If your electricity – generated from imported oil – is the most expensive in the country and your solar resource is terrific, you’d expect your electric company to be making great strides toward renewable energy. On Hawai’i, the progress toward clean energy is in limbo, because island’s largest electric utility – largely owned by islanders – is likely to be acquired by mainland utility conglomerate NextEra, parent company of another regulated utility, Florida Power and Light.

Should Hawaiians accede to the wishes of NextEra and sell their largest electric utility to off-islanders?

These postcards from Florida (inspired by a campaign by Vote Solar) shine a little light on what Hawaiians can expect from their proposed utility overlord.

For more on the takeover, check out ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy commentary during the Maui Energy Conference, ILSR’s 2012 report—Hawaiian Sunblock—on the unexpected barriers to low-cost solar on the islands, Vote Solar’s Postcards from Florida campaign, and the continuing coverage of the utility acquisition on Utility Dive.

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Democratic Energy weekly update.

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About Author

John Farrell is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy. He’s the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times, showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs. He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) necessary to support locally owned renewable energy development.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Ferra on

    Net-Metering is allowing one Utility to be Replaced by Another (Third Party Solar Leasing)

    A California Residential Feed in Tariff would allow homeowners to sell their Renewable Energy to the utility, protecting our communities from Poison Water, Grid Failures, Natural Disasters, Toxic Natural Gas and Oil Fracking. It would also create a new revenue stream for the Hard Working Taxpaying, Voting, Homeowner.

    Sign and Share this petition for a California Residential Feed in Tariff.
    http://signon.org/sign/let-california-home-owners

    We need a National Feed in Tariff, this petition starts in California.

    California currently has a Feed in Tariff that does not allow home owners to participate in the State mandated goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020.

    California also does not allow the homeowner to oversize their R.E systems, as of now, your local utility has allowed only 80% homeowner generation from your R.E system.

    California has 2 different Energy policies Net-metering and a Feed in Tariff.

    Net metering the energy policy for homeowners, allow you to bank excess electricity from R.E systems for future credits. The credits you accumulate are at the retail rate, and are reviewed at the end of the year. It will be written off with a thank you from the utility and no payment to the homeowner for producing more than what you use.

    Net metering has allowed third party leasing companies to replace one utility with another.

    “Examples of Net-metering slow down Renewable Energies:

    Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs) which create de facto caps on the deployment of renewable energies (the Germans do not have any RPSs, their Feed in Tariff has no caps.

    Third party leasing companies like Solar City, Sun Run, Verango and others fight tooth and nail to protect scarce capacity carve outs (from the States RPSs) so as to bolster their chosen business model.” Bob Tregilus

    No one is fighting for the Hard Working, Taxpaying, Voting, Homeowner, we can change that with a Ca. Residential Feed in Tariff Energy policy that allows everyone to participate. Homeowner’s, Small and Large Businesses, Small and Large farmers, and Industries, have the right to sell Renewable Energy electricity to the utility.

    Vote Solar Initiative is a Sierra Club and Solar Leasing Companies platform to ensure that One Utility will take the place of Another through the continued use of Net Metering.

    We need a Policy that will enable Hard Working, Voting, Tax Paying Citizens, get a chance to participate in the States goal of 33% Renewable Energy by 2020 through a California Residential Feed in Tariff.

    California, there is enough Residential Solar to power 2.25 San Onofres, couple that with a Commercial Feed in Tariff and we can solve some of these environmental and electrical generating problems.

    This petition will ask the California Regulators and Law makers to allocate Renewable Portfolio Standards to Ca. Home Owners for a Residential Feed in Tariff, the RPS is the allocation method that is used to set aside a certain percentage of electrical generation for Renewable Energy in the the State.