STAND. COM. REP. NO. 110
RE: H.B. No. 195
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 195 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY,"
beg leave to report as follows:
(1) By January 1, 2024, require government entities in the State that issue building permits to implement SolarAPP+ or a functionally equivalent online automated permitting platform that verifies code compliance and issues permits to licensed contractors for solar distributed energy resource systems in real time;
(2) Require government entities in the State that issue building permits to adopt self-certification for solar distributed energy resource systems that are not SolarAPP+ compatible; and
(3) Make the professional engineers, architects, surveyors, and landscape architects licensure law inapplicable to work with respect to residential distributed energy resource systems and increase the estimated cost of work on certain structures below which that licensure law is inapplicable.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Chamber of Sustainable Commerce; Hawai‘i Unified Industries, LLC; Solar Services Hawaii LLP; Green Power Projects LLC; Grand Solar, Inc.; Hawaii Food Industry Association; Mālama Solar; Sierra Club of Hawai‘i; Climate Protectors Hawai‘i; Makaha Learning Center; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Kauai Climate Action Coalition; Sunnova Energy; Hawaii Solar Energy Association; ‘Ahahui o nā Kauka; 350Hawaii.org; Our Revolution Hawaii; Tesla; Alternate Energy Hawaii; Photonworks Engineering; and numerous individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the American Institute of Architects, Hawaii State Council; American Council of Engineering Companies of Hawaii; and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Hawaii State Energy Office; Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative; and Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects.
Your Committees find that electric utilities in the State are required to achieve a one hundred percent renewable portfolio standard by December 31, 2045, in order to transition the State away from imported fossil fuels and toward locally available renewable energy sources. To encourage the timely build-out of a diverse, resilient, and reliable portfolio of low-cost renewable energy generation and storage assets, Hawaii must lower the administrative barriers that constrain deployment of residential and commercial-scale distributed energy resources. This measure lowers administrative barriers to the deployment of energy generation and storage technology systems, eliminating unnecessary impediments to the timely installation of residential distributed energy resources and other real property improvements.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Specifying that the self-certification process shall only apply to solar distributed energy resource systems of 250 kilowatts or less;
(2) Changing the thresholds for the estimated cost of work on certain structures that are exempt from the professional engineers, architects, surveyors, and landscape architects licensure law to unspecified amounts;
(3) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committees respectfully request your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce, should it deliberate on this measure, to consider a threshold amount of $160,000 for privately owned or privately controlled one-storied buildings, dwellings, or structures; $140,000 for privately controlled two-storied buildings, dwellings, or structures; $200,000 for privately owned or privately controlled one-storied structures used primarily as a residence; and $180,000 for privately owned or privately controlled two-storied structures used primarily as a residence. Your Committees note that these proposed threshold amounts reflect inflationary adjustments to the amounts in the existing statute, which was last amended in 1979.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 195, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 195, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Water & Land,
LINDA ICHIYAMA, Chair
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair