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The States

Hawaii: Chris Lee

“Today we are already well on the way to solving our energy problems. And if it can be done here, then it can be done elsewhere.”
Author Bio: 

Chris Lee is a Hawaii State Representative.

State Representative

Hawaii: Dean Nishina

“There’s no organized group that intervenes on behalf of large industrial customers or large commercial customers. We are supposed to represent the interests of all of those consumers.”
“We provide fairly extensive analysis to support the positions we put before the Commission, with a combination of in-house resources as well as consultants.”
Author Bio: 

Dean Nishina is executive director, division of consumer advocacy, for the Aloha State.

Consumer Advocate

Hawaii's Consumer Advocate and a State Representative

Conversations with the division of consumer advocacy’s executive director Dean Nishina and state representative Chris Lee.
Author Bio: 

Steve Mitnick is President of Lines Up, Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly, author of “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”

Unique Renewable Goals

Hawaii PUC: Jayson Kauwenaole

“Our goal is to get them in compliance. We’re not there to shut down any business.”
Author Bio: 

Jayson Kauwenaole is head of compliance and consumer affairs at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Head of Compliance and Consumer Affairs

Hawaii PUC: Gina Yi

“I review applications from such utilities as Hawaiian Electric, reviewing its application for major projects, which includes electric diagrams.”
Author Bio: 

Gina Yi is interim chief engineer at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Interim Chief Engineer

Hawaii PUC: Dave Parsons

“We don’t testify, generally. Our Staff is advisory, so we’re an extension of the Commissioners. Our job is to investigate the issues before the Commission and advise them.”
Author Bio: 

Dave Parsons is chief for policy and research at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Chief for Policy and Research

Hawaii PUC: Caroline Ishida

“The state Supreme Court has looked at some novel issues raised by some of the parties related to environmental considerations like greenhouse gases.”
“We are able to think about ways we can move in the policy directions that have been established by the legislature and Governor’s officein terms of renewable energy and moving toward that 100% RPS by 2045.”
Author Bio: 

Caroline Ishida is chief counsel for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Chief Counsel

Hawaii PUC: Jennifer Potter

“Our journey of PBR was solidified by legislation that did mandate that we investigate a way to break the link between capital investment and revenue for the utility.”
Author Bio: 

Jennifer Potter is a commissioner at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.


Hawaii PUC: Leo Asuncion

“The focus for us right now is cost containment of the companies. Are the costs justifiable to us that eventually the ratepayer needs to pay in base rates?”
Author Bio: 

Leo Asuncion is a commissioner at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.


Hawaii PUC: Jay Griffin

“Early in my term, I was at a backyard barbecue with a friend and he pulled out his electricity bill in front of the whole crowd and asked me to explain all the line items.”
“Our electric utilities have just closed what was  the largest procurement for renewables in state history. It’s up to 900 MW in capacity with large energy targets.”
Author Bio: 

Jay Griffin is the chair of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.