So maybe you’ve been looking to finally make the switch to solar power, or have just been curious about how much power it takes to run the average home here on Maui. It’s a good question to ask, particularly when we consider that Hawaii has some of the highest costs for energy in the nation, owing to our relatively isolated location and the costs of importing fossil fuels for critical infrastructure and island generators. Call it the sunshine tax, call it the cost of doing business: no matter the name, you want to make sure that you and your family have a handle on just how much energy it takes to keep things rolling, which can also give you a better idea on how to improve!
From the macro sense, did you know that despite being in the bottom 5 US states for energy consumption, Hawaii itself uses up to 11 times more energy than it produces according to the US Energy Information Administration? Currently, most of the Aloha State’s energy consumption is based entirely around fossil fuels, something the state is looking to rectify by turning to all-renewable energy sources by 2045. It’s an ambitious goal, and an honorable one for the betterment and preservation of the aina.
Specifically, here on Maui, the average cost of a kilowatt hour (kWh) is 33.65 cents, which is well over twice the mainland average of 13.19 cents per kWh. By the way, our friends on Molokai are paying 40.52 cents per kWh, and Lanai clocks in at 42.02 cents per kWh! In total, that means the residents of Maui County are paying out far more than the average consumer by comparison, which then adds up to the total monthly cost of energy consumption. If we assume that the average home can utilize around 500 hours of kilowatt hours per month, and although metrics vary greatly from home to home depending on a number of factors, the typical monthly electricity bill for a home on Maui can run anywhere from $112 to over $150 per month alone, and possibly much more!
(By the way…all told, a recent study in late 2019 showed that Hawaii pays more in total utilities per month than anywhere else in the US, clocking in at around $587 on average! Insult, meet injury.)
Take heart, Maui! All is not lost when it comes to your monthly energy billing woes. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to increase your dwelling’s energy efficiency and decrease your monthly energy costs. From giving your hale a DIY energy audit to switching to more-efficient lighting and appliances, every little thing counts when it comes to maximizing the bang for your buck here in the Valley Isle. Making the switch to solar power is proven to be one of the most energy-saving changes that you can make, and as an additional bonus it helps to preserve our environment and to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Give us a ring, let’s chat about it!