Caroline Carl, newly appointed Executive Director of Hawaii Energy, gave a Spotlight Talk at the 2022 Hawaii Energy Conference (HEC). The event brought together experts on energy policy, strategies, leadership and innovation to help Hawaii reach its goal of 100-percent renewable energy sources by 2045.
Carl, who joined Hawaii Energy in 2011, explained, “The role of energy efficiency is important in the movement to electrify almost everything. Hawaii Energy, the rate-payer-funded energy efficiency program serving the islands of Maui, Oahu, Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai, operates directly under contract with the public utilities commission. Our mission is to help local families and businesses make smart energy choices.”
This model began when Hawaii’s first clean-energy initiative was formalized in 2008 when the state committed to achieving 70 percent clean energy by 2030. Forty percent was to be from renewable generation and 30 percent from energy efficiency and conservation. This led to the establishment of the state’s energy efficiency portfolio standards, which set a reduction goal of 4300 gigawatt hours by 2030. The Hawaii Energy programs were created to help realize these goals.
“Today the Hawaii Energy programs have saved the people of Hawaii more than a billion dollars off their energy bills by helping them make smart energy choices,” Carl pointed out. “Nevertheless, the programs of the past decade are not what the programs of the next ten years will look like. We are facing a time of significant change across the entire energy landscape. Our programs will need to respond to the impact associated with the number of external drivers. As we face power plant retirements on Oahu and Maui, increasing concerns around capacity reserve shortfall and the Covid pandemic economic impacts remain significant even though looking ahead the outlook appears positive as the global economy continues to recover. Despite all these competing forces, at Hawaii Energy we believe the efficiency programs are key to helping customers and transforming the market for clean energy. I am happy to be able to reiterate the important role Hawaii Energy gets to play in our clean energy future.”
Caroline Carl, Executive Director Hawaii Energy
Our efficiency programs are an excellent resource that can be leveraged to reduce fossil fuel use, cost and emissions, simultaneously with electrification.