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CITY REPORTS ON ENERGY CONSUMPTION

 

            (Wednesday, September 9, 2009) – Mayor Mufi Hannemann today reported that the City and County of Honolulu’s electricity consumption for the just-concluded 2009 fiscal year increased by 14.8 percent over 2007.

 

The electricity bill increased from $29,098,827 to $38,762,789 over the same period, representing an increase of about 33 percent.  The price the City paid for electricity was 17.19 cents/kilowatt hour in 2007 as compared to 19.94 cents/kilowatt hour in 2009.

 

            Seven City agencies or operations trimmed energy consumption by 6 million kilowatt hours since 2007, while the remaining agencies posted minimal increases.

 

The Department of Environmental Services accounted for nearly all the increase in consumption during the two-year period.  When excluding this agency’s usage increase, overall City electricity consumption would actually have decreased by nearly 5.3 million kilowatt hours since fiscal year 2007.

 

The department, which operates the island’s waste water collection and treatment system, attributed most of the increase to the Synagro biosolids recycling unit and ultraviolet plant, both located at the Sand Island Waste Water Treatment Plant and both in their first full year of operation in fiscal year 2009.  The biosolids plant was mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Hawaii Department of Health, while the ultraviolet unit was required by the EPA.  The City is planning to introduce co-generation at Sand Island to offset some of the increase.

 

            Mayor Hannemann said, “There’s good news in that we’re demonstrating steady progress in decreasing our energy consumption, despite the sharp spike in electricity rates.  Not only have most City agencies decreased consumption or minimized increases, but we’ve taken a number of steps to improve energy efficiency and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels for our needs, in keeping with the goals of our 21st Century Ahupuaa program.”

 

            He added, “The City is using more biodiesel—1.416 million gallons last fiscal year alone; installed energy-efficient air-conditioners for the Fasi Municipal Building and Blaisdell Arena; turned off the air-conditioning in City buildings after designated hours; participated in the Honolulu Lights Out campaign every third Saturday of the month; purchased more hybrid vehicles; and expanded the use of fluorescent lighting at public facilities.  Our conservation measures in major City-owned buildings have slashed energy consumption by 12 percent since 2005.

 

“We’re now installing a photovoltaic system on the roofs of several buildings at our Halawa Valley corporation yard, at a cost of nearly $500,000.  And this doesn’t include the hybrid buses we’ve purchased for TheBus operations.”

 

            The City will use $3.8 million in federal stimulus money, through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants championed by Hannemann in his leadership role with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, to make more improvements in the coming months.

 

            Among them are new air-conditioning systems for the Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall and meeting rooms, lighting retrofits for the Blaisdell parking lot, lighting retrofits for the Kalihi-Palama bus facilities and Kapolei Hale, and photovoltaic systems for the Pearl City and Kalihi-Palama bus maintenance operations.  The annual savings from these projects has been estimated at 1.5 million kilowatt hours, or $290,000 at today’s rates.

 

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Contact

Bill Brennan, 768-6928