Energy Incentive Programs, Hawaii

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Updated April 2015

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 $30 million was budgeted in 2013 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. Incentives are also available for custom projects, as well as sub-metering additions.  

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 to 100% 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. Check their site for more information and availability.

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   with a rebate calculated on 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% of equipment and installation costs to companies that develop wind and solar projects. Technologies covered include solar thermal electric, solar heating, and PV. 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 in GSA’s Energy Division Library . Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.