Categorized | Business, Energy

Kanu Hawaii announces energy challenge


Kanu Hawaii launches the first annual Energy Challenge in July. The month-long campaign calls on individuals and businesses across the islands to cut their electric and gasoline bills by 25 percent during the month, and commit to lasting changes that will permanently reduce energy consumption and spending.

Kanu Hawaii offers unique tips to save energy, and encourages people to share their own tips on its website. The campaign includes events, workshops, and an online story contest.

Kanu Hawaii is working with partners Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and Hawaii Energy (a ratepayer-funded conservation and efficiency program serving the islands of Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu) to provide information, resources, and deals to help residents achieve a 25 percent reduction in energy use.

“As oil prices rise, so do our bills. Each of us can make a commitment to take control of our energy use,” said James Koshiba, Kanu’s executive director. “Taking steps to conserve energy saves us money, is good for the climate, and reduces our dependence on imported oil.”

“Our future in Hawaii depends on breaking our dependence on fossil fuels. We need to change the way we use energy in our own lives, support clean energy projects, and spread the word to our friends and neighbors,” said Lynne Unemori, Hawaiian Electric vice president of corporate relations.

“Leading by example and taking action together helps each of us understand energy issues, and gives us a personal stake in our islands’ energy future,” Koshiba said.

WHERE: Statewide

WHEN: The month-long Energy Challenge kicks off July 4, encouraging a commitment to “independence from oil” with specific challenges for each week:

Week 1: Audit Challenge: Review current energy use to establish a baseline and identify ways to change consumption patterns.
Week 2: Appliance Challenge: Reduce energy use by household appliances.
Week 3: Transportation Challenge: Get out of the car and develop alternative routes and modes of transportation.
Week 4: Outreach Challenge: Share lessons learned and advocate for better energy policy.

Community events involved with the campaign include:

* The iConserve rally at the State Capitol, sponsored by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) noon-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, demonstrates how energy efficiency can improve the bottom line for businesses and households.

* Hawaii Clean Energy Day, sponsored by the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum and partner organizations, 1-6 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the Laniakea YWCA, includes local speakers and panels to discuss the clean energy efforts in Hawaii.

* Punahou School’s Student Global Leadership Institute is co-sponsoring a screening of the film Carbon Nation, with a panel discussion afterward, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27 in Luke Lecture Hall, Wo International Center, Punahou School.

In partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, EAH Housing, Helping Hands Hawaii and others, Kanu will be assisting with energy education for lower income communities that may be hardest hit by rising energy costs.

Founded in 2007, Kanu Hawaii is a nonprofit organization with a mission to encourage and support environmental and social change. Its 13,000 members make individual commitments as simple as ‘I will take shorter showers’ or ‘I will buy local.’

Some commitments go viral, like the Eat Local Challenge in September, and are supported by corporate, government, and community sponsors.

— Find out more:

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