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Hawaii Energy Cooperatives vs Next Era Energy

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative exploring alternatives to for-profit utility model.
July 24, 2015

Hawaii Energy Cooperatives vs Next Era Energy

Maui Real EstateFor those of you prospective Maui real estate owners who have been checking in on the NextEra Energy acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., some new possibilities have been developing via the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative (HEIC). The energy choices made in the near future will have far reaching consequences, and the founders of the co-op are putting together a 10-year financial analysis to explore this type of business model versus the for-profit model of NextEra.

Yes, HEIC is specific to the Big Island, but Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has repeatedly expressed his serious interest in an alternative to the NextEra takeover, citing two main concerns. First, the challenges of having our energy needs administered by a company based in another state without prior experience with our unique island chain. Second, the many employees based in NextEra's headquarters in Florida will be earning salaries with money from Hawaii, which could otherwise support the salaries of Hawaii residents. Essentially, he would like to see Hawaii's money stay in Hawaii.

HEIC hopes that Hawaii regulators will seriously consider the cooperative utility ownership model, which could be better for rate payers in the long run. Marco Mangelsdorf, co-founder and spokesman for HIEC recently stated: “The energy cooperative model versus investor-owned model is a unique and appropriate discussion worth having at this critical juncture.”

Mangelsdorf outlined several potential benefits to the co-op strategy, including a shift from a shareholder focus to a member focus, providing local control over local energy in the future, lower rates over time, and a further emphasis on renewable energies and energy storage technologies. He also talked about exploring the possibility of sharing services with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, which is the only electric co-op in the state. The co-op is one of the intervenors in the acquisition decision that is currently before the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Many members of the Maui community, including Maui home owners and business owners, are of a similar mind as Mayor Arakawa, and may be interested in a cooperative arrangement like this. Many who would normally think a for-profit model would make more sense find themselves torn by their concerns about our electricity being in the hands of a company outside our state. Choosing a co-op model might be preferable to many. Considering Kauai has already created one, the other islands have an example to learn from and improve upon.

We'll find out more as events regarding the acquisition play out. NextEra has made substantial progress toward their goal, but nothing is final yet. Mahalo for reading this week!

Blogs for July 2015

Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Levels since 2007

Posted on July 31, 2015
Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Levels since 2007

We're a long way from those recession days of foreclosures, short sales, and real estate steals. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released stats revealing that existing home sales are at their highest level since 2007. Not only that, but the median… Continue Reading

Hawaii Energy Cooperatives vs Next Era Energy

Posted on July 24, 2015
Hawaii Energy Cooperatives vs Next Era Energy

For those of you prospective Maui real estate owners who have been checking in on the NextEra Energy acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co., some new possibilities have been developing via the Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative (HEIC). The energy choices made in the near future… Continue Reading

Wailea Accommodations Performance Leads the State in May

Posted on July 17, 2015
Wailea Accommodations Performance Leads the State in May

According to a recent report from Hospitality Advisors, Maui hotel rates increased by 10 percent in May, compared to the same month last year. This substantial increase says a great deal about the performance of the visitor industry, which affects numerous aspects of… Continue Reading

New Owner Plans Expansion for Shops on the Green in Wailea

Posted on July 10, 2015
New Owner Plans Expansion for Shops on the Green in Wailea

Among the string of recent South Maui developments is the new owner of Shops on the Green in Wailea, which will soon become Wailea Village Center. The new owner is Burnham USA, a California developer that intends to expand the… Continue Reading

New Island Gourmet Market in Wailea

Posted on July 03, 2015
New Island Gourmet Market in Wailea

A new Island Gourmet Market is coming to The Shops at Wailea, so for all you residents and prospective South Maui real estate owners who like having options when it comes to shopping for food, you'll have something new to look forward to. The Shops… Continue Reading

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Mark A Harbison
R(B) (GRI) (CIPS) (TRC)

Mark@RealEstateMauiHawaii.com

(808) 283-3785

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