Hawaii moves towards energy efficiency

efficiency_light_bulbEnergy efficiency and smart grid technology will be a growing business in the not-too-distant future. Under the Recovery Act, green initiatives under the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) will account for about $3.2 billion for states across the country.

The state of Hawaii wants to be more energy efficient while improving energy security.The state’s Public Utilities Commission has signed a deal with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for $38 million dollars to help Hawaii residents and businesses become more energy efficient. The nation’s highest fuel and electricity prices can be found in Hawaii and the state relies on imported petroleum for about 90 percent of its primary energy. According to Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, most of this oil is from foreign nations, with a growing percentage from the Middle East.

“Improving and aggressively implementing energy efficiency programs are a top priority of the commission, the State, and of the entire country. The selection of SAIC is a historic milestone in our energy efficiency efforts,” said Carlito Caliboso, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of the State of Hawaii.

Under the terms of the contract SAIC will decrease the state’s dependence on oil by making better use of renewable resources, improving energy security by developing and implementing enhanced energy efficiency programs by overseeing the entire rate-payer funded Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program. The contract officially transfers to SAIC all responsibility for rate-payer funded energy efficiency programs currently operated by Hawaiian Electric Company and its island subsidiaries.

“This new framework for energy efficiency will bring about higher overall energy savings and improve the cost-effectiveness of administering energy efficiency programs,” said J.T. Grumski, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager. “It will also spur the introduction of innovative efficiency programs, and increase customer choice and participation in energy efficiency programs, helping residents of Hawaii save on their electricity bills.”

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