Energy Incentive Programs, Hawaii

Updated September 2013

What public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

The statewide Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program is run under contract to the PUC and administers all initiatives funded by the state's Public Benefits Fee. Through these programs, along with the remaining utility-administered initiative (see below), over 33 million was budgeted in 2012 for energy efficiency programs.

Hawaii Energy Efficiency offers financial incentives through the For Your Business initiative for a broad range of energy-efficient equipment, including lighting, HVAC, appliances, cool roofs, window film, water heating, pumps and motors, and customized projects, as well as for adding submetering.

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

All initiatives previously administered by Hawaii Electric (HECO), Hawaii Electric Light (HELCO), and Maui Electric (MECO) have been subsumed under the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program (see above).

Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) customers do not pay the state Public Benefits Fee and thus cannot participate in the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program. However, KIUC offers its Commercial Demand Side Management (DSM) program, in which equipment installed pursuant to a KIUC energy audit may be eligible for incentives that range from 50 to100% of the measure cost. Small and medium-sized customers may also be eligible to receive project management assistance.

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

HECO offers small and large business customers several options under its Demand Response for Business program:

Fast Demand Response (DR) rewards customers who can curtail a minimum of 50 kW of electric load. The program offers a yearly credit of $3,000 to $6,000 whether or not any DR events are initiated, plus an additional $5 per month ($60/year) per kW available to shed above the 50 kW minimum. During DR events customers earn 50 cents per kW reduction below what the customer would have normally used (calculated on a 10-day average baseline) for each hour of the event. DR events last no more than two hours each and may be called between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on non-holiday weekdays. A five-minute interval meter is required for participation and HECO will provide up to $3,000 to offset the cost of installing a new meter and phone line, in addition to the other incentives. The program requires automation and HECO may install automatic or semi-automatic controllers on non-essential equipment; however customers always maintain complete control, and can opt out of having their supply reduced at any time.

The Commercial and Industrial Dynamic Pricing Pilot (CIDP) program has been under consideration by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and may begin in late 2013. The proposed pilot would offer reduced demand charges to commercial and industrial customers in exchange for their reducing energy use during demand response events. Interested customers may email energyscout@heco.com or check HECO's website for updates.

The Large Commercial and Industrial Direct Load Control (CIDLC) program, also known as EnergyScout™ for Business, is currently fully subscribed. Interested customers are encouraged to consider the Fast DR program (see above).

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation. The following programs may be of interest to federal customers:

  • The Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program incentivizes the installation of solar thermal water heating through one-time rebates of $100 per ton (12,000 Btu/hr) of de-rated installed capacity. Systems must be installed by contractors qualified with the program.

  • The state of Hawaii offers a corporate tax credit of 20 to 35 percent to companies that develop wind and solar (including solar thermal electric, solar heating, and PV) projects, respectively. While federal facilities, as untaxed entities, cannot take direct advantage of this incentive, private concerns working with federal installations can implement these projects as power purchase agreements (PPAs) or other arrangements in which the private entity owns the asset and shares the benefit with the federal host.

  • Customers of Hawaii's three investor-owned utilities, HECO, HELCO, and MECO, are offered a feed-in tariff whereby the utilities will purchase the electric output of solar, wind, and certain hydroelectric installations of up to 5 MW (maximum eligible system size varies by technology and location). Purchase rates vary, depending on technology and capacity, between roughly 13 and 31 cents/kWh, and provide a fixed rate over a 20-year contract period.

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by the state government?

No state energy efficiency programs are currently available to federal customers.

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide contracts through GSA, may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available on GSA's Energy Center of Expertise Library Page. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.

NOTE: Energy efficiency funds and demand response programs are updated at least annually. Please contact the FEMP webmaster if changes are needed between updates.