Report on Hawaii Clean Energy

SUBHEAD: Quick Review of Hawaii Clean Energy Bond bills: HB 2643 & SB 2815‏ Image above: Over 300 people attended Hawaii Clean Energy Day in Honolulu 6/6/09. From ( By Brad Parsons on 20 February 2010 - Yesterday, HB 2643 moved through the House Finance Committee. Prior to yesterday, on the Legislative website were both versions of the bill, all testimony, committee reports, etc. I read all of those and was going to use them to do a report on this relatively short bill. When I looked back at it today, all of that documentation is not available on the Legislative site except for the original version of the bill, which is no longer the current version of the bill. So, a quick, accurate summary from memory. First, this is no longer a formal PACE program being proposed. This is Hawaii's version of it. The bond fund set up by the bill is $50 million to start. PV, Wind, even Solar Water Heaters and some efficiency measures are covered by the bill. Micro Hydro is not. Both residential and commercial properties can qualify under this program. Testimony did indicate that that could dillute available funding for residential. On the mainland this type of program has been used mostly for PV on residential, but here by the way this bill is written, I see this program most effectively being used to finance residential Solar Water Heaters on a large scale. The bill does not get into much detail and leaves the details of implementation and management of the program up to DBEDT. DBEDT mentioned they will have to work with the County governments to implement the property tax aspect of the payback. DBEDT will also have to work with a local technical authority on each island for inspecting and approving the technical aspects of each installation. Nowhere was it said, but I think DBEDT should be responsible for qualifying the homeowner, because some of the local utilities do not have a vested interest in fostering distributed generation such as this. One of the Reps. from Kauai, by the way, was absent from the vote yesterday. The bill mentions that this clean energy bonding program does not negate the Counties from doing their own formal PACE program potentially with more funding using their own bonding authority. Overall, I view this bill as just a start, where the Counties of Hawaii have thusfar been afraid to venture on their own. SB 2815 in the Hawaii Senate has been referred to, but not yet scheduled by the Ways and Means Committee. .

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