Vote for Energy Sustainability

October 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm 1 comment

Chris Mentzel asked the 2010 candidates for Maui County offices if they would support the following twelve important local, low-cost policy initiatives.. See the results on the Maui Weekly website.

  1. Adopt a formal policy, passed by the County Council, to make Maui a Clean Energy Island, achieving 100% electrical energy independence by 2020. This policy will provide guidance to all parts of the administration. A preference for buying local and for respecting Hawaiian values should be included.
  2. Use the 100% goal to bring clean energy visitors and make Maui a mecca for clean energy conferences.
  3. Install clean energy and energy saving devices on all county buildings within the next 2 years. This includes the new Kihei police station. Many businesses have offered to do this for free and sell the energy to the County at reduced rates, so there is no cost to the County. Prefer local businesses as far as legally possible.
  4. Create a Sustainability Department in the administration similar to the proposed Hawaii Energy Authority for the State to coordinate clean energy and sustainability efforts. Savings from county energy initiatives and federal grants will return far more money than this office costs.
  5. Ensure that Maui has a strong representation at State level, with the PUC and other counties to bring home money and projects and to influence broader policies. Apply for federal grants on the basis of becoming a Clean Energy Island.
  6. Prevent homeowners from being taxed for renewable energy installations, such as PV panels. Create a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program as soon as current legal hurdles are resolved.
  7. Standardize county energy and resources consumption reports and request large energy users to do the same.
  8. Continue the work of the Maui County Energy Alliance (MCEA), a group of 80 energy experts, and provide funding for their long-term planning.
  9. Prioritize permits for clean energy and energy savings. Issue electrical permits for rooftop solar in 14 days and building permits for small renewable energy projects in 30 days.
  10. Perform energy audits in all County facilities and offer audits to residents, using UHMC graduates where possible. Explore funding this program through the $2-3 million Hawaii Energy receives from Maui ratepayers each year.
  11. Focus on clean energy efforts at the Water Department. It is Maui’s largest electricity user and could easily transition to wind and solar. Its reservoirs could provide pumped storage, the most proven form of electricity storage.
  12. Change County procurement procedures so that they include the long-term energy cost for energy-consuming items (include a bonus for renewable energy options). Include life-cycle costing as requested by Hawaii State law. As far as legally possible, give a preference to local products.

Entry filed under: 1833.

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