Governor David Ige announced an innovative new program designed to make green energy installments more accessible and affordable for residents of the Aloha State. The Green Energy Money $aver (GEM$) on-bill program will help Hawai‘i take another significant step forward in meeting the state’s 100-percent renewable energy goal.
The new program is designed to make it easier for homeowners, renters, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations to invest in green energy installments such as solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels. The GEM$ on-bill repayment program – the result of a collaborative effort among energy leaders from the public and private sectors – allows electric ratepayers on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Lana‘i, and Moloka‘i to invest in green energy installments that will 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 to participate in the GEM$ program: 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,” said Gwen Yamamoto-Lau, executive director of the Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority. “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 Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission, the program was developed by the Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Authority, 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 [email protected] or 808-587-3868.
Image courtesy State of Hawai‘i Office of the Governor