News Release – Governor Ige announces new program that makes clean energy more accessible and affordable in Hawai‘i

Posted on Apr 8, 2019 in Latest News, Press Releases

Link to video #1 here
Link to video #2 here
Link to photos here
**Videos courtesy of Ulupono

HONOLULU – The State of Hawai‘i took another significant step forward in meeting the state’s 100 percent renewable energy goal. Gov. David Ige announced an innovative new program designed to make green energy installments such as solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels, more accessible and affordable for homeowners, renters, small businesses and non-profit organizations.

The Green Energy Money $aver (GEM$) on-bill program is the result of a collaborative effort among energy leaders from the public and private sectors.

The on-bill repayment program allows electric ratepayers on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Lāna‘i and Moloka‘i to invest in green energy installments to immediately lower their utility bill and use the estimated savings to cover the costs of installation. Repayments are conveniently paid through monthly electric bills, which means there are no additional loan payments.

“We’re proud to be offering ratepayers an on-bill option to finance solar systems and energy efficiency retrofits,” said Gov. Ige. “This will give everyone the opportunity to do their part to reduce our state’s use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.”

There are only two requirements. Customers of Hawaiian Electric Companies must not have had a disconnection notice over the past 12 months and the estimated utility bill savings must be at least 10 percent after the installation, including the repayment. Credit scores and income levels are not part of the eligibility requirements.

“By democratizing green energy for more consumers and organizations, the GEM$ on-bill program creates new, sustainable clean energy jobs in our state and generates more tax revenues,” added Gwen Yamamoto-Lau, HGIA executive director. “The program also opens the door to a new rental market segment for contractors.”

The program was approved by the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission in December 2018.

Under the oversight of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, the program was developed by the Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA), in collaboration with Hawaiian Electric Companies.

For more information about the GEM$ on-bill repayment program, visit the Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority’s website at gems.hawaii.gov or contact HGIA at dbedt.gems@hawaii.gov or (808) 587-3868.

News Conference Video:
Order of Speakers:

  • Gov. David Ige
  • Gwen Yamamoto-Lau, executive director, Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority
  • Scott Seu, vice president, public affairs, Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Jay Griffin, chair, Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission
  • Murray Clay, managing partner, Ulupono Initiative
###

Media Contacts:
Jodi Leong
Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Office: 808-586-0043
Mobile: 808-798-3929
jodi.c.leong@hawaii.gov

Cindy McMillan
Communications Director
Office of the Governor
Office: 808-586-0012
Mobile: 808-265-7974
cindy.mcmillan@hawaii.gov