Energy-Efficient Home Improvements

Photo of a yellow, one-story house with a blonde-colored roof. Solar panels are installed on the top of the roof and are lying flat. There is an entryway at the center of the house, flanked on each side by windows holding white window air-conditioners. To the left of the house is a green, leafy tree with orange flowers. To the right and up close in the photo is a palm tree. Investing in home improvements like the solar water heating system installed in this house can reduce your electricity bill by 35%. By investing in home improvements, you can save money over the long term and contribute to Hawai‘i's energy goals. Here are the areas where changes you make can have the greatest impact on your energy bill and the planet.

Passive Solar Design

Consider employing passive solar design features, including overhangs, windows with reflective coatings, and reflective coatings on your exterior walls and roof to help keep your home comfortably cool. Learn more about passive solar design through the Hawai‘i Homeowner's Guide to Energy, Comfort, and Value (PDF 632 KB).

Energy-Efficient Appliances

When you're in the market for new appliances, be sure to buy energy-efficient appliances to reduce your electric bills and your carbon footprint. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying new home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Hawaii Appliance Rebate Programs

By installing appliances that carry the ENERGY STAR label, most Hawai'i households can save nearly $80 per year on energy costs, depending on the appliances and their usage.

The Public Utilities Commission has an appliance rebate program managed by the Science Applications International Corporation's Hawaii Energy program. For more information, Oahu, Big Island, Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i residents can contact Hawaii Energy at 808-537-5577.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative also has an appliance rebate program. For more information, contact Ray Mierta at 808-246-8280.

Efficient Swimming Pool Heating

Heating a swimming pool can consume a lot of energy and add up to high heating bills. You can improve your pool's energy efficiency when you follow these tips from DOE:

Solar Water Heating

A solar water heater can reduce your electricity bill by 35%, and with tax breaks and utility rebates, you can recoup your initial costs in two years or less—and continue to for years. Learn more about financial incentives:

Solar Electricity

Consider applying for a "green" loan or home equity loan to install solar panels (also called photovoltaics). Over time, the system can pay for itself through energy savings, profits from selling extra electricity to the utility (called net metering), tax credits, and real estate appreciation.

Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative