While the rest of the country is trying to address climate change and pushing the idea of a federal "Green New Deal," the Hawaii Legislature is bizarrely moving in the opposite direction. SB 1163 SD2 would slash Hawaii's renewable energy tax credit by more than half starting next year. This would drastically halt or slow the growth of rooftop solar and home batteries, ironically at a time when climate scientists are telling us we need to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
The Hawaii Legislature's proposal would happen at the same time as the federal income tax credit is stepping down, meaning a double whammy on customers wanting to do the right thing. We'd leave federal money on the table instead of helping the transition to a clean energy future.
What you can do to help:
Please email or call (808.586.8400) the Chair of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee, Representative Nicole Lowen, and ask her to support rooftop solar and defer SB 1163 in Tuesday’s EEP committee hearing.
Submit testimony in OPPOSITION to SB 1163 via the Capitol Website by Monday, March 11th @ 3 PM.
While prudently reducing Hawaii's renewable energy tax credit over time may be reasonable, slashing the incentive by over half with less than six months of notice sends a signal that Hawaii doesn't care about climate change or market stability. Further, another part of SB 1163 prevents customers from "going off the grid" and installing grid-disconnected solar and storage, something some legislators have called a blatant "give to Hawaiian Electric."
Rooftop solar has helped Hawaii residents save billions of dollars and reduced the need for dirty, fossil fuels. This helps everyone.
The impacts of climate change loom ever larger, with threats such as an iceberg twice the size of New York about to break off and potentially destabilize the Antarctic, and natural disasters hitting with more and more regularity. Hawaii is uniquely vulnerable to these impacts and should be accelerating its efforts to reduce emissions, not slowing down.
Cutting the residential and commercial cap by more than half effectively cuts the tax credit by the end of this year, despite disingenuous language elsewhere in the bill. This is poor policy and sends a terrible signal to the market -- don't invest in Hawaii, they don't care about market stability.
Support Hawaii residents who are trying to do the right thing for our environment and economy, and defer this bill.