Hawaii Governor David Ige has just signed a bill to reduce energy costs in our education system while improving the experience for students and teachers. Those of you prospective Maui home buyers who are also parents may be interested in the details, just to get a clearer sense of what the future is going to look like for students in Hawaii. House Bill 2569 makes ours the first state in the nation to mandate that clean energy be used by all its public schools.
So how does the bill propose to accomplish this? Well, first there are the goals, and then there are the strategies for achieving them. Let's start with the goals.
The state Department of Education was expected to pay around a billion on electricity between now and the year 2035. To reduce this sum by hundreds of millions, the measure requires the DOE to establish a net-zero energy goal with a January 1st, 2035 deadline. During this time, the cooling of all public school classrooms will become standard, improving conditions for students. Lastly, the DOE will submit an annual transparency and accountability report to the Legislature, outlining their progress toward both those goals.
The strategy to accomplish this involves the installation of more efficient lighting, the investigation and implementation of alternative energy technology like solar power and batteries, and the maximizing of natural ventilation. The DOE spends around $48 million a year on electricity, but if they're successful in their goals, a healthy portion of these funds can be redistributed to improving classroom conditions and teacher salaries.
This bill is just one of many measures fueling Hawaii toward renewable energy use for the dual purpose of reducing the cost of living and protecting our unique and ecologically rich environment. If you're in the market for a Maui home, you may have already looked into the cost of living, and the cost of energy as well. Subscribe to our blog or check in each Friday for our latest entry for future updates on this subject and other Maui real estate and lifestyle information. Mahalo!
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