The Hawaii State Legislature recently approved Senate Bill 644 Conference Draft 1, which mandates that all new single-family residences built in Hawaii will be required to install solar water-heating systems. Barring a gubernatorial veto, the policy will take effect in 2010.
The bill's introducer, Sen. Gary Hooser, D-Kauai, Niihau, commented that the law would reduce Hawaii's oil dependency by 30,000 barrels annually and save homeowners 30% to 35% on electricity.
According to House Energy and Environment Chairwoman Rep. Hermina Morita, D-North Kauai, only about one in four new homes in Hawaii currently has a solar water heating system. The new legislation will likely spur more than 5,000 new solar installations per year.
Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has less than 45 days to either approve or veto the legislation. If the governor signs the proposal, Hawaii will be the first state in the nation to require solar water heating systems on homes.
SOURCE: Office of Sen. Gary Hooser