For Immediate Release: Sept. 25, 2019

HONOLULU — The nonprofit Energy Services Coalition (ESC) recognized Hawai‘i for the eighth consecutive year as the nation’s cumulative per capita leader for investment in state and county energy efficiency projects, which are helping Hawai‘i meet its clean energy goals.

Hawai‘i received the ESC’s 2019 “Race to the Top” award for its “outstanding commitment to energy efficiency, environmental stewardship and economic development through guaranteed energy savings performance contracting (GESPC).” GESPC is a creative financing tool that enables building owners to use future energy savings to pay for costs of energy-saving projects, eliminating the need for upfront capital expenditures. Hawai‘i, with cumulative investment of $372.81 per capita in energy performance contracts, outpaced second place Washington State at $211.83 per capita. For a full list of states, see: https://www.energyservicescoalition.org/espc/table.

“The state is leading by example in using this innovative financing program to help fund its energy transformation to a carbon-neutral economy. In the process, we’re saving over a billion dollars in electricity costs. That’s a double win,” said Gov. David Ige.

Mike McCartney, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, said energy performance contracting demonstrates how Hawai‘i’s clean energy agenda helps the environment, creates good jobs, grows local businesses and reduces the amount of money sent overseas to buy imported oil. “Efficiency gains from these major projects are having a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing businesses a healthy return on investment,” McCartney said.

GESPC uses the savings from upgrades such as digital controls for energy systems, and lighting, plumbing and air conditioning improvements to repay the cost of the equipment and its installation. The Hawaii State Energy Office has been providing technical assistance to state and country agencies entering into energy performance contracts since 1996.

“With the U.S. Green Building Council projecting greenhouse gas emissions from buildings to grow faster than any other sector over the next 25 years we need to do everything we can to make buildings more energy efficient and climate friendly,” said Carilyn Shon, the state’s Chief Energy Officer. “Government agencies are demonstrating that energy performance contracting is a cost-effective way to tackle the problem of carbon emissions while saving on energy bills.”

GESPC projects include office buildings, schools, hospitals, airports, highways, harbors, and prisons. In a typical energy performance contract, the building owner contracts with an energy service company to install the energy improvements and guarantee the energy savings over the contract term. The contractor is then paid out of the energy savings and captures the incentives made available by Hawaiʻi Energy to promote investment in energy efficiency.

Jim Arwood, executive director of the ESC, praised Hawai‘i and other states for their efforts to promote energy performance contracting. “It has been a wonderful experience working with the folks at the Hawaiʻi Energy Office and celebrating their success with our network of more than 30 state chapters located throughout the country,” Arwood, said. “The Hawai‘i program is a model of how to do things right.”

Performance contracts signed by state and local government agencies in Hawaiʻi since 1996 include 295 buildings and facilities covering more than 112 million square feet. The $507.1 million of energy performance contracts put in place will save the state an estimated $1.2 billion in electricity costs over the life of the contracts. Hawai‘i is one of only nine states that have surpassed the half-billion-dollar mark for cumulative investment in GESPC.

“Hawai‘i continues to be a national leader in clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawaiʻi Energy. “Since 1996, Hawai‘i government agencies have saved, on average, more than 5 million kilowatt hours a year, equating to over $24 million in savings, with the majority of this coming through energy performance contracts.”


About the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office
The Hawaiʻi State Energy Office (HSEO) is a division of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. With the state’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, HSEO is leading the state’s charge toward clean energy independence. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high impact solutions that will maximize Hawai‘i’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO has positioned Hawaiʻi port as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth. For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov

About the Energy Services Coalition
ESC is a national nonprofit organization, composed of a network of experts from a wide range of organizations, working together at the state and local levels to increase energy efficiency and building upgrades through energy savings performance contracting. For more information visit https://www.energyservicescoalition.org/

About Hawaiʻi Energy
Hawaiʻi Energy helps educate island families and businesses about the many, lasting benefits of energy efficiency and conservation. Hawaiʻi Energy encourages and rewards smart energy choices which will allow our state to reach 100 percent clean energy faster and cheaper. To date, Hawaiʻi Energy has collectively saved the people of Hawaiʻi more than a billion dollars off their energy bills. For more information visit https://hawaiienergy.com/


Alan Yonan Jr.
Communications Officer
DBEDT State Energy Office
(808) 587-3860
[email protected]