More than 100 Kauaʿi Island Utility Cooperative members registered for the utility’s 20th Annual Membership Meeting, held via Zoom.
“We’re so pleased with the number of people who connected with us once again,” stated KIUC’s Board Chair Allan Smith. “We prefer to hold these meetings in-person, but the most important thing is to report to our members on the state of their cooperative.”
The Zoom meeting, held on July 20, included a summary of KIUC’s 2021 Annual Report, along with project updates and information on how KIUC is reacting to the challenges of COVID-19.
Since its first Annual Membership Meeting in 2003, KIUC has gifted attendees with a 5-pound bag of rice. This year, the cooperative donated 700 pounds of rice to each of Kauaʿi’s two foodbanks. In addition, gift cards to local grocery stores were awarded to six KIUC members in a random drawing. “We know food insecurity is a major concern on our island, and this is one way we felt we could help, while still holding to the traditions of our annual gathering,” stated Smith.
KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell, provided an informational presentation that spotlighted three key targets reached in 2021:
Renewable progress: KIUC led the state in renewable generation in 2021 for the third straight year, with 69.5% of Kauaʿi’s electricity coming from renewable resources. The cooperative has essentially reached its own strategic goal of 70% renewable generation nine years early, and has achieved more than double the current State of Hawaiʻi renewable portfolio standard 30%.
Reliability: KIUC also led the state for the third straight year in reliability and exceeded the goals in its current Strategic Plan for reliability.
Rate stability: Kauaʻi’s high renewable percentage helped buffer extremely high oil prices over the past year. Kauai’s rates have increased roughly ten percent since July 2021 while, on the other islands, typical rate increases were from 30 to almost 50 percent. For the past three months, Kauaʻi’s residential rates have been the lowest in the State. This is due primarily to the purchase of renewable energy on long-term power purchase agreements that are priced significantly lower than the current cost of diesel.
Bissell’s presentation also provided updates on KIUC’s finances, the West Kauai Energy Project, construction of the Anahola Service Center and KIUC’s efforts to minimize and mitigate its impact on endangered species.