Stakeholder Spotlight

Hawaiian Electric Company

The July 22, 1886, edition of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser described the events of the night before as follows: “shortly after 7 o'clock last night, the electricity was turned on and, as soon as darkness decreased, the vicinity of Palace Square was flooded with a soft but brilliant light which turned darkness into day... by 8 o'clock an immense crowd had gathered. Before 9 o'clock, the Royal Hawaiian Military band commenced playing and the Military Companies soon marched into the square... a tea party was given under the auspices of the Society for the Education of Hawaiian Children organized by her Royal Highness the Princess Liliuokalani and Her Royal Highness, the Princess Likelike. The Palace was brightly illuminated, and the large crowd moving among the trees and tents made a pretty picture.”  This event was the culmination of five years’ worth of effort and vision to bring electricity to the Hawaiian Kingdom and led to the formation of the Hawaiian Electric Company.  Soon thereafter Hawaiian Electric would expand its services by providing the first electric vehicle charging station for Prince Jonah Kuhio, over a century ago.

Today, Hawaiian Electric is the state’s largest electric utility, serving over 95 percent of the state’s population within their service territories.  The company continues to carry the legacy of innovation into the future by working closely with the community and key stakeholders, including members of the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawai’i (STCH) to eliminate the use of imported fossil fuels and accelerate our transition towards clean transportation.  Today, as in the 1880’s, Hawaiian Electric is at a technological crossroads, with new opportunities to deliver clean energy and revolutionize the way we move and live in our communities.  The company is excited to be a part of the next century of energy solutions and believes that together we can light a path to a cleaner energy future.

Here are a few small ways you can participate in the clean transportation revolution:

  1. Mark your calendar for Oct. 21, 10-11:30 am for the company’s third Drive Electric Dialogue to share input on the Commercial Make-Ready Infrastructure Pilot Program it will be filing with the Public Utilities Commission by end of year.
  2. Take advantage of Hawaiʻi Energy’s EV Charging Station incentive: This rebate can help offset your charge station installation costs. Affordable housing developments may be eligible for additional incentives. Visit com/evcharging to learn about refunds, eligibility and important deadlines.
  3. Join the eMob: Sign up here for invitations and updates about Hawaiian Electric’s eMobility initiatives: https://visitor.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?m=1134320994700&p=oi

Some of Hawaiian Electric’s key programs include:

  • In 2018, the company filed an Electrification of Transportation Strategic Roadmap to lay the groundwork for its role in supporting the significant transformation in the transportation space, ensuring that grid upgrades are sequenced efficiently, customers are properly incentivized, and electrification progress stays on schedule.
  • Since 2012, Hawaiian Electric has offered a publicly accessible DC fast charger program, called EV-U and starting in 2020, EV-MAUI. Recent installations include Puna Kai Shopping Center on Hawai‘i Island and Pukalani Shopping Center on Maui.
  • In 2019, Hawaiian Electric filed an EoT Workplan outlining its near-term electrification initiatives. As part of this workplan, the company filed a proposal in July 2020 for an eBus Infrastructure Make-Ready Pilot to support bus operators’ transition to electric bus fleets. It will allow Hawaiian Electric to install, own, and operate the electrical equipment beyond the customer meter to where charging stations connect. The program is designed to help reduce barriers to adoption of electric buses and accelerate the investment in clean technologies. Electric buses will help democratize clean transportation and also reduce emissions in the communities that they serve.
  • In August 2020, as part of a nationwide commitment by members of the Edison Electric Institute, Hawaiian Electric pledged that 100 percent of its utility passenger vehicle fleet – sedans, SUVs, small vans and light trucks – will be plug-in electric by 2035, even as the company reduces its total fleet for efficiency and cost-savings. About 25 percent of the passenger fleet is currently electric, leading the state in electric fleets.