Blue Planet Foundation News Release
The Hui Up! 3.0 refrigerator exchange program, a partnership between Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii Energy, and Sust‘AINAble Molokai, is now complete. As a result, 220 homes on Molokai have brand-new, Energy Star refrigerators that will save each household an average of $500 per year in electricity costs.
Molokai residents had the opportunity to exchange their old refrigerator for a high-efficiency model for $250 — considerably less than retail prices. Pick-up of the old refrigerator, recycling, and home delivery was included as part of the program.
The volume purchase — which would not have been possible without a community willing to make the commitment, put money down, and become more energy-efficient — was negotiated by Blue Planet Foundation with funding support from Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui counties.
On-the-ground logistics by Sust‘AINAble Molokai and coordination between Sears, Makoa Trucking, Island Movers and Refrigerant Recycling also helped make Hui Up! a reality.
“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to connect Molokai residents with a clean energy solution that they’ll benefit from immediately,” says Blue Planet Foundation Special Projects Director Francois Rogers. “Getting the community’s buy-in and students involved through our invaluable partnership with Sustain‘AINAble Molokai ensured that the program’s success goes beyond what can be measured in dollars and kilowatt hours, so we’re grateful for the team effort.”
Hui Up! was developed as a follow-up to a CFL exchange program that replaced 36,000 incandescent bulbs on Molokai with CFLs. Recognizing the difficulty that Molokai residents face in purchasing new refrigerators, Blue Planet designed a solution to address the barriers of prohibitive upfront costs and accessibility.
“Hui Up! is an innovative program that not only helps residents on Molokai purchase a new refrigerator, it saves them money toward their electricity,” said Hawaii Energy’s Transformational Program Specialist Chelsea Harder. “We’re proud to work with Blue Planet Foundation and Sust‘AINAble Molokai to encourage people to conserve and find more ways to become energy-efficient.”
A critical part of Hui Up! is the educational component. The Sust‘AINAble Molokai Youth Energy Team visited the participating households to conduct an energy assessment. Using hand-held energy monitors, the students calculated annual energy usage, cost, and carbon emissions, and they shared the results with the residents.
“Sust‘AINAble Molokai is thrilled to be able to address the huge demand for more refrigerator exchanges following the first round of 144 refrigerators swapped in 2012. In total, the program has replaced 364 old refrigerators, giving the Youth Energy Team the opportunity to complete hundreds of energy assessments,” says Sust‘AINAble Molokai Executive Director Emillia Noordhoek. “We want to thank all the youth who have participated. They played a significant role in helping our community become even more energy smart!”
The expected savings of Hui Up! 3.0 are significant: Based on the kilowatt-hour savings of the Energy Star refrigerators that were exchanged and Molokai’s electricity rate of $0.47 cents per kWh, Hui Up! 3.0 participants stand to save an average $500 a year on their individual electric bills. Collectively over the next 10 years, the 220 participating households will save more than $1.1 million in energy costs. Over this same period, these high efficiency refrigerators will also save 2.3 million kilowatt hours — that’s 5,042 barrels of oil that won’t need to be burned.