June 29, 2001
RE:  Act 272, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001 (Act 272), Relating to Renewable Energy Resources

The purpose of Act 272 is to lessen Hawaii's dependence on imported oil by encouraging and establishing a market for renewable energy.  Act 272 is effective beginning June 25, 2001.

Act 272 requires each electric utility company that sells electricity for consumption in the State to establish renewable energy portfolio standard goals. 1  Act 272 also provides net energy metering for electric utility customers operating an "eligible customer-generator" with a capacity of not more than ten kilowatts. 2

Energy conservation income tax credits are available, including credits for wind energy systems 3 and solar energy systems. 4  Section 235-12, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). 5  "Eligible customer-generator" includes wind turbine and solar energy generator facilities that qualify for these credits.

Current forms and other tax information are available at the Department's website at:  On Oahu, forms may be ordered by calling the Department's Forms Request Line at:  587-7572.  Persons who are not calling from Oahu, may call:  1-800-222-7572 (toll-free) to receive forms by mail or by fax.

Director of Taxation

HRS Sections Explained:  235-12, 237-13.5, and 269-___ .

The goals are: (1) 7 percent of net electricity sales by December 31, 2003; (2) 8 percent of net electricity sales by December 31, 2005; and (3) 9 percent of net electricity sales by December 31, 2010.

2  The term "eligible customer-generator" is defined as a metered residential or commercial customer of an electric utility who owns and operates a solar, wind turbine, biomass, or hydroelectric energy generating facility, or a hybrid system consisting of two or more of these facilities, with a capacity of not more than ten kilowatts that is: (1) located on the customer's premises; (2) operated in parallel with the utility's transmission and distribution facilities; (3) in conformance with the utility's interconnection requirements; and (4) intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer's own electrical requirements.

3 The tax credit for wind energy devices is 20 percent of the actual cost of the device.

The tax credit for solar energy devices range from $350 per building unit (or 35 percent of the cost per building unit, whichever is less) for multi-unit residential buildings to $1750 (or 35 percent of the cost, whichever is less) for single family residences, and 35 percent of the cost for new and existing hotel, commercial and industrial facilities.

5  Hawaii's energy device credit first appeared in 1976 as a credit equal to 10 percent of the cost to purchase and install the energy device.  Along with the state credit, the federal government offered a 40 percent credit.  Energy credit claims plummeted after 1985 when the federal credit expired.  Act 319, Session Laws of Hawaii 1990, increased the solar energy device credit to 35 percent, enacted a 20 percent credit for heat pumps and wind energy devices, and enacted a 50 percent credit for ice storage systems.  Act 163, Session Laws of Hawaii 1993, extended the sunset date for the energy credits from January 1, 1999 to June 30, 2003.

Section 235-12, HRS, defines "solar or wind energy device" as any new identifiable facility, equipment, apparatus, or the like which makes use of solar or wind energy for heating, cooling, or reducing the use of other types of energy dependent upon fossil fuel for their generation.


For official copies of acts, please contact:
Office of the Lieutenant Governor, State Capitol, 5th Floor, Honolulu 96813.
Phone: 586-0255, Monday - Friday, 7:45 am - 4:30 pm