UH Manoa and HECO formalize partnership to save energy

Reducing campus electric bills and global warming are key goals

University of Hawaiʻi
Gregg Takayama, (808) 382-3212
Chancellor's Office
Peter Rosegg, (808) 371-7474
Hawaiian Electric Company
Posted: Apr 10, 2007

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii at Mānoa and Hawaiian Electric Company today formalized a partnership to work together to save energy and reduce the global warming impact of the University‘s flagship campus.

The partnership - endorsed today in a campus ceremony by interim Manoa Chancellor Denise Eby Konan and HECO President & CEO Mike May - launches an aggressive effort to achieve the energy-savings goals announced at the Chancellor‘s Energy Summit last October. These goals are:

· A 30 percent reduction of campus-wide energy use by 2012, based on a 2003 campus energy benchmark.
· A 50 percent reduction of campus-wide energy use by 2015, based on the 2003 campus energy benchmark.
· Achieving 25 percent of campus-wide energy use supplied by renewable sources by 2020.
· By 2050, the Manoa campus will achieve self-sufficiency in energy and water, and will treat and transform its wastes into useable resources through its actions to conserve and re-use, and through its adoption of renewable energy technologies.

"We are initiating a new partnership with HECO to work together to put the UH Mānoa campus on the path to energy sustainability, to reduce the impact on global warming, and to return savings to pressing academic needs," said Chancellor Konan.

"In 2006, the energy bill for the Mānoa campus was $17 million. This year, it is expected to reach $18 million. These figures are the continuation of an upward trend that shows no signs of slowing," said Chancellor Konan.

"Hawaiian Electric Company has made a major commitment to increase electricity conservation and efficiency both through raising awareness and through technical assistance on a wide range of energy efficient technologies," said Mike May. "We are very happy to renew a partnership dedicated to saving energy and dollars for the University and protecting our environment both here in Hawaii and globally through this effort.

"The campus is committing itself to some high goals and I believe our assistance, plus the enthusiasm and expertise of students, faculty and staff will make these goals a reality."

Since most energy on campus is consumed by the operation of its buildings, they will be the natural focus for conservation activities. Other university campuses around the U.S. and other institutions and businesses on Oahu have already realized large savings by improving the efficiency of lighting, motors, ventilation and air conditioning.

"The University cannot do this alone, which is why a partnership with HECO is so critical to the success of this new campaign," said Chancellor Konan. "HECO will be able to bring its expertise on demand-side management and renewable energy to help the Mānoa Campus to meet our energy goals. Together, HECO and the UH-Mānoa will put the campus on the path to sustainability."

Today‘s meeting on campus was set to formally sign the charter of the partnership and to organize action committees made up of UH and HECO representatives.

In past collaboration, a campus-wide study set benchmarks of campus energy use with installation of electrical meters at 33 locations and energy audits of 44 buildings. Joint action committees will soon establish a coordinated list of priority projects to leverage expertise and resources to reduce electricity use.

In the near term, HECO is adding its support to a student-faculty-staff effort called "Sustainable Saunders" aimed at turning Saunders Hall into a model of sustainability and energy efficiency. Saunders includes the departments such as economics, peace studies, political science, population studies, public administration, sociology and urban planning. HECO also is participating in the UH Earth Day celebration on April 20.

HECO previously assisted in the design of the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kaka‘ako, funding an independent engineering firm to make energy efficiency recommendations which qualified the building for $250,000 in Energy$olutions rebates and are saving the school about $230,000 a year on its utility bills.

Most recently, HECO gave UH a rebate of $20,500 for installing CFL bulbs in student housing, bringing total energy efficiency rebates to over $450,000.

UH and HECO have a long history of collaboration on diverse projects, including research from biofuels for energy to termite control in utility polls. Other examples:

· HECO commissioned Professor Steven Meder and the School of Architecture to research solar access on rooftops using aerial imaging and analysis.
· HEI Foundation provided a grant for development of an energy-based curriculum to increase sustainable design skills of architecture students.
· HECO is providing space and utilities for the Hawaii Fuel Cell Test Facility where the UH Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is conducting research on fuel cells and associated fuels.

"The University of Hawaii is 100 years old, a mere youngster compared to Hawaiian Electric Company which was chartered by King Kalakaua in 1890," said May. "We represent two of the oldest — and yet most modern and innovative — public service institutions in our state. It is fitting we should be working closely together in this important effort."