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Oʻahu takes a closer look at its energy usage with new law

Hawaiian Electric Company

Oʻahu is taking a closer look at its energy usage with a new bill signed this week.

Honolulu City Council Bill 22 will require property owners to report their total energy and water consumption every year. Mayor Blangiardi signed it into law Wednesday.

The bill only applies to properties larger than 25,000 square feet.

The bill is an important step in alleviating the burden of high energy costs, says Nicola Hedge, the deputy director of the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency for Honolulu.

"We know that just this simple act of measuring can help you manage some of these costs, whether it's building owners and operators, who again can look at one of their biggest expenses and how they can cut waste and save on cost," she said.

"Whether it's tenants in those buildings, businesses or families in multifamily buildings looking to save on one of their utility costs. Whether it's industry who work in a space, looking at lighting, energy, HVAC and how they can be part of their building owners' next steps beyond benchmarking to reduce energy and water use," Hedge said.

Hedge says increasing energy efficiency can also mitigate climate change. The building sector accounted for more than one-third of Oʻahu's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter. She is also the lead producer of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast.
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