Turn-off program could cut energy costs
HONOLULU - Hawaiian Electric Co. announced it is starting a program that will help it add more solar, wind and other renewable energy to the grid while also saving business customers some money.
The utility said it will award credits to commercial and industrial customers who allow some of their air conditioners, pool heaters and other nonessential equipment to be turned off during periods of high power demand or low supplies of renewable energy.
A business willing to turn off equipment normally requiring 50 kilowatts of power could receive a credit of $3,000 per year. It would receive more money if power for the equipment is actually turned off.
HECO said the program will help it reliably deliver electricity to customers while at the same time reducing its use of fossil fuels.
Rail construction gets federal approval
HONOLULU - Honolulu has received federal approval to spend $185 million to begin building the foundation and pillars along the first segment of the city's planned commuter rail line.
Hawaii's congressional delegation in Washington announced Monday that the Federal Transit Administration granted Honolulu permission to proceed with advanced construction.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said moving forward with construction gives Oahu residents an alternative to being stuck in traffic on the island's congested roadways.