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Business Energy Guide 2012

Making the Transition Helping Hawaii's Businesses Become Energy Efficient

By: Sherie Char

(page 4 of 8)

“Solar is simply more affordable ... the overall
installation cost is about half of what it was four
years ago.”
—Mark Duda, principal, RevoluSun

Engaging with Renewable Energy

“There are a couple of ways a business can engage with renewable energy,” says Mark Duda, principal for RevoluSun. “The most common is if they’re trying to offset their own energy consumption with renewable energy that they make themselves.”

More and more businesses in Hawaii have been doing their part in reducing our state’s dependence on imported oil by installing PV systems. With the recent introduction of the feed-in tariffs (FIT) for commercial PV owners on the grid, there is an innovative business opportunity to make money.

“If property owners qualify and participate in the FIT process, and make energy that they don’t use, they can sell it directly to the grid,” says Duda. “They can sell it to the utility company for resale to other companies at a predetermined rate.”

Engaging with renewable energy is also now financially accessible to Hawaii’s companies than ever before. 

Photo: Courtesy of Revolusun

“Solar is simply more affordable than the alternative of buying power from the utility,” he says, “The prices have come down to the point where the overall installation cost is about half of what it was four years ago.”

With the introduction of attractive financial incentives and rebates, companies like RevoluSun are helping customers lock in savings by investing in solar.

“There are two overwhelming reasons why Hawaii’s businesses should use clean, renewable energy,” he says. “The first reason is that companies will typically save a substantial amount of money on their energy costs over the life of the system. Determining future energy costs is one of the biggest problems for businesses buying power that’s made from oil. With renewable energy, businesses will be able to know what the cost is going forward.”

The second reason, says Duda, is because it is important for businesses to help get the state off of imported oil as its primary fuel source.

“By working together, we can help to make our state much more economically competitive,” he says. “We try to align the interest of everyone involved in the transaction, so you have as many people benefiting from a solar energy project as possible.”

RevoluSun enables Hawaii’s businesses to harness the power of renewable energy to make their business more sustainable.

“If you know what your operating costs will be, and you’ve lowered them, you’re going to be better at executing at your core business,” says Duda. “Your company won’t be blindsided by power costs that are way outside of budget, or costs that you literally can’t plan for.”

While RevoluSun helps as many businesses as possible to make the transition from imported oil to clean, renewable energy, Duda is also president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA), which is actively working at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and State Legislature to continue the policy support for the solar industry.

“At HSEA, we spend a lot of time on different types of work force development efforts, whether it’s through the community colleges or different programs that are being established through the City and County,” says Duda.

The solar industry in Hawaii is one of the few industries that’s bucking the overall recession.

“2011 was the biggest year for Hawaii’s solar industry, but I think 2012 will be even bigger because the interest in clean, renewable energy is continuing to really grow,” says Duda. “We want to thank Hawaii’s businesses and residential customers as well for recognizing the potential of solar energy to meet their needs, both from an economic and an environment-sustainability perspective.”

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