Understanding Your Bill

Common Causes of High Bills

Understanding some of the most common causes of high electric bills is one of the best things you can do to control the amount of energy you use.

Fuel Costs

The cost of fuel used to make electricity can have a significant impact on your bill. You pay no more than the actual cost of fuel purchased. Hawaiian Electric does not make any profit on fuel. That means when the price of fuel goes up, the increase is reflected in your bill. But it also means that when the price of fuel goes down, those charges on your bill also go down.


High humidity, vog and Kona (southeasterly) winds can lead to higher electricity usage either from running an air conditioner or turning on additional fans.

Seasonal Use

On shorter, cooler winter days, one can expect to use more electricity due to increased lighting and hot water use. Longer, warmer summer days can lead to longer use of air conditioners and fans. Extra trips to the refrigerator/freezer for cool drinks and ice also use more electricity.

The Number of People in Your Household

Visiting guests, including kids home from college, mean more showers, more laundry, more cooking. In short, more use of electricity.

Length of Billing Cycle

Electric bills vary due to the length of the billing period, which can range from 27 to 33 days. Your bill provides an average of the kilowatt-hours used per day. Be sure to look at this figure - not just the total amount - when comparing monthly bills.