Hawaii Agriculture Research Center Affordable Housing Project

Seeds of Partnership Grow into to Enduring Harvest

Hawai’i Agriculture Research Center (HARC) has been dedicated to growing a diverse economy with resilient food systems in Hawai’i. When Del Monte Fresh Produce closed its Kunia Village business location, they were faced with helping over 600 displaced agricultural workers and 200 workers living in Kunia Camp then at risk for losing their homes and jobs. Nearly every home in this community is a multi-generational home which meant that a closure could have left entire families homeless. HARC Executive Director Stephanie Whalen stepped in with new resolve to ensure the following: affordable housing for its workforce and home upgrades to sustain the community for years to come.

In partnership with HARC, and with the essential work of Clean Energy Allies, Hawai’i Energy was able to upgrade 23 Kunia Camp homes with energy-efficient measures through the Energy Smart 4 Homes (ES4H) program. ES4H is a Hawai’i Energy program for residents which provides free installation of energy-efficient measures (such as LED light bulbs) and can save households up to $120 annually. In addition, 43 Kunia Camp homes received the installation of an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® heat pump water heater. This alone has an annual bill savings of up to $500 per family annually, a big relief during this time of financial hardship.

The success of this effort reflects the teamwork of community partners coming together to make housing and energy-efficiency needs a reality for residents during the most challenging times. We are grateful to our partners HARC, Pono Home and C2C Solar for their dedication and hard work and look forward to continuing the momentum towards a sustainable Hawai'i.

To find how to sign up for the ES4H program, visit HawaiiEnergy.com/ES4H.

 


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