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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grid Defection in Hawai'i

Hawai'i has the highest electricity prices in the nation. So, it's not really surprising that some are defecting from the grid. Bloomberg reports that Getting Off-Grid Power Becomes a Family Affair:
David Greene woke up one day and fired his power company. It wasn't that hard to do. Greene, 48, is neither a hippie nor a survivalist and his environmental leanings are middle of the road. He runs an air conditioning repair service out of his home and lives in the suburbs, not the woods.
It's just that his three-bedroom house near Honolulu is in a place with America's highest electricity rates — 38 cents a kilowatt-hour compared with the 13-cent national average. Fed up, Greene put solar panels on his roof and batteries in the garage to store the excess juice. He told his utility to come get his power meter. "I enjoy being off the grid," Greene said. "It's an independence thing. It's cool to say you don't have an electric bill."
HECO, the local utility, recognizes the threat and promises to lower electric rates 20% by installing solar panels on rooftops themselves. Time will tell whether grid defection becomes a tsunami or not.