Kanu Hawaii Energy Challenge

Image Energy use typically spikes in the summer, as islanders turn to A/C to ward off the heat. We wanted to reverse that trend through behavior change and smart technology.


Challenge 2,000 to cut energy consumption by 25% in one month.

  • Week 1: Audit Challenge. Review current energy use to establish a baseline and identify steps to change consumption patterns
  • Week 2: Appliance Challenge. Reduce energy use through household appliances.
  • Week 3: Transportation Challenge. Get out of the car and develop alternative routes and transportation.
  • Week 4: Outreach Challenge. Share lessons learned.

For a clean energy future, free from fossil fuels.

2011 was the first year of the Kanu Hawaii Energy Challenge.


Kanu enlisted 1,100 households in committing to reduce energy use during July. Using data supplied by HECO and Hawaii Energy, Kanu rigorously tracked and analyzed kilowatt-hour usage by participants. The average household saw a 3.5% decrease — a meaningful change vs. the typical 4.9% increase during summer months — and some households decreased consumption by ten times as much.


Kanu also piloted projects in two low-income communities, exploring the impacts of cultural and social elements in behavior change. The projects featured a mix of community-based education, positive reinforcement, and "gamification" through contests and prizes. These pilots uneaerthed much about the importance of grounding engagement in the unique culture and needs of a community. Both pilot communities experienced a positive impact on energy use vs. a statewide baseline.

Beyond the Challenge

The Hawaii Energy Study is part of a national effort to help communities implement climate change initiatives. Operated locally by Blue Planet Foundation, Kupu Hawaii, and Kanu, the Study has helped thousands of Hawaii families take steps toward a brighter, cleaner energy future.

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