Hui Up! brings shipment of energy-efficient refrigerators to Lana‘i
For Immediate Release
May 25, 2012
CONTACT: Catharine Lo, 808-782-3733
Hui Up! brings a shipment of energy-efficient refrigerators to Lāna‘i residents
LANA‘I CITY—On Thursday and Friday, volunteers on Lāna‘i delivered brand-new, ENERGY STAR® refrigerators to participants of Blue Planet Foundation's Hui Up! program. Hui Up! offered residents the opportunity to trade in their old refrigerator for a high-efficiency model for $250, a considerable discount off retail prices for an item that they would have otherwise had to purchase and ship in from off-island. The volume purchase was negotiated by Blue Planet Foundation with funding support from Hawaii Energy. Led by community leader George Purdy, Lāna‘i organization Laulima Kuhao coordinated the refrigerator delivery and old refrigerator recycling. Castle & Cooke Renewable Energy contributed storage space and on-the-ground logistical support.
"We developed Hui Up! to help residents overcome the upfront cost barrier to home efficiency purchases," describes Blue Planet Foundation Special Projects Director Francois Rogers. "But it's not just about individuals saving money; it's about the community coming together to embrace the benefits of energy efficiency and making the volume purchase possible."
A critical part of Hui Up! is the educational component. Students from Lāna‘i High and Elementary School, under the direction of teacher Doug Weidman, visited the participating householdes to conduct an energy assessment. Using hand-held energy monitors, the high school juniors calculated annual energy usage, cost, and carbon emissions, and they shared the results with the residents. The students will return after the new refrigerators are installed to measure the change in energy consumption.
The expected savings are notable: Based on the kilowatt-hour savings of the ENERGY STAR refrigerators and Lāna‘i's electricity rate of $0.44 cents per kWh, Hui Up! participants stand to save as much as $530 a year on their individual electric bills. Collectively over the next ten years, these 30 families will save about $160,000 in energy costs, displace 517 barrels of oil and prevent 344 tons of greenhouse gas pollution, underscoring the power of community.
"Our old refrigerator was 20 years old. It was breaking down, and water was dripping," shares Hui Up! participant Natalie Ropa. "We were looking into buying a new one, but as soon as we got the [Hui Up] postcard in the mail, we were like, we're doing this! They take away the old one, and give us a brand-new one. We were excited to get it."
"A little effort goes a long way on Lāna‘i, where electricity rates are the highest in the country and relief is harder to come by," says Hawaii Energy's Residential Program Leader Larry Newman. Hawaii Energy also supplied each participating household with a valuable home energy saver package that included a low-flow showerhead, smart power strip, a faucet aerator, and four CFL bulbs. "We hope to raise awareness about the benefits of energy efficiency and look forward to providing more opportunities to help Lana'i residents save energy."
Hui Up! Lāna‘i is the follow-up to the successful Hui Up! Moloka‘i refrigerator trade-in program in 2011. Designing community efficiency solutions that are cost-effective, replicable and scalable is an important part of Blue Planet's mission.
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Photos: (Top) Community volunteers deliver new refrigerators to Lāna‘i residents who participated in Blue Planet's Hui Up! program. (Bottom) Jake Ropa is eager to sneak a peek inside his family's new ENERGY STAR refrigerator.
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