Cut energy costs for free

LIHU‘E — The County of Kaua‘i and Kaua‘i Economic Development Board are offering up to $150 worth of energy-saving devices to residents who have been impacted by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

The Home Energy Retrofit Saving Program is limited to qualified residents on a first-come, first-served basis, and is part of the Kupa‘a Kaua‘i recovery effort. The program is funded through a grant from the county. KEDB is working with Pono Home, a home-energy company, to offer this energy-saving service to residents.

One way residents can save money with the program is to make sure they have switched over to LED lights for all the lights in their home. A single, 100-watt, incandescent light left on for three hours a day costs a Kaua‘i resident $30 in electricity over a year, while an equivalent LED light costs closer to $5.

“Many households have already made the shift to LED lights,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “But there are still less-efficient bulbs out there. Let’s find them and replace them.”

The HERS program goes well beyond LED lights. Applicants can also request advanced power strips to reduce “vampire loads,” water-saving devices for baths and kitchens, and even good old-fashioned clothes lines to reduce energy used by electric clothes dryers. All of these items are available at no cost through the HERS program.

“Kaua‘i, we’re in this together. So if someone you know could benefit from this program, please share this information with them,” said Kawakami.

Although the Kupa‘a Kaua‘i HERS program does not cover larger items like solar hot water or appliance replacements, those are items Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative can often help with.

“Energy efficiency is a great way for our members to save money during these difficult times, and we continue to offer our full suite of member services geared towards helping residents and businesses to save,” said David Bissell, KIUC president and CEO.

Apply online for the HERS program at homeefficiency.com/kauai.

More information is available at kauaiforward.com/energy-saving.

Residents without access to a computer or smartphone can pick up a paper application at the Lihu‘e Civic Center in the Kapule Building lobby (outside of the county Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registraion office) during normal business hours. Social-distancing guidelines will be enforced, and masks are required for entry.

More information on KIUC’s Member Services, including their Solar Loan Program, Solar Rebate Program and other energy-efficiency programs, see kiuc.coop/member-services or call KIUC at 246-4300.

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