Industrial & Special Equipment


Retrofitting Transformers

Electrical power distribution transformers are behind-the-scenes equipment in mostly every commercial, industrial and government building. They are on around the clock, providing power to the building’s electrical equipment and consuming energy 24/7.

Transformers are used to supply electrical power to individual circuits for lighting, plug loads, air conditioning, and other equipment. Transformers reduce the higher voltages used by electric utilities for power distribution to lower levels required by building equipment. They are generally out of sight in mechanical spaces and other out-of-the-way locations, and are therefore often out-of-mind as well.

Existing transformers should be replaced before reaching their expected end of life to avoid unplanned failures and shutdowns. The Department of Energy estimates an average life of 32 years. Modern transformer technology can provide up to 60% energy savings over existing transformers, providing beneficial return on investment for businesses. See below for more on how an energy-efficient Power transformer can benefit your building.

The Benefits

High-efficiency transformers reduce your electric bill by wasting less energy as heat and noise. This requires burning less fossil fuel to generate electricity and so promotes a heathier environment as well.

High-efficiency transformers have many advantages over conventional ones:

  • They have fewer (heat) losses, so the energy consumption is reduced.
  • They generate less heat and reduce HVAC loads.
  • Typical paybacks are much shorter versus TP-1 transformers
  • Help earn LEED® certification points
  • They are friendlier to the environment and reduce the carbon footprint.

How Do I Start?

Pick an approved CEA contractor. Then the contract will take the following three steps:

Assess: First, the contractor will visit your business for an assessment of your existing transformers. The contractor will then provide an estimate on how much energy you will save and the amount of rebate Hawai‘i Energy will provide.

Order: Once the assessment is complete and you approve the project, the contractor will order the correct energy-efficient transformer that will suit your needs. At this time, a rebate application and rebate worksheet must be submitted for approval. Contractor can assist with these forms.

Install: Your new transformer will be installed at your convenience.

The University of Hawaii Community Colleges are proud to continue our contributions toward the State of Hawaii’s Net Zero goal. We recently replaced 139 transformers in over 100 buildings on Oahu and Maui campuses. From this, we anticipate savings of $271,500.00 in the first year alone with a reduction of 1,005,577 kWh. This amounts to over $14M in lifetime savings, simply from transformer replacement.


Call Hoang Tran at (808) 848-8524 or

Want to Become an Clean Energy Contractor?

These Participating Contractors conduct work for our Clean Energy Ally Program, which provides qualifying customers with low-cost transformer retrofits. For more information or to sign up, contact Desiree Sumaoang.