by Hideo Hikida
In 2007, Hawaii state officials unveiled a new plan to reduce city power consumption by 10% by 2017. Two years later, the city is still going in the wrong direction. In figures released today, the city’s electricity use has actually increased by almost 15% in the last two years.
With the city using 169.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity at the cost of $28.5 million in 2007, it comes as a shock that the city has consumed 194.4 million kilowatt hours at the cost of $38.8 million for the fiscal year of 2009. The city contends that the Sand Island Waste Water Treatment Plant is the culprit of the increase in electricity use, as the Department of Environmental Services (which oversees the plant) spent $17.1 million in FY 2009, an uptick from $11.6 million in FY 2007. If electricity used by the DES was excluded, electricity consumption for the city would have been decreased by 5.3 million kilowatt hours since FY 2007.
More shocking is the new that civilian electricity use has actually decreased 5% according to HECO and the fact that the annual city electrical consumption (25 million kilowatt hours) would be enough to power 3,500 homes in Honolulu for a year. In a time when the city has been preaching energy conservation and efficiency, it is grossly apparent that the hypocritical nature of city officials has finally been exposed.
Hideo Hikida, a Punahou School and Texas A&M graduate, is a policy intern at the Grassroot Institute.