Hawaii and Opower extend energy efficiency programme

energy efficiency
The Opower Energy Efficiency programme claims to have resulted in 18.1 million kWh in energy savings, equivalent to US$5.43m in energy cost savings

US-based software-as-a-service company Opower and Hawaii Energy have announced plans to extend the Opower energy efficiency programme to 250,000 residential customers across the Central Pacific Island.

The Opower Energy Efficiency programme has reportedly helped customers save over US$5 million on their energy bills.

The programme will be extended to an additional 110,000 additional customers.

Energy efficiency programme

Opower’s energy efficiency programme includes home energy reports (HERs), providing Hawaii Energy’s customers with detailed energy usage information, giving them the tools to monitor their energy consumption over time, said Hawaii Energy’s Programme Director, Ray Starling.

He said: “Battling one of the nation’s highest costs of living, Hawaii Energy’s priority continues to be to empower residents with personalized energy information so we can each take action to decrease electric usage and bills.

“By working together, we can also reduce our state’s dependence on imported oil to generate electricity.”

The partnership between Hawaii Energy and Opower extends back to 2011 and has grown the HER programme since then.

The programme has resulted in 18.1 million kWh in energy savings, equivalent to US$5.43m in energy cost savings.

Hawaii net-metering programme

In other news, Hawaii’s public utilities commission has “ordered the immediate closure of the island state’s solar net metering programme to new customers in the Hawaii Electric Companies (HECO) service area,” reports PV tech.

The commission cited the closure of the programme as necessary in “securing the long-term growth of solar and other distributed sources.”

HECO added: “A transition away from NEM is essential to ensure all customers benefit from continued growth in distributed energy, not just those who have the ability to install solar PV or other forms of DER.”

The commission has proposed replacement rate structures intended to integrate a wider range of DER sources and technologies.

A new grid-supply option will continue to compensate residential and commercial solar users, but will be capped. New customers will pay a minimum bill of US$25 per month.

The Hawaii PUC has also proposed a ToU tariff, shifting energy demand to the middle of the day and taking advantage of lower solar energy costs.

The Commission said: “By sending the right price signals to customers, customers can increase energy demand during times of high solar supply and alleviate some of the grid constraints to further renewable integration.

“This new tariff will also spur investment into new smart home and smart business technologies that can help customers take advantage of this programme.”