Gov. Linda Lingle signed a bill into law Thursday requiring the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010.
Linda Linglesigned a
bill into law June 26 that requires the installation of solar water heating
systems in homes starting in 2010. "This solar power legislation is another
important step in our long-term plan for energy independence in Hawaii,"
TheAssociated Pressreports that Hawaii
relies on imported fossil fuels more than any other state. About 90 percent of
its energy sources come from foreign countries, according to state data.
The new law prohibits issuing building
permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Some
exceptions will be allowed, such as forested areas where there are low amounts
Hooser, vice chairman of the Energy and Environment Committee, first
introduced the measure five years ago when he said a barrel of oil cost just
$40. Since then, the cost of oil has more than tripled. Hooser (D-Kauai-Niihau)
stated both the environment and the economy will benefit.
"I'm hoping this will start a trend
nationwide," Hooser told theAP. He plans to meet with
lawmakers in other “sunshine states,” such as California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, to push similar
Opponents of the law have argued that the mandate is
unfair and will drive up home prices in the islands, where a modest home can
start at $600,000.
Hawaiian Electric Co. estimates about
85,000 households, or roughly 20 percent of all homes in the islands, already
have solar water heating systems. They come standard in many new homes being
built by developers.
Hawaii First State To Require Solar Water Heaters In New Homes
June 30, 2008