Hui up! program educates students, gets Molokai residents energy efficient

Hawaii Independent Staff

MOLOKAI—Replacing an old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model can reduce electricity bills by as much as $500 a year.

On Tuesday, July 26, the first participants in the “Hui Up!” program orchestrated by Blue Planet Foundation and Sust‘AINAble Molokai will pick up their brand new ENERGY STAR refrigerators at Kaunakakai Regional Park.

Through Hui Up!, Molokai residents had the opportunity to trade in their old refrigerators for ENERGY STAR models at a discounted volume purchase price negotiated by Blue Planet.

These first 60 participating households may save as much as $150,000 in energy costs collectively over the next five years, Blue Planet said.

Each Hui Up! participant also receives a Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Use Monitor that contributes to the program’s educational component. Blue Planet and Kuhao Business Center hosted three training sessions on Molokai to teach students how to assess household energy use. Under the guidance of Sust‘AINAble Molokai, working with Alu Like’s Hoala Hou program, students then measured the energy consumption of the old refrigerators in Hui Up! homes. They will return in October to assess the difference with the new refrigerators.

The group buy is a continuation of the community-driven energy efficiency initiative that Blue Planet launched in 2010, during which island residents successfully replaced 36,000 incandescent bulbs with CFLs. The campaign saves the community $6.5 million over the bulbs’ lifetimes, simultaneously displacing 24,000 barrels of oil and 16,000 tons of carbon pollution.