Hawaiian Electric Creates New Department to Support Solar

November 16, 2019, 4:17 PM HST (Updated November 16, 2019, 1:42 PM)
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The Hawaiian Electric Companies are streamlining their services for customers with rooftop solar and other devices that interact with the electricity grid. HEC announced the creation of a single Customer Energy Resources (CER) department last week, with personnel based on Hawai‘i, Maui and O‘ahu.

“As the new name suggests, we are putting the customer first by providing a unified way for customers to understand and take advantage of more options to ‘help your wallet and help the grid’ as we move to 100% clean energy,” said Kaiulani Shinsato, CER co-director for programs and policy.

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Combining the work of two departments, CER will support increased participation by customers and contractors in private rooftop solar, storage and grid services, according to Shelee Kimura, senior vice president for customer service.

“To reach our clean energy goals, we will need to at least double the 80,000 customer-sited rooftop solar systems in the next 25 years and see much higher customer participation directly or through aggregators in programs that provide incentives or different pricing to encourage customers to reduce or shift their electricity use to support the grid,” Kimura said.

Early next year, the companies will publish a CER strategy that will lay out the policies and programs needed to meet energy demands in the coming years. The companies are consulting with solar developers and their trade associations, outside renewable energy experts, regulators and others in developing the strategy.

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