Building Relationships for a Brighter Future

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

Building Relationships for a Brighter Future

By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter

Last Saturday, community event Lā Pilina created relationships between community and local organizations’ planning efforts for Molokai. Sust’ainable Molokai hosted the event creating interconnection and rapport, as the meaning of Lā Pilina is relationships. Held at Mitchell Pauole Center, residents engaged in learning about future planning, ongoing efforts and how to live a more sustainable life. 

“Growing up on this island, relationships are important,” said Tehani Kaalekahi, executive director of Sust’ainable Molokai. “Culturally it’s part of our kuleana, our responsibility to create these relationships. In many of the things we do here, it’s the relationships we build that helps us get to the end goal.” …

County Energy Cost-Savings Program

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Maui County News Release 

Maui County taxpayers can expect to benefit from $73 million in energy and water conservation cost savings from a 20-year energy cost savings agreement with contractor Johnson Controls.

“This is a fiscally responsible project that saves taxpayer dollars, creates local jobs, reduces our carbon footprint, and, importantly, frees up clean water that we can use for affordable housing,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Reducing dependence on fossil fuels means we are taking money out of an oil tanker and keeping it right here, investing in jobs for our residents.”

The contractor expects the project will create more than 40 local jobs for the engineering, project management and maintenance support.…

Water Catchment

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

I just read Sept. 14 article on Molokai’s energy future and here are some of my thoughts for the future, mostly involving water. What about the Permaculture idea of water catchment from rooftops? People can build their own for very little money. 

There are many thousands of square feet in Ranch Camp and coming down the hill to the police station, Kaunakakai gym, county offices, the elementary school, etc. Along with it could be water hyacinths, a plant used to purify water and protect fish. Guppies can eat any mosquito larvae. Cardboard, pallets and six mil plastic is almost all you need.…

Molokai Decides Its Own Energy Future

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Molokai Decides Its Own Energy Future

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Something electrifying is happening on Molokai. The community is taking charge of its own energy destiny. 

Molokai residents have long been known for choosing their own path. Now, another important process of self-determination is taking place: Residents are taking the lead to develop a plan that could save you money, make Molokai’s electric grid self-sufficient and independent of outside resources, create local jobs and better prepare the island for emergencies. 

When you picture how you get your electricity in 10 years, what do you envision? With ever-rising power bills causing increasing hardship for many Molokai families, cost is likely a top priority for everyone.…

Planning for Energy Resilience

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A Molokai-initiated energy plan is forming that would increase the island’s renewable energy, sustainable emergency preparedness capabilities and strengthen infrastructure. Facilitated by Sust’ainable Molokai’s Clean Energy Hui, the Molokai Community Energy Resilience Action Plan (CERAP) has launched the planning process, identified priorities and begun looking at implementation and funding options. 

“Because Molokai doesn’t have much of an emergency plan, we’re all dependent on imported diesel so this is a priority for hardening our emergency response,” said Leilani Chow, Coordinator for the Clean Energy Hui. “Our number one priority was our water pumps. If we don’t get more diesel, we have seven days’ worth stored on island, and once the electricity stops, we only have seven days’ worth of water stored in the tanks.…

Electric Rates to Drop

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Hawaiian Electric News Release 

Hawaiian Electric shared good news last week. Customers on Molokai, Maui, Lanai and Hawaii Island will see lower rates in September that reflect the first significant drop in oil prices since spring. Oahu customers will see a smaller rate increase than expected with the shutdown of the AES coal-fired power plant. 

Hawaiian Electric is forecasting a typical residential bill on Molokai to be down by 14 percent, or about $34, for electricity used in September, which will be included in bills most customers receive in October. Molokai will see the greatest reduction, followed by Lanai down nine percent, Hawaii Island down six percent, and Maui down five percent. …

Energy Rebates

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Hawaii Energy News Release 

 Hawaii Energy, the state’s Public Benefits Fund administrator that focuses on energy-efficiency education and clean-energy initiatives, has launched new rebates for residents looking to lower their energy bills by investing in energy-efficient equipment and installations. Almost all of the rebates have been increased from the previous year, in an effort to keep up with the rising costs of goods. The rebates are available from now until June 30, 2023, or while funds are available.

“We’re announcing our new rebates at a pivotal time when so many in our community are actively looking for new ways to lower their electricity bills as they experience the impacts of increasing fuel and energy costs,” said Caroline Carl, executive director at Hawaii Energy.…

Residents Get Renewable Energy Certification

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Residents Get Renewable Energy Certification

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Locally-run Ho’ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai held an inaugural Clean Energy Technician Training this spring, with 14 Molokai residents graduating with certification. The five-week course covered an introduction to photovoltaic energy, with a 40 hours of hands on build time during which students received on-site experience and skills building nanogrids, or small scale solar systems. 

“The state has a goal to transition to 100 percent renewables by 2045 and Molokai still has almost the entire way to go,” said Todd Yamashita, board president of Ho’ahu Energy Coop and instructor for the course. “What we’re doing here is helping ourselves and getting ready for this transition so that it will be our Molokai people who will benefit from these jobs.…

Free Energy-Savings Kit

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

Hawaiian Electric News Release

Molokai residents are invited to pick up a free kit containing energy-saving items to help reduce energy use at home on Wednesday, May 11, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the drive-through locations on the island. The events will be held at Kaunakakai, Maunaloa and Kilohana elementary schools. 

Hosted by Hawaiian Electric in partnership with Hawaii Energy and the County of Maui Department of Water, the drive-through events will be distributing one kit per vehicle, first come-first served and while supplies last.

The kits include energy-saving light bulbs, water-saving faucet aerators and other items to help residents reduce energy use and manage their energy bills.…

Ho’ahu Energy Coop Gets Federal Support

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

Sen. Schatz News Release

Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai, a local group developing Molokai’s first community-owned renewable energy resource project, will receive federal support, including technical assistance, from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“This kind of hands-on federal support will help us expand clean energy production on Molokai as the community moves to take its energy future into its own hands. That means more jobs, more reliable energy, and cheaper electric bills for Molokai residents,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai will receive tailored expert support from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a DOE National Lab, to address the island’s unique energy challenges. During this first phase of the initiative, Ho‘ahu Energy Cooperative Molokai will receive one-on-one assistance from PNNL, including training, energy and economic analysis, workforce and equity assessments, and grant application assistance.…