Renewables and Efficiency in State Facilities & Operations

July 14, 2023


In May 2006, Hawaii’s governor signed HB 2175 addressing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and alternative fuels in state facilities and operations. This legislation also detailed requirements for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Hawaii’s public schools. 

State law requires energy efficiency and environmental standards for state facilities, motor vehicles, and transportation fuels. Each state agency must meet the following requirements to the extent possible:

  • Buildings must be designed and constructed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Silver” standard, the two green globes rating system, or another similar guideline, standard, or system that is approved by the state.
  • State buildings, including new residential facilities receiving state funds, must meet minimum insulation requirements, install high-performance windows, and, wherever possible, be oriented to maximize natural ventilation and day-lighting without heat gain and to optimize solar water heating.
  • With the exception of single-family residential clients of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands or any agency which can take advantage of utility rebates, solar water heating systems must be installed in all state facilities, if life-cycle cost-benefit analyses determine it to be cost-effective.
  • State agencies must implement energy and water conservation practices in operations, and they are required to incorporate waste minimization and pollution prevention principles into standard operating practices.
  • Agencies should use life-cycle cost-benefit analysis to purchase energy efficient equipment, using utility rebate programs whenever possible to reduce costs.
  • Agencies are required to purchase environmentally preferable, resource-efficient products and materials.
  • Agencies must also track vehicle data such as fuel consumption, EPA fuel economy ratings, and acquisition cost, and use alternative fuels when available.

Actions taken by state executive agencies to comply with Act 96 (codified as HRS §196-9) and Act 160, which directs the reporting of electricity consumption by state agencies, are reported annually to the State Legislature. 

Enacted in June 2009, HB 1464 addressed energy efficiency requirements for existing public buildings. By the end of 2010, state agencies had to evaluate the energy efficiency of all existing public buildings larger than 5,000 square feet or that use more than 8,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. Opportunities for increased energy efficiency must be identified by setting benchmarks for these buildings using Energy Star Portfolio Management or another similar tool. Buildings must be retro-commissioned every five years. 

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Hawaii
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Combined Heat & Power
  • Daylighting
  • Building Insulation
  • Windows
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
  • Wind (Small)
  • Hydroelectric (Small)


Name: HRS §196-9, et seq.
Date Enacted: 05/12/2006


Name: General Contact
Organization: Hawai'i State Energy Office
Address: 235 S. Beretania Street, 5th Floor
Honolulu HI 96813
Phone: (808) 587-3807

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.