Who spoke to the PUC on the NextEra buy out?

Tuesday night 300 people showed up to the PUC hearing, with 100 speaking.  Among the silent observers were many HECO and NextEra employees.  To my surprise, many spoke in support.  They seemed to be of two camps.  One was those who want to curry favor with HECO/NextEra management so that their current contracts or charitable donations will continue no matter who is in charge.  The second was regular ratepayers who are disgusted with HECO prices and/or service and hope NextEra will do better.

I have to say that some of the first group was pretending to be in the second group.  When I asked the man behind me in line why he was there, he said he has a non-profit hospice that receives annual donations from HECO.  However, when he spoke he just said he was a ratepayer and small business owner who believed NextEra could lower his bills.  Hmmm.

The opponents were largely people who care about the environment or Hawaiian independence and cited NextEras deplorable track record on the mainland.  One woman from Hawaii said she experienced NextEra first hand when she lived in Florida for 20 years.  I wasn’t sure if her preamble was leading to support or opposition, but she was vehemently opposed, calling NextEra an evil company managed by evil people.  I guess she would know…

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Inside the “secret” HECO meeting

Henry Curtis, who writes a prolific blog on local energy issues, referred today to HECO’s “secret, invitation-only meetings with selected community leaders to discuss the merger.” It is true, the invite said no guests allowed, and bring ID.

I went to the meeting, and it didn’t feel very selective. It felt like a desperate attempt to halt a public relations landslide. A team of 14 HECO employees outnumbered some 8 members of Windward community organizations. They asked to save the merger for last.

I think they were banking on us seeing real, local residents working at the company to feel like they were “just like us.” I did feel that way, but I also felt like they were all required by their employer to be there and to toe the company line.

I learned something: The net metering where individual producers with PV panels and HECO sell / buy at an even price was terminated last week. People with existing contracts are grandfathered in to the old deal. All contracts from now on will sell their energy at 15 cents and buy it at the retail rate, now 25 cents. The rationale behind this is that initial investors were rewarded with a favorable deal to get the industry started, but now 30% of single family homes have PV so that phase is over.

Generally, HECO described technical innovations they are working on. One industry insider pointed out that these had been used elsewhere for 40 years, and equated HECO with a dinosaur. Regardless, the message was that HECO is committed to 100% renewables by 2045, as required by law, and that they have plans to get there with or without Nextera. They said they would get there faster with Nextera because of favorable bulk pricing available to Nextera and experience using advanced technology. They said that just like HECO is bound by State laws and regulated by the PUC, so would Nextera be. So we don’t have to worry.

I explained that I am worried, because Nextera has a track record of buying political influence so that laws and PUCs cater to their business interests rather than what is best for the State. I said that HECO may be a dinosaur, but local people manage it and it is not actually malevolent. Among all the 14 HECO employees there, not one disagreed or defended Nextera in any way. They just said thanks for the nice comment about HECO and let it go at that.

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Join me at the Honolulu premier of “Breath of Life”!

Breath of Life Movie Premiere
Breath of Life Movie Premiere
Presented by Blue Planet Foundation
October 28, 2015, 7:00pm screening
Consolidated Theatres, Ward Stadium 16

Breath of Life Premiere, October 28, 2015 at 7pm

In observance of National Energy Awareness month, Blue Planet Foundation is teaming up with documentary filmmaker Susan Kucera to present her film Breath of Life on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Spectacularly photographed in Europe, Scandinavia, North America, and Hawaii, Breath of Lifetravels the globe in search of the truth behind what appears to be a looming environmental catastrophe. Everyone is telling us how we are destroying our world. Breath of Life is a film that shows us why. This stunning documentary captures the mind-bending insights of the world’s greatest evolutionary scientists, down-to-earth farmers, and Hawaiian wisdom keepers. It will forever change the way you view the world and provides a roadmap to the future you can actually use.

The screening will be followed by a 30-minute Q+A session with award winning author and journalist Paul Roberts. Roberts, who writes and lectures frequently on the complex interplay of economics, technology, and the natural world, is the author of the best selling books The End of Oil (2004) and The End of Food (2008).

To bring the premiere of this important film to Honolulu, a minimum of 120 tickets must be pre-sold. We are requesting a $25 donation for individual tickets or $20 per ticket for blocks of 20 or more tickets. Student tickets are available for $15. All proceeds will go towards helping Blue Planet Foundation to clear the path for 100% clean energy, starting in Hawaii.

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The Star Advertiser gives 100% renewable power a little spot light

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Join me – Blue Planet Foundation letter writing event in Kailua

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           Wind power                        Sun Power                           Our Power

Fight for local, clean, renewable energy!

Kailua Rec Center (inside the gym)                              Friday March 13, 6pm – 7:00pm

Blue Planet Foundation presents on Clean Energy Bills in our legislature right now that need your support.

Learn about the issues and how to write a letter on the spot to make change happen. Let’s do it together – our voices count!

  • Bring a laptop, tablet, or use our writing materials
  • Teens and adults
  • Snacks and drinks provided
  • Prizes

Free, but please RSVP at http://cleanenergy.bpt.me

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Just CLICK to send in testimony for clean energy!

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My own husband said he had no idea what I wanted him to do regarding testifying for clean power.  If I confused you too, let’s try again

There are a few bills in the Hawaii State House and Senate that will increase the proportion of renewable energy among all the types of energy we use to generate power in our state.  Right now the law says renewables need to be 40% of the total by 2030.  We are on track to exceed that.  Easily.  So, lets put our real progress into law and keep the momentum going towards 100% in 25 years.  Many other countries and cities outside the US are already doing this.  This will mean that our utilities company better think hard before making big new investments in imported fossil fuel infrastructure — maybe that money should go straight into clean, local, renewable energy.

The Bills change and go back and forth between legislative bodies.  New testimony is needed each time.  Blue Planet Foundation will help your voice be heard each time.  Go to the website below, submit testimony with them (there is a sample of what you could say) and they will make sure it gets submitted in both houses each time these bills are heard.

http://blueplanetfoundation.org/submit-testimony-for-100-renewable-power.html

The hard work of some won’t pay off unless the rest of us spend a few minutes supporting them.

Mahalo, Lisa

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What more could I want for my BIRTHDAY than fresh roses and fresh surf? Go to my blog and write testimony!

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Lanikai reef is going off and Jim sent roses.  But it would make my birthday even better if we were to DO something about Climate Change.

This legislative session there are two Bills that failed last year and need your support to get us on track for renewable energy.  Please write saying you support them.  Please pass this to your personal network as well.

1) Community Solar.  House Bill 484.  Residents and businesses who are not able to generate and use renewable energy because of their building type, location or access to the utility grid should be able to participate in and enjoy the economic, environmental and societal benefits of renewable energy.   These Bills allow them to invest in panels at another location, and receive credit from the utility for the energy generated.

2) Update our Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) to 70% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. House Bill 623, Senate Bill 715.  This means 70% and then 100% of our power (not transportation) will come from clean, local, renewable energy.  New technologies that are cheaper than imported oil have already put us on the path to exceed the RPS set in 2009 (40% renewable power by 2030).  The Hawaii State Energy Office and HECO have proposed increasing the RPS by 2030 to 70% and 65% respectively.  We should codify this into law, and make clear that we will eventually move off fossil fuels for power generation completely by having the 100% renewable goal.  Failing this, our power company may bank on providing the remaining 30% with imported LNG forever and invest heavily in infrastructure that we will pay for.

WRITE JUST ONCE AND REACH ALL THE COMMITTEES ON THE LONG ROAD TO THE GOVERNORS DESK.  Blue Planet Foundation will recycle your testimony for all the different committees.  Just send your testimony on each of these two issues to jeff@blueplanetfoundation.org and paste in:  “I give Blue Planet Foundation permission to submit this testimony to legislators and legislative committees as needed throughout the 2015 session on my behalf. I understand that they will edit the committee information, date, and salutation to reflect the committee, but will otherwise not change the substance of the testimony.”

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