HONOLULU (November 25, 2015) – On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, issued the following statement in support of the Hawaiian Electric Company and NextEra Energy merger:
The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is our state’s leading statewide business advocacy organization, representing about 1,000 businesses. Approximately 80 percent of our members are small businesses with less than 20 employees. As the “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the organization works on behalf of its members, which employ more than 200,000 individuals, to improve the state’s economic climate and foster positive action on issues of common concern, including energy costs and energy reliability, which not only have important implications for our member organizations and their employees, but for their customers, as well.
The Chamber supports the merger of Hawaiian Electric Company and NextEra Energy. We believe that the merger will help Hawaii move forward with reducing its reliance on oil through renewable energy efforts, upgrading its power infrastructure, and increasing efficiency and use of technology to improve reliability and reduce costs for all consumers, both residential and business ratepayers. 
There are many issues facing Hawaii’s power system including renewable energy integration, upgrading the grid and increasing the use of technology or investment for more efficient power systems. Like many complicated and large endeavors, investment and expertise from both inside and outside of Hawaii is necessary to achieve these goals. NextEra will bring its high credit access to capital and buying power to help the Hawaiian Electric Company achieve these goals.
As the PUC goes through its decision-making process, the focus should remain on the impacts on cost and service levels to consumers and businesses, as the PUC traditionally has done in the past.
As the “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the state’s leading advocacy organization. Established in 1850, the Chamber works on behalf of its approximately 1,000 member companies and the business community, as a whole, to advance the state’s economic climate and help businesses succeed. The Chamber supports its members with training, business building and networking opportunities; coordinates advocacy activities for members’ involvement; and serves as a liaison between civilian and military communities in Hawaii. Visit cochawaii.org.
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Contact: Lori Abe
808-545-4300
808-282-4398 (mobile)
labe@cochawaii.org