Hawaii Legislature Takes Steps to Make Renewable Energy Accessible For All

The House Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Consumer Protection & Commerce held a joint informational briefing with the Senate Committees on Energy and Environment and Commerce and Consumer Protection to provide an update on the creation of an on-bill renewable energy financing program for the state.

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On-bill renewable energy financing would provide homeowners, renters, and those who currently cannot afford renewable energy the option to go green while immediately lowering their electric bills. Renewable options such as solar photovoltaic will be financed and installed through this program, and residents will pay it down through their electric bills, which will immediately drop in cost by at least twenty percent. After 15 years, residents will own their systems.

Several bills to establish finance mechanisms for the first-of-its-kind program, including HB497 and HB865, are currently advancing through both chambers. Experts say they have the potential to eventually bring billions of dollars in renewable energy investment to Hawaii.

Internationally recognized expert in renewable energy financing, Cisco DeVries joined members of the Committees and industry stakeholders for the briefing. Mr. DeVries is President of Renewable Funding, which designs, administers and finances clean energy programs to state and local governments as well as the private sector – in the United States and abroad. In his presentation he observed that the program Hawaii is developing to finance clean energy is one of the most innovative approaches he has seen.

“Today you are laying the groundwork for a model that will not only solve your clean energy goals but will be replicated throughout the country,” said Mr. DeVries.

“This is a game-changer that will make renewable energy available to the masses,” said House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection Chair Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo).

 

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