STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1129
RE: H.B. No. 558
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, to which was referred H.B. No. 558, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CLEAN ENERGY FINANCING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Create a clean energy and energy efficiency revolving loan fund to finance a broad range of clean energy technologies;
(2) Expand the objective of the Hawaii green infrastructure special fund $50,000,000 sub-fund to allow state agencies to finance their purchase option under existing energy performance contracts and power purchase agreements;
(3) Repeal the building energy efficiency revolving loan fund; and
(4) Make an appropriation out of the clean energy and energy efficiency revolving loan fund to provide clean energy investment loans or for other approved uses.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Energy Office, Office of Economic Development, Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, Blue Planet, Climate Protectors Hawai‘i and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs; Department of Budget and Finance; Public Utilities Commission; and the City and County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency.
Your Committee finds that the State has set ambitious goals for reducing energy costs, driving higher-paying green job creation and retention, and saving billions of dollars currently spent on importing petroleum. To meet these goals while simultaneously addressing the budget shortfalls attributed to the deleterious effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on the State's economy, the State must pursue innovative ways of making funds available aside from bond financing. This measure would allow the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority to access flexible, low-cost loan capital and facilitate green infrastructure investments in rural areas across the State. The measure would also enable the State to finance a broad range of clean energy technologies, including electric vehicle charging stations and the electrification of the State's vehicle fleet, by utilizing a new cashflow stream generated by savings from the exercise of purchase options in existing power purchase agreements. Your Committee further finds that these infrastructure investments can help to kick-start the State's economy.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 558, H.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism,
GLENN WAKAI, Chair