Cooling off Hawaii's State Capitol will save tax dollars

Published: Aug. 5, 2009 at 9:59 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2009 at 7:26 PM HST
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State Comptroller Russ Saito
State Comptroller Russ Saito
Rick Ambler
Rick Ambler

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Lawmakers will soon seen the State Capitol in a new light. A greener light. Efforts to conserve energy are going up all over the place.

There's a cover up taking place at the State Capitol.

But its one, the state hopes you find out about.

Because this cover up, will save money.

"For this building about $14,000 a year," said State Comptroller, Russ Saito.

The cost savings at the Capitol come from reduced energy use in lawmakers offices thanks to a polished aluminum film being put on the windows.

Many probably can't tell the difference in the amount of light newly tinted windows let in, as compared to untinted windows but there is a big difference in the amount of heat they filter out.

"It cuts 66% of the heat, so it lowers energy costs," said Rick Ambler, of AMCO Glass Tinting.

This film does more than just cut out the heat, it also makes it a little safer to work in the State Capitol building.

"Its 8 mls thick so it enhances the structural integrity of the glass. If the glass were to break it would hold all the pieces together," added Ambler.

It seems like such a simple step to save electricity and save money, and it is just one of the many ways the state is cutting costs. Already the building has switched to more efficient lighting and initiated energy conservation efforts.

And the state is finding by saving electricity, they are not only doing something good for their bottom line, they're also doing something good for the environment!

"It definitely pays to go green," said Saito.

At the current energy rates, the cost savings on electricity would pay for the project in 15 years. But if energy prices go up, it could be paid off even sooner.