Reduce Your Energy Footprint
Residents searching for help with energy efficiency and savings can tap into a variety of local sources including three new businesses started by interns in the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui program, funded by Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute. The business owners say their goals align with the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative which calls for 70 percent clean energy by 2030. Of that, 40 percent is designated to renewable energy sources and 30 percent toward energy efficiency measures.
Patricia Boulet, Home Energy Survey Professional
Boulet established her company along with partner, Amit Zohar. “Our goal is to reduce the amount of energy that homes and businesses require without reducing the quality of the indoor environment,” Boulet said.
Boulet’s business provides energy audits for home and business owners. “We focus on the building’s greatest consumers of energy and offer solutions that are the most cost effective,” she said. I feel a deep resonance with nature and believe that energy efficiency is one way to follow my passion and my desire to contribute to carbon emission reductions.”
Green Energy Consulting, 808-463-7234, www.energyefficiencyhawaii.com
Stamati Stamatiou, Principal
A certified home energy auditor, Stamati Stamatiou is the sole proprietor of Mati Consulting, a company he formed nearly two years ago. “Environmental stewardship and sustainability run deep in my core,” he said.
His clientele are people seeking ways to apply energy efficiency principles and green build- ing concepts. He works with homeowners who are concerned with rising energy costs to help them find energy measures around the house to help save money.
Stamaitou also works for Pacific Biodiesel as a customer assistant and holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management and a master’s in business administration.
Mati Consulting, 808-250-8236
Austin Van Heusen, Energy Consultant
Austin Van Heusen’s work experience includes a stint in Maui Electric Co.’s Renewable Energy Services Department, an internship as a home energy surveyor and a commercial energy consultant for Maui Soda and Ice. He now works as an energy consultant for Green Building LLC while also serving as the sole employee and owner of Van Heusen Energy Consulting.
“I feel confident that the reports I build for energy survey customers are comprehensive and valuable to the customer,” Van Heusen said. He added that he’s confident his work “will help walk the customer through the process of understanding their energy usage and how to re- duce their use of electricity.”
Van Heusen said the goal for his business is to build a green work force on Maui. “I believe a skilled and educated group of individuals working to reduce Maui’s energy use is not only needed but will be beneficial to the economy as well as the environment,” he said.
Van Heusen Energy Consulting, 808-250-4439
Project Update – and Opportunity!
The Maui Smart Grid Project will be installing eGauge Current Transformers (CTs) in five volunteer households. The CTs will measure electric currents of up to 10 household appliances and provide an online web database that displays the energy use of each connected appliance in up to 1 second intervals. The installation will not interrupt your power supply. A HomePlug adapter plugs into your wall and connects to your home Internet to relay the CTs energy readings. With this free installation valued at $1,500, volunteers will obtain precise information about their energy consumption and how to use their appliances more efficiently. First come, first served! If you are already a MSG volunteer and want to be considered for this device, please contact Kristen Simeone at email@example.com or 270-6801.
Conservationist pushes to find energy alternatives
A self-described conservationist, Phyllis Robinson says she primarily participates in the Smart Grid project to push for more clean energy alternatives. “With so much wind and sun on Maui, it doesn’t make sense for us to rely on dirty fuels like fossil fuels,” Robinson said. “I would like to see less reliance on fossil fuels.”
In her job as an instructor at the University of Hawaii Maui campus, Robinson first read about smart grids in a 2010 course she taught called Economies, Politics and the Science of Global Warming. One particular book called “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” by Thomas L. Friedman covered the growing energy crisis and how smart grids could play into the future of renewable energy. Two years later, Robinson got word about the Smart Grid project in Maui Meadows and immediately enrolled. “I was excited. I was like ‘Let’s do it.’ ” Robinson lives in a two-bedroom cottage with her husband, Ethan Fierro and their two cats.
Robinson said even before Smart Grid, she’s been “very careful, even fanatic” about energy conservation. She’s taken measures like installing low-energy bulbs and using one power strip for multiple electric cords in her home. “This is really not about energy savings for me, but energy efficiency,” she said. Robinson said she would like to be a part of the solution in finding ways to establish and install more energy alternatives. “The smart grid could make it easier for us to take on more renewable energy alternatives like wind and solar. That, for me, is the main motivator of why I wanted to participate in the Smart Grid project,” she said.
Did you know?
- Your oven temperature drops by 25 to 30 degrees every time you open the oven door.
- Outside air conditioning units (condensers) shaded by trees or other means work more efficiently and use up to 10% less electricity.
- Dry loads of clothes back to back to take advantage of heat built up in the dryer.