Hawaii has highest electric rates in the Country

Go Solar: Hawaii has highest electric rates in the nation…ideas to cut costs:

It’s a well-known fact, to us in Hawaii, that we pay the highest rates per kWh in the nation.

Residential rates: (according to HECO.com, and KIUC.coop)
Kauai: .34/kWh
Oahu: .25/kWh
Maui: .29/kWh
Big Island: .36 /kWh

Mainland counterparts: (according to Streamenergy.net, and EIA.gov)
Texas: .12/ kWh
California: .14/kWh
New Mexico: .10/kWh
Washington State: .07/kWh
Maine: .15/kWh
Florida: .12/kWh

People like to purchase electric water heaters because their cheap, at least on the front end. Costs approx. $700. But, did you know that an electric water heater can account for 40%-50% of your electric bill? In Hawaii, that’s at least $100/mo. On average just to heat water. The problem with an electric water heater is that it clicks on and off all day long heating water whether it’s being used or not.

Solar water heating systems run from $5000 to $7000 depending on size, but the savings in the long run are tremendous. Solar Photovoltaic which can power the electricity in your house cost approx. $10,000 to $15,000 to install, depending on size. But I’m told by those who have it that their electric bill is $20/mo. or less (for PV). In addition, there are generous rebates offered by Federal, State and County incentive programs today and even financing by individual solar installers. Call KIUC for more info on rebates (808) 246 8280 or visit www.kiuc.coop. They can lead you to the pre-approved plumbers who install these systems. Rumor has it 65% of the cost is rebated to the customer.

If that is too much of a burden on your pocket book, the next best thing in water heating, is gas tank-less water heaters. At least they only heat water upon demand. And being gas inspired, they cut down on your electrical draw. I have one at my house. It works quietly and efficiently and I can wash multiple loads of laundry and long hot showers, guilt-free. My unit cost $1000 and easily services the whole house. My gas bill is approx. $60/month. which is the highest its ever been due to current oil prices. But I also run a gas dryer, and a gas stove in addition to my water heater.

At the very least, buy a heat pump which can reduce the standard electric bill by 30%. A heat pump can also double as a mini AC unit as it disperses cool air in exchange for the heat intake. Heat pumps cost approx. $2000 installed.

It’s fair to say, you pay one way or another; save upfront, or save in the end. With our dependence on fluctuating oil prices, and the uncertainty of future energy costs, having the ability to use a “free” and natural source like the sun makes the best sense. Especially now with incentives and financing.