Jun 04, 2013, 03:40 ET from Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.

HONOLULU, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE) (HEI) today announced that as a result of the Maui Electric Company, Limited (MECO) 2012 test year final rate case decision and order (D&O) issued by the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawaii (PUC) on May 31, 2013, it has lowered its 2013 earnings per share (EPS) guidance from its previous range of $1.58 to $1.68 to a revised range of $1.52 to $1.62 on a GAAP basis.  Excluding the refund of MECO revenues attributed to 2012, the EPS guidance range would be $0.02 higher or $1.54 to $1.64.  The corresponding revision to the EPS guidance for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO) and its subsidiaries reduces the previous range from $1.23 to $1.29 to a revised range of $1.17 to $1.23 on a GAAP basis (or $1.19 to $1.25 excluding the $0.02 discussed above).  The revised guidance assumes $7.8 million lower MECO annual revenues in accordance with the MECO final D&O.  Of this amount $1.5 million relates to pension and other postretirement benefits (OPEB) which will be offset by lower pension expense (as a result of the pension tracking mechanism).  The EPS guidance assumptions previously disclosed in HEI's fourth quarter 2012 and first quarter 2013 earnings call remain unchanged. 

HECO is currently evaluating the impact of the MECO final D&O to the previously disclosed guidance for HECO's consolidated structural gap of 80 to 110 basis points between its allowed return on average equity (ROACE) and the ROACE it actually achieves.  An update, if any, will be provided in the HEI second quarter 2013 earnings call and webcast.  

MECO 2012 TEST YEAR RATE CASE On May 31, 2013, the PUC issued a final D&O in the MECO 2012 test year proceeding. The final D&O approved an increase in annual revenues of $5.3 million, which is $7.8 million less than the interim increase that had been in effect since June 1, 2012 (including the $3.4 million of MECO Revenue Adjustment Mechanism (RAM) revenues approved in the "Annual Decoupling Filings" section below, the net impact to annual revenues is $4.4 million less than the interim increase).  Reductions from the interim D&O relate primarily to:

(in millions)



Customer Information System (CIS) expenses


Pension and OPEB expense based on 3-year average


Integrated resource planning (IRP) expenses


Study costs


Total adjustment


According to the PUC, the reduction in the allowed ROACE from the stipulated ROACE of 10% to the final approved ROACE of 9% is composed of 0.5% allocation to lower interest rates and 0.5% for over curtailment of renewable energy. 

The reduction in the pension and OPEB expense is due to applying a three-year average in the calculation of pension costs for the purpose of the 2012 test year.  This is not a PUC decision to change the pension and OPEB tracking mechanisms, although the PUC emphasizes the need to evaluate alternatives to decrease or limit the growth in employee benefit costs.

The PUC also continues MECO's existing energy cost adjustment clause (ECAC) and power purchase adjustment clause (PPAC) design. The PUC will consider HECO, Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO), and MECO's (the Hawaiian Electric Companies) future actions to reduce fuel costs and increase use of renewable energy as it continues to review this matter in the future.

Since the final rate increase is lower than the interim increase currently in effect, MECO will refund to customers approximately $8.1 million, which includes interest accrued since June 1, 2012, the date on which interim rate increases were previously implemented.

A summary of the interim D&O in effect and final D&O is as follows:

Interim D&O


Final D&O


Revenue increase

$13.1 million

 (3.2% increase)

$5.3 million

(1.3% increase)


10.00 %

9.00 %

Common equity capitalization (%)

56.86 %

56.86 %

Return on average rate base (%)

7.91 %

7.34 %

Average rate base amount

$393 million

$393 million

The PUC also directed that, within 30 days from the issuance date of the final D&O, MECO file documentation regarding the re-setting of its target heat rate to take into account the operation of the Auwahi wind farm, as well as make its curtailment information readily available to the public on its website. The PUC also directed that, within 90 days from the issuance date of the final D&O, MECO file a System Improvement and Curtailment Reduction Plan.  MECO continues to review the D&O and is considering what further action, if any, it may take. 

ANNUAL DECOUPLING FILINGS On May 31, 2013, the PUC approved the revised annual decoupling filings for tariffed rates for HECO, HELCO and MECO that will be effective from June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014. The revised tariffed rates include: (1) the incremental RAM adjusted revenues (the components of which are shown below), (2) the accrued earnings sharing credits to be refunded, and (3) the amount of the accrued Revenue Balancing Account (RBA) balance as of December 31, 2012 (and associated revenue taxes) to be collected. The amounts approved as noted below reflect the Hawaiian Electric Companies' agreements with the position of the Consumer Advocate which are not substantially different than the amounts filed by the Hawaiian Electric Companies in March 2013.

(in millions)




Annual incremental RAM adjusted revenues

Operations and maintenance (O&M)

$  3.9

$ 0.9


Invested capital




Total annual incremental RAM adjusted revenues

$ 31.4

$ 2.1


Accrued earnings sharing credits to be refunded




Accrued RBA balance (and associated revenue taxes) to be collected




Also on May 31, 2013, as provided for in its original order issued in 2010 approving decoupling and citing three years of implementation experience for HECO, the PUC opened an investigative docket to review whether the decoupling mechanism is functioning as intended. The PUC affirmed its support for the continuation of the sales decoupling (RBA) mechanism and stated its interest in evaluating the RAM to ensure it provides the appropriate balance of risks, costs, incentives and performance requirements, as well as administrative efficiency and whether the current interest rate applied to the outstanding RBA balance is reasonable.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies and the Consumer Advocate are named as parties to this proceeding and are directed to file a statement of position no later than twenty days from the order (i.e., by June 20, 2013). 

HEI and HECO intend to continue to use HEI's website, www.hei.com, as a means of disclosing material information, as well as other important information.  Such disclosures will be included on HEI's website in the Investor Relations section.  Accordingly, investors should routinely monitor such portions of HEI's website, in addition to following HEI's, HECO's and/or American Savings Bank, F.S.B.'s (American) press releases, HEI's and HECO's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and HEI's public conference calls and webcasts.  Also, at the Investor Relations section of HEI's website, investors may sign up to receive e-mail alerts (based on each investor's selected preferences).  The information on HEI's website is not incorporated by reference in this document or in HEI's and HECO's SEC filings unless, and except to the extent, specifically incorporated by reference.  Investors may also wish to refer to the PUC website at dms.puc.hawaii.gov/dms in order to review documents filed with and issued by the PUC.  No information on the PUC website is incorporated by reference in this document or in HEI's and HECO's SEC filings.

HEI supplies power to approximately 450,000 customers or 95% of Hawaii's population through its electric utilities, HECO, Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. and Maui Electric Company, Limited and provides a wide array of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through American, one of Hawaii's largest financial institutions.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This release contains "forward-looking statements," which include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and usually include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "predicts," "estimates" or similar expressions. In addition, any statements concerning future financial performance (e.g., EPS guidance), ongoing business strategies or prospects or possible future actions are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and the accuracy of assumptions concerning HEI and its subsidiaries, the performance of the industries in which they do business and economic and market factors, among other things. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance.

Forward-looking statements in this report should be read in conjunction with the "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" discussions (which are incorporated by reference herein) set forth in HEI's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 and HEI's subsequent periodic reports that discuss important factors that could cause HEI's results to differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of the report, presentation or filing in which they are made. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, HEI, HECO, American and their subsidiaries undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Shelee M.T. Kimura

Manager, Investor Relations &  

Telephone: (808) 543-7384

Strategic Planning  

E-mail: skimura@hei.com

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110411/LA80136LOGO)

SOURCE Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.