Question: What are some everyday adjustments that homeowners, who cannot afford to install a rooftop PV solar system, could make to their daily lives to cut back on energy costs?
Answer: There are several low- and no-cost ways people can reduce their energy costs that do not require a photovoltaic system.
Legislators scolded Hawaiian Electric Co. on Friday for slowing down the adoption of rooftop solar power systems, saying the delays could mean residents will miss out on a lucrative federal tax incentive.
There are 4,500 people waiting for solar approval as a result of a September 2013 rule change where HECO required customers and contractors to be approved by the utility before installing photovoltaic systems.
Photovoltaic system permits on Oahu declined to their lowest level in three years in August despite the island leading the nation at midyear for the highest percentage of customers with rooftop solar.
Honolulu-based GreenPath Technologies, a renewable energy company, is marketing the solar shingles made by Dow Solar of Midland, Mich.
The Dow shingles are made to blend in with roofing materials instead of sit on racks above the roof.
According to Dow Solar and GreenPath, the companies are already providing estimates to Hawaii homeowners.
Sandwiched between an oil refinery and a coal-fired power plant in Campbell Industrial park sits Hawaii's largest producer of electricity from renewable energy.
The often overlooked facility doesn't have any solar panels or wind turbines. A steady stream of garbage trucks lining up to disgorge their loads reveals the facility's fuel source: trash.