Pilot program with Pono Home helps low-income, kupuna families

LIHUE — Over 1,300 home-efficiency products were installed in Kauai homes as part of a pilot program spearheaded by Pono Home.

The Honolulu-based home-efficiency company helped install, for free, LED light bulbs, high-efficiency shower heads, faucet aerators and advanced power strips in 66 low-income and kupuna homes across the island, according to a press release.

The estimated annual total savings of the project are 153,306 pounds of carbon dioxide and $28,876.19, or $437.52 per home, the release said.

While there was no cost-saving goal, the first-year savings exceeded the amount spent on the program, said Sara Cobble, chief operations officer of Pono Home.

The total cost of the project was $20,000. The Office of Economic Development provided a $10,000 grant and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative paid the remaining half, she said.

“KIUC was pleased to participate in this program to assist families in need on Kauai,” said David Bissell, KIUC president and CEO.

The goal of the pilot program, which ran from September to October, was to help low-income and elderly families reduce their utility bills, reduce Kauai dependence on foreign oil, educate residents about energy and water efficiency and reach residents whom have not been able to previously participate in energy-efficiency programs.

“At Pono Home, we aim to make energy efficiency and sustainable living easy and affordable, and it is very important for us to help kupuna and low-income families lower their utility bills,” Cobble said.

In the coming months, Pono Home, KIUC and the County of Kauai will be researching the impacts and effectiveness of the program for future program considerations.

“We hope to continue the program next year if funding is available,” Cobble said.

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