HONOLULU — Nearly three hundred gathered at the State Capitol today in support of legislation that will keep renewable energy tax credits going strong in Hawaii and remain available to homeowners and businesses wishing to invest in solar and other sources of clean energy for their homes and businesses.
Those rallying included:
- Members of the Blue Planet Foundation, the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter and the Ulupono Initiative, all strong supporters of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which mandates that the state cut its dependence on imported fossil fuels and get 40 percent of its electric power from clean sources by 2030
- Employees and customers of the more than 70 companies that are members of the nonprofit Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA)
- Homeowners and businesses that have installed photovoltaic and solar water-heating arrays on their roofs
- Other homeowners and businesses that plan to invest in sources of clean, renewable energy and that need the tax credits to make the installations financially feasible
“These tax credits are accomplishing what they were created to do – make clean energy more accessible and more affordable to more people,” said Gabriel Chong, HSEA president. “Since the current tax credits began in 2009, photovoltaic installations in Hawaii have quadrupled, creating enough clean energy to power over 18,000 homes. In addition, with the help of incentives and rebates, Hawaii has the highest per capita solar hot water use in the nation, with over 90,000 solar hot water systems currently installed.”
Jeff Mikulina, executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, said, “Solar is currently the bright spot in Hawaii’s progress toward energy independence. Hawaii’s solar tax credits enable families and businesses to free themselves from total dependence on electricity generated by burning oil. Keeping strong incentives in place will accelerate Hawaii’s transition to a clean energy future.”
“Renewable energy tax credits strengthen our local economy, too,” said HSEA Executive Director Leslie Cole-Brooks. “According to a DBEDT estimate, over a quarter of all local construction jobs were generated by the solar industry in 2012”
She said clean, local and renewable energy helps Hawaii reduce its dependence on imported oil – $5 billion worth every year – and Hawaii needs to maintain the incentives the state Legislature wisely created years ago.
Report from the Hawaii Energy Solar Association, a nonprofit, professional trade organization whose members are dedicated to providing quality solar products and services to Hawaii’s residents and businesses. Learn more atwww.hsea.org.