KIUC, county roll out efficiency program

LIHUE — Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and the County of Kauai are sponsoring Pono Home, a program that helps qualified low-income and elderly families on Kauai become energy efficient and reduce their utility bills.

Through the Pono Home program, energy and water efficiency items, like LED lighting, smart power strips and high efficiency water fixtures, will be installed free of charge in eligible homes.

Kupuna 62 years and older are eligible for the program, said Shelley Paik, KIUC spokeswoman.

Kauai residents who qualify for Section 8 housing or are receiving any kind of Housing and Urban Development assistance can qualify for the program, said Sara Cobble, chief operations officer of Pono Home.

“We struggled with the ‘low income’ definition,” Cobble said.

Pono Home is also looking to partner with charities to reach out to potential qualified residents, she said.

To apply for the program, visit http://ponohome.com/kauai/.

The home efficiency survey asks questions like gross annual household income, number of people in the home, average monthly electric bill and if the home is rented or owned.

“The county is pleased to collaborate with KIUC on a program that will benefit Kauai families,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “As partners, we are committed to finding innovative ways to work together in our efforts toward energy efficiency.”

Installations will be completed this month, and the program is limited by time and funding.

“Our island community is important to us,” said David Bissell, KIUC president and CEO. “It is our hope that our joint efforts with the County of Kauai will help our members increase their energy efficiency and reduce their bills.”

In 2013, KIUC and the county signed a memorandum of understanding that commits the utility and local government to work together toward a goal of reducing the island’s consumption of fossil fuels and lowering the cost of energy for its residents.

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