$90 million in recovery funds going toward clean energy in Hawaii

WASHINGTON (HawaiiNewsNow) – Over $90 million in federal stimulus funds are being spent in Hawaii to promote clean energy technology, according to Senators Akaka and Inouye. The funds are being spent on energy conservation projects as well as on the development of new clean energy sources.

"For too long Hawaii has been dependent on imported fossil fuel and these funds are critical to enhancing our energy self-sufficiency," said Senator Inouye.

Almost 26 million of the money has gone to the state as part of the State Energy Program. This program focuses on promoting energy conservation and efficiency while reducing energy demand implementing comprehensive statewide plans for energy. State Energy Program funds cannot be used for research or construction.

Another $15 million is being distributed to the State Energy office and Hawaii's four counties for the Energy Efficiency and Conversation Block program. This program is modeled after the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's community block grant program. The money allows the counties to develop and implement their own energy efficiency and conservation projects.

"Energy projects funded through the Recovery Act are helping to keep people working in Hawaii while expanding energy efficiency and clean energy production. This will mean greater self-sufficiency and a stronger economy tomorrow," said Senator Akaka.

Some of the funds are being distributed to the Hawaiian Electric Company for the development of a "smart grid" system designed to increase efficiency and reduce outages. The utility is also receiving money for the development of wind power initiatives.

Hawaii consumers will also see a direct impact from the money. Over a million dollars will go to provide consumer rebates for the purchase of energy efficient appliances. $1.6 million will go to install energy efficient devices in 650 homes throughout the islands over the next three years.

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