Committee Hearing on Energy and Environmental Protection

House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection (EEP): Thursday, 1/25/2018, 8:30am, Conference Room 325 (Agenda here)

Bills to watch (testimony due 1/24/2018 at 8:30am):

  • HB 1864: Relating to Renewable Energy Technologies

This bill expands the income tax credit for renewable energy technologies to include ocean thermal conversion systems. This means that if ocean thermal conversion systems were installed, (e.g., for air conditioning cooling purposes on a large building), the individual or corporation could claim a tax credit up to 35% of the cost of installation on their tax return the following year up to $1.5 million.

Our thoughts: this bill is a good bill that broadens the playing field for folks to choose renewable energy alternatives, which supports our statewide goal of 100% by 2045. Learn more about “SeaWater Air Conditioning” here.

  • HB1801: Relating to Renewable Energy

This bill would amend the definition of “renewable portfolio standard” to more accurately reflect the percentage of renewable energy penetration in the State. It seeks to hold gas utility companies to the same standard as electric utility companies.

Our thoughts: this bill is a good bill that seeks to rectify the overestimation of the amount of renewable energy serving Hawaiʻi’s electric utility customers and also holds the gas utility to a higher standard that mirrors the electric utility’s standard that commits to increase their reliance on renewable energy. Not all gas is clean and renewable, which the gas utility should be held accountable to address. Refresh your understanding on the State’s path to a renewable future here.

  • HB 1830: Relating to Energy at the University of Hawaiʻi

This bill broadens the University of Hawaiʻi’s (UH)options to deposit and move money from the Green Specials Funds to initiatives that support the use of renewable energy and increases in energy efficiency and conservation. It also allows the University to transfer other funds into the Green Special Fund for the purpose of renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation.

Our thoughts: this is a good bill that increases the capacity of UH to engage in renewable energy projects and initiatives that increase energy efficiency and conservation. As UH is the second largest energy user in Hawaiʻi, besides the military, any efforts to move their energy use toward a more clean a renewable profile, moves the State in general toward our goal of 100% renewable by 2045. Learn more about the UH Green Special/Revolving Fund here.

  • HB 1800: Relating to Motor Vehicle Tires

This bill authorizes counties to establish a requirement for customers to exchange the equal number of used tires to the tire retailer as they are purchasing, or pay a fee to compensate for the missing tires. This reduces tire waste, which has ecological and human health implications such as promoting the spread of mosquito borne illness, and creates a fund for authorities to clean up improperly disposed of used tires.

Our thoughts: this bill is a good bill that promotes tire recycling. Tire waste is unsightly when it litters our roads and other spaces, and is a threat to human health/safety and the environment.

Need a refresher on submitting testimony? Click here.