What is energy efficiency?

Practicing energy efficiency is all about being more mindful and making better choices when you consume electricity. It includes being energy smart and careful not to waste power. This consists of everything from using Hawaii’s sunshine to heat your water via solar power, or simply remembering to turn off lights when they’re not in use. 

How do I benefit from being energy efficient?  

Not only does being energy efficient help the environment, it also helps you save money! If you make wise energy choices now — such as using LED lightbulbs or purchasing ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances — your home, ohana and wallet will thank you in the future. 

Why is energy efficiency especially important in Hawaii?

We all know that living in paradise doesn’t come cheap. But Hawaii residents often overlook energy efficiency while cutting back in other areas to make living here more affordable. Lowering energy usage is a win-win: It saves us money while simultaneously having a positive impact on our environment — and helping preserve this paradise for our keiki.   

What is currently being done to improve energy efficiency in our Islands?

Hawaii Energy has been working hard to make sure every family and business is educated and has access to the necessary programs and solutions to make energy efficiency possible. “Fortunately,” says Shayna Doi, Hawaii Energy’s Marketing and Communications manager, “our state and county leadership prioritizes conversations and action around energy, which has helped our Islands make major moves in our progress toward the clean energy goal. Though we have much left to tackle, we’re also seeing a real commitment from residents and businesses to make smart energy choices, and knowing we’re moving the needle together motivates us.” 

How can I be more energy efficient?

Get started by joining the Hawaii Energy Program, which has been helping Island families save money by implementing energy-saving practices since it was created in 2009. It encourages and rewards smart energy choices through financial incentives, educational programs and collaborations with other local energy-smart organizations. Through this program, Hawaii has saved more than $1 billion in energy costs over the past nine years.

“The beauty of energy efficiency,” says Doi, “is that you don’t have to own a home or live in a certain part of the Island. Everyone can make smart energy decisions to reduce their energy use and lower their electric bill.”

Learn more at hawaiienergy.com.

Smarter Energy = Fatter Wallet

Save energy and receive the following rebates from Hawaii Energy:

Trade in an old, working window AC unit for a qualifying ENERGY STAR® one for a $50 rebate.​
Photo: Thinkstock
energy
Save $100 when you have your solar water heater tuned up by a participating contractor. (Hawaii Energy recommends maintenance every three to five years.)
Photo: Thinkstock
renewable
Give your AC a break! Purchase a fan and receive a $50 rebate.
Photo: Thinkstock
fridge
Get a $150 rebate when you trade in your old, working, energy-draining refrigerator for a qualifying ENERGY STAR® model. Or, if you just want to get rid of an old, working fridge or freezer, Hawaii Energy will recycle it, paying you up to $65 for each one.
Photo: Thinkstock
tools
Book a maintenance tuneup for your home’s AC system. When you do, you’ll receive a $75 rebate.
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cooler
Draw in cooler outside air to your home by pushing the hot air out of attic vents with a whole-house fan. Installation earns a $75 rebate. Visit hawaiienergy.com for more info and details.
Photo: Thinkstock

 

7 Quick Tips to Save Energy
 

fan

1. Take advantage of Hawaii’s trade winds by using fans instead of air conditioners. If you must turn on your AC, use fans simultaneously to help circulate the cold air, saving energy and money.

computer

2. Did you know that electronics such as laptops, cellphone chargers and DVD players all use standby power, even when they’re not in use? If you connect these devices to a power strip and turn them off when they’re not needed, it could save $10.50 each year. 

thermometer

3. Resist the urge to peek at those cookies. Opening the oven door causes the temperature to drop 25 degrees Fahrenheit, requiring additional energy to bring it back up. 

dishes

4. Wash only full loads of dishes, then air dry them instead of using the heated dryer setting on your dishwasher — and save up to $23 per year.

shower

5. Shorten your showers by just two minutes. Doing this could  save up to$56 in energy costs per year, per person — plus additional savings on your water bill. 

laundry

6. Only wash full loads of clothes, and always use cold water. You’ll save water and do laundry less often!

alarm

7. Use motion-detecting switches on outdoor lighting. That way, you can ensure lights go on only when they’re in use. 

Source: Hawaii Energy

 

Additional Information 

Green Hawaii was published as a supplement to Hawaii Home + Remodeling magazine's April 2018 issue. To find out more about how you can go green all year, visit our Green section. 

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