Policy Intro & Achievements

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS

HREA has submitted and promoted bills to support its principal objectives and the interests of its constituents. HREA is active at the legislature throughout its term and prepares and presents testimony on relevant bills and resolutions before the State of Hawaii legislature.  HREA maintains and distributes spreadsheets outlining the bills and their status for the membership to promote individual testimonies and support.  Since the 1996 legislative session, HREA has been intimately involved in the passage of bills that resulted in the following laws:

  1. Conversion of the Energy Conservation Income Tax Credit to the Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (“RETITC”), including a major revision to make the RETITC permanent, and a refundable option for solar energy systems.
  2. Net energy metering including two major revisions to 50 kW systems and 1% penetration.
  3. Renewable Portfolio Standards (“RPS”), including three major revisions to a 40% RPS by 2030.
  4. Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards (“EEPS”) that requires an EEPS of 30% by 2030,
  5. Public Benefits Fund and third-party administrator for energy efficiency.
  6. Pay As You Save® which requires on-bill financing of solar hot water systems.

REGULATORY PROCEEDINGS

Since 1995, HREA has actively intervened in over twenty PUC dockets representing all issues related to promoting the interests of independent power producers particularly the interests of renewable energy projects. HREA is recognized by all members of the legislature and throughout the state government as a strong voice advocating the interests of its constituency and pushing for PUC rulings to keep the utility’s interests balanced in these areas.

Due to HREA’s credibility over the years in these dockets, HREA is consistently granted intervener status in dockets related to these interests. HREA files position papers and actively participates in the hearings and procedures and is very familiar with these processes and the history of electric utility regulation in the state wherever policy has impacted the interests of the independent renewable energy power producers, and distributed generation providers.

Notable rulings include:

  1. Opening of the Distributed Generation (“DG”) market to renewables.  The Hawaiian Electric Company (“HECO”) was granted limited access to enter the Combined Heat and Power (“CHP”) market, but subsequently withdrew their proposed CHP tariff.
  2. HREA subsequently worked in follow-on dockets with HECO and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (“KIUC”) to craft fair and non-discriminatory interconnection requirements and stand-by service charge tariffs.  In the case of HECO, there are currently no standby charges for renewable DG.”
  3. The utilities must now acquire new generation resources via competitive bidding processes unless granted a waiver by the Commission.  HECO has subsequently short-listed several new renewable projects for Oahu in a recent 100 MW RFP for “as-available” renewables. Note: KIUC had actually sought competitive bids for “as-available” renewables in advance of the Commission’s ruling on competitive bidding.
  4. In the demand-side management (energy efficiency) docket, HREA sought to transfer the responsibility for demand-side management (“DSM”) programs to a third party entity.  The Commission agreed, and with authority granted by the Legislature (which HREA supported), a Public Benefits Fund (“PBF”) was established.
  5. In the PBF docket, the Commission selected Science Applications International Corporation (“SAIC”) to administer the PBF.  SAIC is now under contract to provide energy efficiency services, which include a number of classic DSM programs, and one (previously established by HECO) to promote solar water heating systems.
  6. In the Renewable Portfolio Standards (“RPS”) docket, HREA worked with HECO and other Parties to establish the RPS framework, which includes a penalty for non-compliance.  The RPS docket led to a follow-on docket, the Renewable Energy Infrastructure Program (“REIP”) which includes an incentive for HECO RPS compliance.  The incentive, in the form of a surcharge to pay for utility investment to support the increased use of renewables, is under review by the Commission.
  7. In the Net Energy Metering (“NEM”) docket, HREA worked with the utilities and other Parties to increase the customer-generator size from 50 kW to 100 kW and the system penetration (subscription) limit from 0.5% to 1.0% of the utility’s peak load.  HREA also; (i) reached agreement with HECO to increase system penetration to 4% on Maui and the Big Island, and (ii) working with the utilities and the Commission on the long-term NEM program plan.
  8. As an output of Pay As You Save® (“PAYS®) docket, HREA worked with HECO to craft a PAYS®-like program.  After two years of operation, HECO is now preparing a final evaluation, as the program is to be transferred to SAIC.
  9. In response to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (“HCEI”), established between State of Hawaii (“SOH”) and the U. S. Department of Energy (“USDOE”), the Commission opened the following dockets: Feed-In Tariffs (“FiT”), Decoupling, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (“AMI”), PV Host and Modifications to the Framework for Integrated Resource Planning (“IRP”). HREA, as an Intervenor on all these dockets, is well-position to influence the outputs, the first of which is an Interim Decision and Order, that there will be FiTs for Photovoltaics (“PV”), Concentrating Solar Power (“CSP”), wind and in-line hydro.

INTERAGENCY/PUBLIC POLICY FORUMS

Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative: HREA has members who have served on the “Electric Generation and Transmission,” and “End-Use Efficiency” Committees of the HCEI.  Several HREA members, including Mr. Bollmeier, have regularly attended the HCEI Plenary and Integration Team Committee meetings.  The HCEI is now expected to undergo some changes as the state leadership changes this fall.  For more details on the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, see http://www.hawaiicleanenergyinitiative.org/.

Hawaii Renewable Energy Policy Forum: A number of HREA members, including Messrs Bollmeier, Crouch, Kimura, Reed, Saito and Kelly King have been or are current members of the Forum.  Mr. Bollmeier is Co-Chair for the Renewable Energy Working Group of the Forum. Also, Mr. Bollmeier prepared a study in 2003 of the potential for renewables in Hawaii for the next 30 years. For more details on the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum, see: www.hawaiienergypolicy.hawaii.edu.

Links to Other Policy Resources:

American Solar Energy Society: http://ases.org/

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): http://awea.org/

Geothermal Resources Council: http://www.geothermal.org/

Hawaii Energy: http://www.hawaiienergy.com/

Hawaii State Energy Office: http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/info/energy

Independent Energy Producers Association: http://www.iepa.com/

Interstate Renewable Energy Council: http://www.irecusa.org/

National Hydropower Association (NHA): http://www.hydro.org/

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): http://www.nrel.gov/

Renewable Energy Policy Project: http://www.repp.org/

Solar Alliance: http://www.solaralliance.org/

Solar Electric Power Association: http://www.solarelectricpower.org/

Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA): http://www.seia.org/

Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance: http://sustainablebiodieselalliance.com/

US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy website:
http://www.eere.energy.gov/

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