Over the last few weeks, I heard statements from the Consolidated Commission of Utilities that I’d like to clarify.
First, Hawaii's energy costs are far more expensive than Guam’s. This is true to the extent that Hawaii’s overall Kwh rate is higher than Guam’s. But let’s dig into the numbers. The average household in Hawaii, as in most islands, has a far lower consumption rate per household than in Guam. Hawaii’s monthly average household energy consumption is 550 Kwh, compared to Guam’s average which is 850Kwh.
Now if you compare the energy bills in both jurisdictions, a household in Hawaii pays an average of $220 per month, while a Guam household pays around $260 per month. Clearly, Guam’s energy bills are far higher than Hawaii’s.
I always cringe when I hear or see the utility agency’s tips to save and conserve energy. There is this huge nuclear ball that rises every morning. It has more energy in one hour than the entire world will ever use in a year.
We are being told to conserve energy. Since I was a boy, I have always been told to turn off the lights, do not leave the air conditioning on, turn your computer off. Only when I entered the energy field 45 years ago did I figure out there is no need to conserve energy. We must just be smart enough to harness this energy and use it for whatever we need and want such as cooking, air conditioning and transportation.
A centralized energy generation and distribution source does not work. I have a solar energy system with batteries and consume energy where it is generated at my home.
Late last year I gave back to the utility agency —begrudgingly, believe me — over 7,000Kwh because I generated more energy than I could possibly use. Given what we all are experiencing now, the agency can certainly use my spare energy.
The other statement that I heard was, “hey, don’t blame the utility” for the rise in your energy bill. “We do not control fuel prices.” I believe they either missed the point here or tried to dodge the bullet.
The whole point is to stop burning fuel. The less you burn to produce energy, the less you purchase this destructive fuel, which will result in lower energy bills for all.
Now, how do you stop burning fuel? Install solar energy at the point of consumption. If every household had a solar system with a battery, we would have total control of our energy. Think about that for a moment: having total control of your own energy.
The next and most important part would be energy security and energy independence. The people whom we rely on for energy security are not steering this island in this direction. Building a huge, centralized utility plant and huge solar farms that are centralized will never decrease our utility bills.
Rely on the sun. It’s your God-given right to control your own energy.
Jeffrey Voacolo is the vice president and chief operations officer of Generation Renewable Inc. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org