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Policy 2013


Act Description
Purpose Significance
 Act 78 Makes an emergency appropriation from the Energy Security Special Fund to staff and support the Hawaii Refinery Task Force. The task force will serve as the principal advisory group on the market disruptions facing the State associated with changes in the State’s refining capacity and ownership and on specific measures, alternatives, and actions the State should consider to maintain adequate and affordable fuel supplies to meet the State’s energy needs. Hawaii’s clean energy transformation will impact the current energy ecosystem.  Forward thinking transition planning is imperative to ensure success.
 Act 262 Requires a wind energy facility owner to be responsible for facility decommissioning and to provide evidence of financial security unless the owner has an existing lease or other agreement that provides for decommissioning. Effective upon approval. To protect the public against health and safety hazards and to preserve the natural beauty of Hawaii by establishing standards and assurances of adequate financial resources for the safe and proper decommissioning of wind energy facilities at the end of their useful lives. Protects the public form adverse impacts of renewable energy infrastructure at the end of the equipment’s life cycle.
 Act 260 Requires the Public Utilities Commission to include a summary of the power purchase agreements in effect during the fiscal year in its annual report to the Governor. Clarifies the use of the public benefits fee under section 269-121, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to support clean energy technology, demand response technology, and energy use reduction, and demand-side management infrastructure. Transparency in the process of purchasing renewable electricity generated from non-fossil fuel sources serves the interests of independent power producers who compete to sell energy to the energy utilities and the rate-paying public by creating an opportunity for review and oversight of the public utilities commission’s decision-making process.  This measure also expanded on what technologies are eligible under the public benefit fee. Open and transparent competition of energy provider contracts benefits rate-payers.  Expanding the applicability of the public benefits fees supports the State’s renewable portfolio standards and energy-efficiency portfolio standards.
Act 261 Exempts landlords and lessors who install renewable energy systems on their property and provide, sell, or transmit electricity generated from those renewable energy systems to tenants or lessees on the premises from the definition of public utility, under certain conditions. Amends definition of Public Utility. Allows for greater penetration of distributed renewable energy generation.
 Act 37 Authorizes the public utilities commission to establish a policy to implement economic incentives and cost recovery regulatory mechanisms to induce and accelerate electric utilities’ cost reduction efforts, encourage greater utilization of renewable energy, accelerate the retirement of utility fossil generation, and increase investments to modernize the State’s electrical grids. Policy guidance to incentivize electric utility companies to make needed reforms that attain lower electricity rates and achieve Hawaii’s clean energy objectives.  The various mechanisms represent regulatory tools that make the transition to an affordable clean energy-focused system mutually beneficial to electric utilities and ratepayers. Sound economic policy enables a more efficient clean energy transformation.
Act 34 Authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to consider the value of implementing advanced grid modernization technology in the State. Requires the Public Utilities Commission to consider the value of improving electrical generation, transmission, and distribution systems and infrastructure through the use of advanced grid modernization technology throughout the State. Advanced grid modernization technologies can provide system operators and consumers with multiple benefits, including improved grid communications, electric system reliability, and operational efficiencies.
Act 57 Authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to waive or exempt an electric cooperative operating in the State from compliance with the provisions of chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as well as any other applicable charters, franchises, rules, decisions, orders, or any other laws. This measure provides the necessary exemptions for electric utility cooperatives, while also providing adequate protection to the cooperative’s members/owners by requiring a cooperative to apply for a waiver or exemption to the Public Utilities Commission.  It is not intended to permit the Public Utilities Commission to utilize its discretionary authority to usurp statewide clean energy policy mandates. Laws must align various business models.