On June 8, 2015 Governor David Ige signed into law HRS 304a-119 which established a collective goal for the University of Hawai‘i “to become net-zero with respect to energy use, producing as much (renewable) energy as the system consumes across all campuses by January 1, 2035.”
The University of Hawaiʻi’s Strategic Energy Management efforts help to advance the State of Hawaii Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of achieving 100 percent renewable portfolio standard for the electricity sector by 2045.
The legislation requiring UH to become net-zero directs the university to establish a benchmark for the amount and value of energy consumed during the 2014–2015 fiscal year, then to measure its progress toward the net-zero goal. The university is also required to submit an annual report on its progress to the legislature.
NET ZERO DEFINITION
The Office of Sustainability (OS) and Office of Energy Management (OEM) embrace the Net Zero mandate, to produce “as much (renewable) energy as the system consumes across all campuses, by January 1, 2035.”
The University of Hawaii defines Net Zero energy consumption and production as follows:
Net Zero Energy Consumption is energy consumed by the UH or energy consumed by UH controlled facilities. This includes energy consumed as part of the infrastructure like parking lot lighting, building air conditioners, building lighting and electrical loads, as well as energy consumed by tenants and vendors, including those that have a dedicated Utility meter, that they pay directly to the Utility.
Net Zero Energy Production is energy generated by the UH directly or generated on UH controlled facilities. This includes generation assets owned by the UH, independent of where they physically are, owned by 3rd party but are on UH controlled lands (like PV PPAs), and utility-scale generation on UH owned lands. This includes all forms of generation to include renewables and PV as a preferred source, but could include Hydrogen, bio fuels, or other renewable sources.
CARBON ZERO STRETCH GOAL
UH also has a stretch goal of achieving 50% carbon zero by the 2035 net zero deadline, and an overarching focus on lowering the utility bill for energy. It is understood that the achieving the Net Zero Energy mandate does not require a zero utility bill, nor does it require a carbon zero profile.