Oahu residential electrical rates fell in May to the lowest level so far this year, Hawaiian Electric Co. reported Tuesday.
The bill for a typical household using 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month was $199.59 in May, the utility reported. That's down $3.52 from $203.11 in April and is the lowest since $193.38 in December.
The residential rate on Oahu declined to 31.8 cents per kilowatt-hour in May from 32.4 cents per kilowatt-hour in April.
The monthly decline is due mostly to a reconciliation between projected and actual costs for electricity HECO buys from independent power producers, a utility spokesman said.
In addition to declining on a month-over-month basis, the average bill for Oahu residential customers was down $16.10 from May 2012. That decrease was largely the result of lower fuel costs. The price for low-sulfur fuel oil, the main source of electricity generation on Oahu, fell to $129.83 a barrel in May from $143.83 a barrel in May 2012.
Residential electric rates also fell on the neighbor islands.
Maui Electric Co. customers saw their rate decline to 37.1 cents per kilowatt-hour from 37.2 cents per kilowatt-hour last month. The typical Maui bill fell 67 cents to $231.49.
Hawaii island's residential rate fell to 39.3 cents a kilowatt-hour from last month's 39.9 cents. The typical bill fell to $246.64 from $249.63.
The rate on Kauai fell to 41.9 cents per kilowatt-hour from 42.4 cents.
Hawaii's electric rates are by far the highest in the nation. The average statewide residential rate was 36.58 cents per kilowatt-hour in February, according to the latest data available from the Energy Information Agency. That was more than triple the national average of 11.61 cents per kilowatt-hour. The state with the next-highest electrical rate after Hawaii was New York, where households paid 18.89 cents per kilowatt-hour in February, according to the EIA.