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Policy 2015

 

Act Description
Purpose Significance
 Act 38 Amends the State’s objectives and policies relating to energy facility systems, including a policy of ensuring that liquefied natural gas be used only as a cost-effective transitional, limited-term replacement of petroleum for electricity generation and not impede the development and use of other cost-effective renewable energy sources. Amends the State’s objectives and policies relating to energy facility systems.  Amends the Hawaii State Planning Act to include the following objectives and policies: eliminating dependence on imported fuels for electrical generation and ground transportation; utility models that place the social and financial interests of ratepayers first; increasing energy efficiency and decreasing energy use in public infrastructure; and ensuring that fossil fuels such as liquefied natural gas be used only as a transitional, limited-term, and cleaner replacement of petroleum for electricity generation and not impede the development and use of renewable energy sources. It is important to find sustainable, environmentally responsible alternatives to fossil fuel power generation.  Promoting the development and use of renewable energy sources furthers efforts to achieve energy independence.
 Act 97 Increases renewable portfolio standards to 30 percent by December 31, 2020, 70 percent by December 31, 2040, and 100 percent by December 31, 2045. Requires the Public Utilities Commission to include the impact of renewable portfolio standards, if any, on the energy prices offered by renewable energy developers and the cost of fossil fuel volatility in its renewable portfolio standards study and report to the Legislature. Updates and extends Hawaii’s clean energy initiative and renewable portfolio standards by setting a goal of 100 per cent renewable by 2040; provided that extending the renewable portfolio standard goals and transition to energy independence beyond 2030 shall be undertaken in a manner that benefits Hawaii’s economy and all electric customers, maintains customer affordability, and does not induce renewable energy developers to artificially increase the price of renewable energy in Hawaii. This target will ensure that Hawaii moves beyond its dependence on imported fuels and continues to grow a local renewable energy industry.  In addition, ensures that electricity from on-site generation not purchased from an electric utility, both on-grid and off-grid, is subject to the same renewable standards as electricity generated by electric utilities.
 Act 98 Designates the State Hydrogen Implementation Coordinator. Establishes a Hydrogen Implementation Working Group. The state hydrogen implementation coordinator, under the delegated authority of the energy resources coordinator, shall facilitate the establishment of infrastructure and policies across all agencies of the State to promote the expansion of hydrogen-based energy in Hawaii. Formalizes activities, designates leadership and accountability.
Act 99 Requires UH to establish collective goal of becoming net-zero with respect to energy use by January 1, 2035. Lower energy use as current design and performance standards of many buildings and facilities on all the University campuses, particularly the Manoa and Hilo campuses, are currently below the energy efficiency and general performance standards. As a large consumer of electricity, there is the potential to materially impact on implementation of our clean energy goals.
Act 100 Requires electric utilities to file proposed community-based renewable energy tariffs with the public utilities commission by October 1, 2015. Authorizes ratepayer participation in eligible community-based renewable energy projects. Establishes the Hawaii community-based renewable energy program to make the benefits of renewable energy generation more accessible to a greater number of Hawaii residents. All residents should be able to participate in and enjoy the economic, environmental, and societal benefits of renewable energy.
Act 143 Makes various appropriations for the Hawaii resilience and sustainability strategy. Encourages a new way of thinking about how the State addresses critical infrastructure needs through the development of public-private partnerships that are specifically focused on research and development. It is necessary to cultivate an environment for attracting partners with resources, technical expertise, and the willingness to develop innovative solutions to critical infrastructure reliability.
Act 159 Authorizes the High Technology Development Corporation to provide 50 percent matching grants to Hawaii awardees of alternative energy research grants from the Office of Naval Research. Makes appropriations. Establishes a matching grant program, similar to the small business innovation research grant program. Leveraging multiple funding sources allows for greater, more impactful projects.
Act 161 Repeals existing requirement that gasoline for motor vehicles be composed of ten per cent ethanol. Effective December 31, 2015. The requirement of blending ethanol into gasoline does not produce any economic benefit for the State, and the import of ethanol creates an economic burden for residents. The repeal of the ethanol gasoline requirement will ensure that any added costs associated with ethanol blending will not affect gasoline price and supply.
Act 164 Establishes a working group to examine the issues regarding requests to the board of directors of an association of apartment owners, condominium association, cooperative housing corporation, or planned community association regarding the installation of electric vehicle charging systems. Requires the board of directors of an association of apartment owners, condominium association, cooperative housing corporation, or planned community association, upon receipt of a request for the installation of an electric vehicle charging system, to make a decision to approve or deny the request within sixty days. As the demand for electric vehicles grows, so does the demand for electric vehicle charging systems.  Timely decisions regarding the installation of electric vehicle charging systems will become increasingly important to homeowners.
Act 185 Applies the state environmental response, energy, and food security tax to fossil fuels other than petroleum products and bases the tax on one million British thermal units. Removes the sunset of the various funds related to the barrel tax. Clarifies the purposes for which the environmental response revolving fund may be used. Provides for the transfer of moneys from the environmental response revolving fund into the general fund. Requires the Director of Health to report to the Legislature information regarding the environmental response revolving fund. Reduced demand for fossil fuels, revenues from the tax have decreased over several years.  Such decreases are expected with the increased fuel efficiency of vehicles, use of hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as renewable energy efforts in other sectors of the economy. The environmental response, energy, and food security tax, is a vital revenue source that supports critical investments and initiatives in clean energy, local agricultural production, and environmental response.
 Act 201 Exempts electric utilities acting as billing and collections agents for an on-bill program from various state taxes and state laws regulating financial institutions, escrow depositories, or collection agencies. Electric utilities who serve as billing and collection agents and function in a pass-through capacity are therefore not raising revenue from monies collected and remitted while participating in an on-bill program. On-bill program administered by an electric utility allows customers of the utility to purchase a renewable energy system, while the electric utility serves as a billing and collection agent for the on-bill program in a pass-through capacity for any and all monies collected and remitted while participating in the on-bill program.
Act 228 Includes hydroelectric facilities that generate up to 500 kilowatts of electricity as a permissible use on agricultural lands if the hydroelectric facilities are accessory to agricultural activities for agricultural use only and if certain other conditions are met. Authorizes the construction of qualifying hydroelectric facilities on agricultural lands subject to conditions related to water management and preservation of agricultural use. Allows for greater penetration of distributed renewable energy generation.