group in September 2022, in collaboration with the Consumer Advocate to “create a Hawaii Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to assist low-income households with paying for their home energy.” The Working Group met monthly through December 2022, resulting in a report to the Hawaii State Legislature with findings and recommendations for the creation of a LIHEAP in Hawaii. The Working Group plans to continue to meet through 2023. with findings and recommendations for the creation of a LIHEAP in Hawaii. The Working Group plans to continue to meet through 2023.

Energy Equity Hui

Commission staff members participate in the Energy Equity Hui, a statewide government-nongovernment collaborative working to ensure equitable transformation in our quest to meet our 2045 clean energy goals.

Key Orders

MORE INFORMATION

To see more and view all filed documents in the docket, see Docket No. 2022-0250.

For more information about this docket, interested parties may also reach out to Mike Wallerstein at [email protected].