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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.

Goal

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.

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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.

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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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