STAND. COM. REP. NO. 234
RE: H.B. No. 949
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 949 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Establish and appropriate funds for a Solar Energy Storage System Loan Program to provide asset limited, income constrained, employed households with low-interest loans to purchase and install residential solar energy storage systems; and
(2) Establish and appropriate funds for a Renewable Energy System Installation Loan Program to provide low- and moderate-income families with low-interest loans to purchase and install residential photovoltaic and energy storage systems, including battery storage systems.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority; Ulupono Initiative; Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i; Climate Protectors Hawaii; Hawaii Solar Energy Association; Equal Opportunity Solar Fund; and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance.
Your Committee finds that while the transition to renewable energy holds promise for lower energy costs in comparison to fossil fuel use, many low- and limited-income households in Hawaii have difficulty purchasing renewable energy systems and storage. Providing more access to new technologies and services, such as solar energy systems and storage, to assist low- and limited-income customers will reduce their residential electricity burden and help the State achieve its goal of one hundred percent renewable energy by 2045.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying the definition of "asset limited, income constrained, employed household" to mean a household with an income of up to one hundred forty percent of the area median income;
(2) Clarifying references to section 196-64(c) and (d), Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(3) Changing references from the "Solar Energy System Special Fund" to the "Solar Energy System Revolving Loan Fund";
(4) Changing the appropriation amount into and out of the Solar Energy System Revolving Loan Fund to an unspecified amount;
(5) Changing the effective date to June 30, 3000, to encourage further discussion; and
(6) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
Your Committee respectfully requests your Committee on Finance, should it deliberate on this measure, to consider an appropriation amount of $200,000,000.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 949, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 949, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection,
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair