Back in mid May, we blogged about the legislature passing the bill that would establish a 100 percent renewable energy goal for the state of Hawaii. At that time, all that remained was for Governor Ige to sign it into law, which he did on June 8th. Hawaii is the first state in the nation with a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio. The bill has set the goal deadline for the year 2045, and given that the state has been ahead of its renewable energy goal deadlines in the past, many are optimistic about the time frame.
As it relates to residents and Hawaii real estate owners, one of the most important aims of this bill is to reduce the cost of energy throughout the state. Randy Iwase, chairman of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, and State Rep. Chris Lee, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, both emphasized the importance of getting the state off fossil fuels to lower the cost of energy for the average consumer, pointing to the millions of dollars the state spends importing fossil fuels every year.
Governor Ige also highlighted the choice to move up the benchmarks for 2020, 2030, 2040, and 2045 to help ensure that the state stays on target. At this point, we are producing 21 percent of our energy via renewable sources.
Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. will play a major role in the outcome if their acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Co. is completed. While many are optimistic about NextEra’s ability to provide the resources we need to achieve this new goal, others are skeptical as to the efficacy of a company with no experience in Hawaii. As Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa pointed out, it would be preferable for Hawaii energy to be administered by a Hawaii company, not just for familiarity with our state’s nuances, but to keep profits cycling in our economy.
Hopefully, we’ll see a nice reduction in utility bills for those who live on Maui, regardless of the outcome with NextEra. In the meantime, many residents and businesses are cutting their utility bills by investing in photovoltaics. As for what works for you, it all depends on how aggressive you want to be, and how much capital you have to start with. If buying a home on Maui is your next goal, that’s an area where we can lend you our expertise. You’ll find our contact information at the bottom of the page, should you need our assistance. Mahalo!