What You Need to Know: 2021–2022 Sustainability Report

Hawaiian Electric
4 min readApr 19, 2022

by Hawaii Powered | April 19, 2022

Revitalizing Communities with Streams and Sunlight by Kate Wadsworth

Check out more artwork in Hawaii of Tomorrow, envisioning resourceful, sustainable islands that adapt to the challenges of the coming decades, especially climate change.

In 2007, Hawaiian Electric published its first annual Sustainability Report. Fifteen years later, Hawaii has 93,000 private rooftop solar systems online and 18,000 electric vehicles registered. This report breaks down our progress, challenges and plans for moving toward goals set in our Climate Change Action Plan.

Don’t have time to read the whole report? No problem! We’ve got a short summary for you here!

The Highlights

38% of our electricity now comes from renewable resources, nearly four times more than a decade ago.

  • You may also hear us refer to this percent in relation to our Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target. The RPS represents the percentage of our electricity sales that come from renewables. Our RPS targets to keep us on track with the state’s commitment to powering electricity with 100% renewables by 2045.
  • Hawaiian Electric’s next target is to be at 40% RPS by 2030. The fact that we hit 38.4% in 2021 — which is close to the 2030 goal — is incredibly exciting!
From Hawaiian Electric’s 2021–2022 Sustainability Report. Read more on pages 2 and 4

As outlined in Hawaiian Electric’s Climate Change Action Plan, we are committed to reducing carbon emissions from power generation by 70% by 2030, compared to 2005 baseline levels. Our state’s efforts contribute to the national goal of reducing carbon emissions by about 50% by 2030. We’re making progress toward these goals by reducing our dependency on oil and coal, and by adding more clean energy generation, including customer-sited solar.

  • Our state is using 25% less oil compared to 2008. We have reduced our oil usage since 2008 by 113 million gallons.
From Hawaiian Electric’s 2021–2022 Sustainability Report. Read more on page 4
  • In September 2022, we will close the last coal plant in Hawaii: the AES plant on Oahu. At least six other fossil-fueled generating units will be retired as new renewable resources come online. Read more on page 9
  • There are 92,504 solar systems on the grid, but we aren’t finished yet!
  • Shared Solar launched in March of 2022, which provides a way for customers unable to install a private rooftop solar system to benefit from solar electricity generated on their island.
  • Battery Bonus launched in 2021 and pays a cash incentive for residential and commercial customers on Oahu to add a battery to existing or new rooftop solar systems.
  • Quick Connect also began in 2021 and allows most new rooftop solar systems to be installed and energized more quickly, which reduces the time to begin saving money with self-generated energy.
Shared solar project on a business in Mililani, Oahu. Read more on page 13

How has Hawaiian Electric been engaging with the community?

The past several years have brought major challenges, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to higher costs of island living, and most recently international crises impacting the global market. Hawaiian Electric recognizes that these large-scale events directly affect the lives of our friends, family and customers, and we’re committed to doing our part to reduce the impact.

About 150 employees participated in a three-month commitment to raise native plant seeds and supply the young seedlings to Protect & Preserve Hawaii, which is working to reforest Pia Valley in East Oahu.
Employees and their families recycled $240 worth of aluminum/plastics, removed 85 pounds of trash from Oahu coastlines and planted 200 native plants during Earth Month in April.
  • In commemoration of 100 years of service on Maui, Molokai and Lanai, employees nominated 21 Maui County nonprofits to receive donations totaling over $11,000. Some of these nonprofits included Lanai Youth Center, Molokai Community Service Council, East Maui Watershed Partnership and The Maui Farm.
Maui Electric workers pose in front of the company’s former Wailuku office, circa 1920s.

What else can I find in the 2021–2022 Sustainability Report?

We want to thank our customers, communities and partners for their involvement. Your input is essential to building a clean, renewable future and we want to continue to work with you!

For more information visit our participation site — Hawaii Powered!

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Hawaiian Electric

Established in 1891, Hawaiian Electric is committed to empowering its customers and communities by providing affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy.