The energy management programme of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is offering US$2.1 million of incentive funds for projects that can increase energy efficiency in the residential and commercial sectors.

Hawaii Energy, funded by rate payers to promote energy savings for Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui counties, has launched the auction-style initiative where energy efficiency solution providers, energy service companies, energy vendors and developers with licences to work in the islands can submit ideas.

The Hawaii Energy Efficiency Auction is looking for projects that can reduce energy consumption and deliver improved cost-effectiveness compared to existing Hawaii Energy offerings, increased energy efficiency in high energy consumption and/or hard-to-reach geographic areas or mass installations of specific energy efficiency technologies or offerings.

The goal of the auction is to identify and enable turnkey energy efficiency projects that provide the best value (based on first-year and lifetime energy savings).

Residential energy efficiency

Hawaii Energy has earmarked US$977,000 for residential projects requiring a minimum incentive commitment of US$10,000.

The residential target markets include renters and hard-to-reach geographic areas. Specific technologies may include solar thermal water heaters for multi-family homes, LED lighting, smart thermostats, occupancy sensors and in-home energy management displays.

Commercial energy efficiency

The auction has allocated more than US$1.14 million for commercial projects with a minimum incentive requirement of US$50,000 per project.

Hawaii Energy defines the commercial target market as professionally-managed housing, schools, healthcare, small businesses and restaurants, as well as businesses in hard-to-reach geographic areas.

Technologies may include demand response (DR) as an energy efficiency initiative, LED lighting, building management systems, refrigeration/cold storage, kitchen equipment, , business submetering and retrofitting.

The closing date for applications is September 29, 2014 and winners will be announced by October 17, 2014.

Commenting on the project initiative, Ray Starling, programme director at Hawaii Energy, said: “Since the inception of Hawaii Energy five years ago, we’ve made tremendous strides in saving ratepayers energy and money on their electric bills. However, there is still great untapped potential to expand our reach to help even more residents and businesses

Mr Starling added: “With our new Efficiency Auction, we’re calling upon industry professionals to demonstrate their ingenuity and market savvy to bring additional energy-saving solutions to electric customers.”