That’s why we’re starting a campaign to consider the public acquisition as the best model for Hawai'i. It has been done successfully elsewhere, in places like Sacramento, CA, not to mention Kauai. As we consider the future of the utility business model in an increasingly competitive marketplace, we believe the future is owned by the people of Hawai'i.
We believe that shifting to a clean energy economy -- building the smart grid and electricity storage technologies that will allow us to use more intermittent power derived from the sun and the wind, and installing those technologies in homes and businesses across our islands -- will create thousands of high-paying jobs for all kinds of workers: electricians and engineers, carpenters and sales agents, plumbers and computer technicians, roofers and software designers. As we build that expertise, and train more and more workers with the skills needed to create such an advanced energy system, we will be creating a business environment and a workforce that will act as an accelerator to help the creation of other high-tech businesses and we will foster businesses that can create franchises on the mainland that will repatriate profits to Hawai'i.
Neither HECO nor NextEra have a reason to change its ways, which have proved so profitable for so long. We believe the way to reduce costs to ratepayers is to allow as many as possible to harness the free energy of the sun through solar systems on their rooftops. HECO froze installation of rooftop solar systems eighteen months ago and has been trying to break the residential PV industry. NextEra, the Florida utility that wants to devour HECO, argues that industrial scale solar systems built on our farmlands are better than customer rooftop systems. But turning solar into another big, centralized power source limits customer choice and perpetuates the monopoly utility's ability to manipulate electricity rates.
This business model has been around for some 120 years. It relies on the utility maintaining a virtual monopoly on the manufacture of electrons in its centralized plants and sending those electrons down its old-fashioned grid to passive homeowners and businesses. Shackled as they are to a centralized monopoly, ratepayers have little power to fight back.
We believe that, as private corporations, HECO/NextEra have only one goal and one bottom line: