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Clean Energy in Hawaii: How You Can Make a Difference

Photo courtesy of Jared Slow>

Photo courtesy of Jared Slow

In 2008, the state of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy signed the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Together, both the state and the U.S. Department of Energy hope to bring together leaders, policy makers and citizens in decreasing Hawaii’s dependency on imported oil and reinvest into renewable energy resources.

The Clean Energy Initiative reports that as of today, Hawaii receives 90% of its energy from imported oil. The goal of the Initiative is to “achieve 70% clean energy by 2030 with 30% from efficiency measures, and 40% coming from locally generated renewable sources,” as stated on its website.

So where can you, a resident of Hawaii, start?

As community leaders and policy makers make big moves and decisions for the general population, it’s up to every day citizens to make clean energy a reality for their homes and businesses. The first step, according to the Clean Energy Initiative, is to conduct an “energy audit” of your home, and the same applies to any business that you may own. Monitor your energy usage and consult with professionals in a variety of industries, starting first with electric service providers, on ways to harness wasted energy.

The cheapest way to make your home more clean energy efficient is to make small changes to the way you live. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Replace all of your bulbs with ENERGY STAR bulbs. Cut out long showers, and use fans instead of air conditioners. While they may seem insignificant, these small steps can lead to big changes if every household commits.

If you want to make large-scale clean energy changes within your home, that’s possible too. First, make electric upgrades to your home in Hawaii to ensure it’s running at maximum efficiency. For this, you’ll need to call your electric professionals to make an assessment on the electric upgrades needed for your home.

Another great investment that both homes and businesses can make in order to produce clean energy is a photovoltaic system. These systems are manufactured to harness the sun’s natural energy and convert it into power for the home or business. While a larger investment up front, many homes and businesses can receive tax credits or refunds for making this clean energy move. In some cases, the Clean Energy Initiative states that some homes or businesses produce so much energy from a photovoltaic system that they are able to sell energy back to electric companies.

With the Clean Energy Initiative, Hawaii hopes to be at the forefront of the clean and renewable energy movement for the United States. Since starting the Initiative, residents and businesses alike have adopted renewable energy systems and techniques all over Hawaii. If you have yet to make any changes to your behavior, home or business, it’s time to make an investment in the future and clean energy. By consulting your electric service providers as well as researching photovoltaic power, you can take the first steps in helping Hawaii reduce its dependency on foreign oil and begin harnessing the natural power that the islands provide.