The City Council has the opportunity to modernize Honolulu’s outdated energy code, which governs the construction of new buildings, and so reduce energy costs for Honolulu residents. The updates in Bill 25 FD1 will make new buildings more energy efficient and give more people access to the savings that come from using solar energy and electric vehicles (EVs). The buildings built today will last for decades to come. Making these practical changes now is far more cost-effective than retrofitting buildings later for solar and electric vehicles – both of which are needed to meet local goals for clean transportation and 100% clean energy.
BUT WHAT ABOUT COSTS AND AFFORDABILITY?
Bill 25 actually improves long-term housing affordability for Honolulu residents and tenants. The slight increase in new construction costs – about 1% of the median condo price, or half a percent of a median single family home price – more than pays for itself through utility bill savings, and in the case of EV-readiness, through avoided gasoline purchases. The cost of new construction today is far lower than the cost of retrofitting buildings later; EV-readiness alone is four to eight times cheaper at the time of construction than it is as a retrofit. It’s critical to energy affordability to make these changes to the energy code as soon as possible to save O’ahu residents’ time and money now.
BILL 25 GIVES O‘AHU RESIDENTS ACCESS TO:
- Energy-efficient new homes so residents save up to 65% on utility bills
- Home water heating that uses O‘ahu’s abundant sunshine instead of fossil fuels
- Improved air quality both indoors and outdoors
- More EV charging capacity at homes and businesses
- More capacity for solar panels on the roofs of new homes
- More flexibility for builders to use super-efficient tropical building standards
IMPORTANT UPDATES TO BILL 25 AFTER LOCAL COMMUNITY FEEDBACK:
- Now helps homeowners easily install rooftop solar panels by requiring new homes to be “solar ready”
- Now enables faster car charging by increasing residential EV-ready parking requirements from Level 1 to Level 2 chargers
- Now adds flexibility for how developers make new buildings EV-ready
- Now significantly reduces EV-readiness requirements for affordable housing
SOME IMPROVEMENTS WE’D LIKE TO SEE
- Take out the EV Parking Points System- it is complicated, hard to enforce, and will result in less EV-ready stalls.
- Increase the percentage of ev-ready parking stalls for affordable housing (110% AMI and below) from 10% to 25% as originally intended in the bill.
Addressing both affordability and climate action, Bill 25 FD1 will make O‘ahu more resilient for today’s residents and for generations to come and help put Hawai‘i on the path to 100% clean energy.
Submit written testimony here.
Meeting Date: 3/18/20
Council/PH Committee: Council/Public Hearing
Agenda Item: Bill 25
Dear Chair Anderson and members of the Council,
My name is ______ and I reside in _______. I support Bill 25 FD1 as an actionable step toward a clean energy future. Construction on new homes and other buildings will be cleaner, healthier, and more affordable to operate. Hawaiʻi has an affordability and cost of living crisis, the slight increase in new construction costs more than pays for itself through utility bill savings, and in the case of EV-readiness, through avoided gasoline purchases. With that, I humbly suggest taking out the EV parking point system which is complicated and will result in less stalls for people to use. A more balanced approach would be to phase in EV-ready parking requirements so that it is available to everyone. Bill 25 FD1 is needed to turn the tide on the impacts of climate change we are already experiencing, please consider amending to make this a bold step forward.
Mahalo for the opportunity to support Bill 25 FD1.