State unveils plan to make renewable energy available to all

The biggest challenge for many Hawai’i residents who want to install solar water heaters or rooftop systems is the up front cost—which is why state lawmakers and industry experts are working on a way for more people to benefit from clean energy and it’s savings by getting it with no money down.

“What we want to do is make sure that over that there’s going to the financing available to make sure that folks have the ability to afford solar, afford wind, afford the renewable energy technologies of tomorrow that are going to make their electric bills drop down to next to nothing,” said Representative Chris Lee, Chairman of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

The goal is to expand renewable energy to low income residents, renters and non-profits.

“There’s been some criticism in the past that only rich people can afford PV [photovoltaic solar] etc.— and even with the tax credits – but what this really does is opens it up to everyone,” said Senator Mike Gabbard, Chairman of the Senate Energy & Environment Committee. “We’re spending 4 to 6 billion dollars every year importing over 40 million barrels of oil and the reason— it just doesn’t make sense when we live here in paradise— where we’ve got world class wind, world class sun, geo-thermal, ocean-thermal wave energy all built in here – so this is huge.”

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