01/11/2021

5 questions with Hawaii Energy's Brian Kealoha on state's energy rating

January 11, 2021 -  Near the end of a year rife with difficulties for businesses and individuals alike, Hawaii received a light pat on the back for its progress in energy efficiency.

The Islands ranked 14th of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) in the 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in mid-December. That was up two spots from 2019.

Hawaii Energy executive director Brian Kealoha previously spoke with Pacific Business News about some specific measures Hawaii Energy introduced to encourage efficient energy use during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most recently, Kealoha chatted with PBN about what he felt was a collaborative effort for the modest rise in the ranking.

What was your takeaway on Hawaii's spot in the annual report card?

We were really pleased to see that. There were a number of efforts collectively in the state to move our ranking up. I think a couple of the biggest highlights were, that we were recognized as being one of the leaders in appliance standards, and that was a result of the Legislature passing Act 141 in 2019. That definitely helped us moving up in the scorecard.

What also helped was the passing of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. So that was adopted several years ago by the state, but was recently adopted by the City and County of Honolulu as Bill 25.

That was a big effort to get all of the counties to adopt that Hawaii state energy code. The Hawaii State Energy office and ourselves, and others, really had to push that effort forward for three years, but it was a big reason when you look at the scoring why we moved up. Our policies on new building construction ranks pretty high compared to other states.

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