New Clean Energy Wayfinders Program Starting in 2022

The Clean Energy Wayfinders is a new program intended to advance Hawaii’s clean energy goals through addressing inequities in vulnerable communities by creating jobs that launch a new generation of clean energy leaders. 

The Hawaii State Energy Office, working in partnership with the energy industry and community stakeholders, developed the program in response to community concerns about energy projects’ benefits and impacts on host communities that have made it clear that a deliberate and more intentional effort must be made to reach out to and include everyone in Hawaii to more effectively, efficiently, and equitably achieve our 100% clean energy and carbon-free economy goals. 

About the Clean Energy Wayfinders 

The Clean Energy Wayfinders program is designed to reflect Hawaii’s rich cultural and historical tradition of wayfinding in which trained navigators helped lead their communities to a new place where they could sustain a better quality of life. 

The Clean Energy Wayfinders will share information and opportunities for energy conservation and clean energy adoption with Hawaii’s schools, community organizations, and households, especially those in low-to-moderate income (LMI), Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE), and under-resourced communities, to help increase energy conservation and efficiencies, lower monthly energy utility bills, increase access to clean transportation and renewable energy resources, and promote green career training and employment opportunities.  

With recruiting focused within the targeted communities, the Clean Energy Wayfinders will receive energy and community outreach and engagement training to provide their communities with energy conservation, efficiency, clean energy, and clean transportation information, and to direct community organizations and households to programs and resources, including federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds, statewide Solarize initiatives, community based renewable energy (CBRE) subscriptions, and clean energy workforce development opportunities.  

 In the process, Wayfinders will help establish a channel of communication and build trust between communities, HSEO, county energy offices, and energy industry stakeholders. By helping to build community awareness, through increased access to information and resources, Wayfinders will help community members access green job opportunities and provide additional means for community voices to be heard by policymakers and project developers to more effectively collaborate and guide decision-making. Wayfinders will also participate in networking opportunities with program and industry partners to promote living wage green careers in Hawaii.  

 Wayfinders will serve a one-year period of service and receive an hourly wage plus benefits. 

Clean Energy Wayfinder Partners 

Hawaii State Energy Office: HSEO has secured federal funding to launch the program. HSEO is providing program development, direction, and training curriculum coordination and delivery. 

County energy offices: The county energy offices will host and mentor the Wayfinders, while aligning CEW program and county level clean energy goals.  

Kupu: The Aina Corps program has provided eight positions to help launch the initial year of the CEW program.  

 The CEW program also has strong support from several other partners including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), energy industry leaders and the Energy Equity Hui, a working group that identifies opportunities for energy stakeholder organization collaboration on energy equity issues within Hawaii. Hui member organizations include HSEO, Hawaii Energy, Hawaiian Electric, the City and County of Honolulu’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, and Hui o Hauula.  

Click here to see the presentation that is  being delivered to community organizations statewide about the Wayfinders program. To schedule a presentation or to learn more about the Clean Energy Wayfinder program, contact [email protected].