A location often dreamt of in my household, for its summer weather and prime surfing, Hawaii now goes up another notch in my estimation with the passing of a bill which makes it mandatory for water heaters to be powered by solar energy.
Signed in to law by Governor Linda Lingle (there’s a name for you), a republican, the bill requires that the energy savers be part of the new home landscape starting 2010. It prohibits issuing a permit for building a single-family home without a solar water heater, and for a state that relied on imported fossil fuels more than any other American state, this can only be a good thing.
Hawaii manages to import about 90% of its energy from foreign countries, according to state data.
The measure was first introduced some five years ago, by state Senator Gary Hooser, also vice chairman of the Energy and Environment Committee. It was first introduced when a barrel of oil was said to cost only $40 dollars. Needless to say, times have changed since then.
“It’s abundantly clear that we need to take some serious action to protect Hawaii because we’re so dependent on oil,” Hooser said. “I’m very pleased the governor is recognizing the importance of this bill and the huge public benefits that come out of it.”
The measure allows for certain exceptions, such as for those houses being built in forested areas where the level of sunshine is not the same.