[§196-72]  Chief energy officer of the Hawaii state energy office; duties.  (a)  The Hawaii state energy office shall be led by the chief energy officer, who shall be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appointed by the governor; provided that the term of the chief energy officer shall be coterminous with the term of the governor.

     (b)  The chief energy officer shall have:

     (1)  Experience, knowledge, and expertise in policy, programs, or services related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and energy resiliency related activities and development; and

     (2)  Experience in a supervisory or administrative capacity.

     (c)  The chief energy officer shall hire staff necessary to carry out the purposes of this part.  The chief energy officer and employees of the Hawaii state energy office shall be exempt from chapter 76 and shall not be considered civil service employees but shall be entitled to any employee benefit plan normally inuring to civil service employees.

     (d)  Subject to the approval of the governor, the chief energy officer shall:

     (1)  Formulate, analyze, recommend, and implement specific policies, strategies, and plans, in coordination with public and private sector stakeholders, to cost-effectively and equitably achieve the State's energy goals;

     (2)  Identify, track, and report key performance measures and milestones related to the State's energy and decarbonization goals;

     (3)  Provide technical assistance to state and county agencies to assess and implement projects and programs related to energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, energy resiliency, and related measures;

     (4)  Coordinate the State's energy programs with those of the federal government, other territory and state governments, the political subdivisions of the State, departments of the State, and governments of nations with interest in common energy resources;

     (5)  Identify market gaps and innovation opportunities, collaborate with stakeholders, and facilitate public-private partnerships to develop projects, programs, and tools to encourage private and public exploration, research, and development of energy resources, distributed energy resources, and data analytics that will support the State's energy and decarbonization goals;

     (6)  Create and review proposed state actions that may have a significant effect on the State's energy and decarbonization goals, report to the governor their effect on the energy program, and perform other services as may be required;

     (7)  Evaluate, recommend, and participate in the development of incentives and programs that encourage the development of energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy resiliency, distributed energy resources, and clean transportation resources;

     (8)  Assess and evaluate the effectiveness and continued necessity of existing energy related incentives, tax credits, and programs, and provide recommendations and proposed changes;

     (9)  Develop and maintain a comprehensive and systematic quantitative and qualitative capacity to analyze the status of energy resources, systems, and markets, both in-state and in other states and countries, particularly in relation to the State's economy, and to recommend, develop proposals for, and assess the effectiveness of policy and regulatory decisions, and energy emergency planning;

    (10)  Develop and recommend programs for, and assist public agencies in the implementation of, energy assurance and energy resilience;

    (11)  Support the development, evaluation, revision, and adoption of energy-related codes and standards that advance the State's energy goals;

    (12)  Act as the State's energy data clearinghouse by identifying, collecting, compiling, analyzing, publishing, and where possible, monetizing energy and clean transportation data and analyses;

    (13)  Advocate for the State's energy and decarbonization goals at relevant venues and departments, including but not limited to the public utilities commission, legislature, and division of consumer advocacy, to ensure that state energy policies and regulations align with the state strategic goals and are data-driven;

    (14)  Support economic development and innovation initiatives related to and resulting from the State's renewable energy and distributed energy resources experience, capabilities, and data analyses;

    (15)  Facilitate the efficient, expedited permitting of energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and energy resiliency projects by:

          (A)  Coordinating and aligning state and county departments and agencies to support, expedite, and remove barriers to deployment of energy initiatives and projects; and

          (B)  Identify and evaluate conflicting or onerous policies and rules that unreasonably impede project development and deployment and propose regulatory, legislative, administrative, or other solutions to applicable stakeholders;

    (16)  Identify and recommend policies to align utility goals with those of ratepayers, including evaluating utility models that best support state energy goals;

    (17)  Prepare and submit an annual report and other reports as may be requested to the governor and to the legislature on the implementation of this part;

    (18)  Contract for services when required for the implementation of this part; and

    (19)  Adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 91, for the administration of this part. [L 2019, c 122, pt of §2]