BY BOB DJURDJEVICIn July 2011, I wrote to U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye about the soaring electricity costs in Hawaii, and asked him what he planed to do about it.  My concern at the time was based on my personal micro-level experience and analysis.  Now that we have the full year’s data for both Hawaii and nationally, some shocking data is emerging from US EIA statistics about the gouging that is taking place of Hawaii residents.

Take a look at this chart:

Did you know that we in Hawaii pay three times as much for electricity as the national average?  Or that the American consumers pay almost twice as much as the industrial sector?  That’s what the above data shows.

Furthermore, I have learned recently that the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and Maui Electric Co. are trying to restrict the use of solar energy by private homeowners by “capping” certain areas of our islands. Instead of encouraging our people to switch to renewable energy, they are trying to restrict it?  Check out this MECO web site page for details.

Both are outrageous examples of taxpayer abuse and coercion by public utilities and government agencies. So once again, I would like to know what, if anything, our elected officials are going to do about it so as to protect his constituents’ interests?  Besides Sen. Inouye, I have also written to Senator Daniel Akaka, Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, U.S. Representative Mazine Hirono, and more.

In due course, I will also share with you an article I am working on about the long-term solution to this problem.

Yes, there is a solution – driving fully electric vehicles and using private renewable energy sources, such as solar and the wind.

Not only can we help ourselves and our pocketbooks, we can also help our planet and the environment by eliminating such pollutants as public utilities and other industrial oil and gas energy-guzzlers.

For now, I invite you and your readers to peruse this article about my first experience driving an electric car on Oahu (see Electrified! (by Blue Leaf) (Feb 15).

Bob Djurdjevic is a resident of Haiku, Maui