Honolulu, Hawaii – Hawaii Energy, the state’s Public Benefits Fund administrator that focuses on energy-efficiency education and clean-energy initiatives, today announced the application period for its 2023-2024 EmPOWER Grant program which is designed to help local nonprofits, small businesses and restaurants reduce their energy usage and operating costs. Applications will be available beginning Aug. 1, 2023 and must be submitted by September 29, 2023. Organizations may apply for a grant of up to $6,000, depending on the equipment type, which may cover up to 100% of eligible project costs.
“Our local nonprofits, small businesses and restaurants often face more challenges with implementing energy-saving measures that can help them reduce their carbon footprint, and ultimately, save money on operational expenses,” said Caroline Carl, executive director of Hawaii Energy. “We are excited this year to offer more than $700,000 to help more applicants fund more energy-efficiency upgrades and be able to start saving quickly. The projects done in the last three years of providing these grants will generate more than $13 million in electricity bill savings over the next 15 years, and, on average, are saving applicants more than $1,000 a year on their energy bills.”
- New energy efficient equipment, including HVAC systems, window film, ENERGY STAR® certified commercial kitchen appliances, and refrigeration technologies like motor controls and adding doors and anti-sweat controls to open cases
- Parts, accessories and other materials necessary for installation
- Labor for old equipment removal, site preparation and installation of energy efficiency measure(s)
- Shipping costs for equipment and materials
- Taxes for the above items
- Be a commercial rate schedule account holder of an electric utility on the island of Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, or Oahu where the electricity-saving energy efficiency measure is being installed
- Business must fall into ONE of the following categories:
- 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
- Small businesses with electric rate Schedule “G”
- Small business with less than 5,000 sq. ft. facility
- Complete the installation with one of Hawaii Energy’s participating Clean Energy Ally contractors
All eligible applications are competitively reviewed and applicants, if selected for a grant award, will receive their grant funding as a reimbursement after Hawaii Energy verifies the completion of their project. There is no requirement that any purchases are made by an applicant before they learn whether they will be offered a grant award.
Preference will be given to organizations that serve populations identified as ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-constrained, Employed) or rural/other hard-to-reach communities, as well as organizations who have not participated with Hawaii Energy before. Since 2020, Hawaii Energy has distributed more than $3.5 million to more than 300 small businesses, nonprofits and restaurants through the grant program. Past recipients include Ko‘olau Distillery, The Arc of Hilo, Salvation Army, Children’s Discovery Center, The Molokai Dispatch, and Kula Sandalwoods Inn & Café.
For more information about the 2023-2024 EmPOWER Grant program, Hawaii Energy will be hosting a virtual webinar on Tuesday, August 1, at 11 a.m. Interested applicants may register for the webinar at HawaiiEnergy.com/empower-grant .
A full list of eligible equipment, applications, and frequently asked questions are available online at HawaiiEnergy.com/empower-grant. Applications must be submitted by September 29 at 11:59 p.m. HST to HE-Grants@Leidos.com.
Stryker Weiner Yokota