Molokai Residents Trade Old Fridges for New, Energy-Efficient Models

Posted October 16, 2013

Moloka‘i residents trade old fridges for new, energy-efficient models

Sixty brand-new, ENERGY STAR® refrigerators were delivered today to participants of Hui Up! 3.0, an appliance exchange program offered through a partnership between Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii Energy, and Sust‘AINAble Moloka‘i. Moloka‘i residents had the opportunity to exchange their old refrigerator for a high-efficiency model for $250—considerably less than retail prices. Pick up of the old refrigerator, recycling, and home delivery was included.

The volume purchase—which would not have been possible without a community willing to make the commitment, put money down, and become more energy-efficient—was negotiated by Blue Planet Foundation with funding support from Hawaii Energy. On-the-ground logistics by Sust‘AINAble Molokai and coordination between Sears, Makoa Trucking, Island Movers, and Refrigerant Recycling also helped make Hui Up! a reality.

"We’re thrilled to be back on Moloka‘i to help residents make the next leap in energy efficiency,” says Blue Planet Foundation Special Projects Director Francois Rogers. “The reason the price is so affordable is because enough people in the community came together to make it happen. We’re looking forward to reaching as many as 300 households with this round of Hui Up.”

Hui Up! was developed as a follow-up to a CFL exchange program that replaced 36,000 incandescent bulbs on Moloka‘i with CFLs. Recognizing the difficulty that Moloka‘i residents face in purchasing new refrigerators, Blue Planet designed a solution to address the barriers of prohibitive upfront costs and accessibility.

“We’re very proud to partner with Blue Planet Foundation and Sust‘AINAble Molokai to help aid our mission to encourage more and more people to conserve and find ways to be more efficient with their energy usage,” said Ray Starling, Program Director, Hawaii Energy. “We’re looking forward to another successful Hui Up! program to save on energy costs.”

"Basically our electric rate is out of the roof, and this is one way we can bring our electric bill down," shares Hui Up! 3.0 participant Desiree Puhi. "Here on Molokai, we don't have the Lowe's or the Costco. Getting appliances here is so difficult, so it's a great program."

A critical part of Hui Up! is the educational component. The Sust‘AINAble Molokai Youth Energy Team visited the participating households to conduct an energy assessment. Using hand-held energy monitors, the students calculated annual energy usage, cost, and carbon emissions, and they shared the results with the residents. The students will revisit families who received new refrigerators to measure their change in energy consumption.

“I love Hui Up! and the partnerships we've created to work with the Moloka‘i community to lower our energy use," says Sust‘AINAble Molokai Executive Director Emillia Noordhoek. "It is also a wonderful experience to work with the Youth Energy Team—exceptional youth who are working toward energy independence and lowering our carbon footprint for a brighter future."

The expected savings are notable: Based on the kilowatt-hour savings of the ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and Moloka‘i’s electricity rate of $0.46 cents per kWh, Hui Up! participants stand to save an average $374* a year on their individual electric bills. Collectively over the next ten years, 300 households would save more than $1.1 million in energy costs.

Moloka‘i ratepayers interested in signing up to participate in Hui Up! can find applications online at or call 808-560-5410. Refrigerators are ordered on a first-come, first-served basis.

High-resolution photos and B-roll are available. Please contact Catharine Lo at 808-782-3733 or

Photos: (Top) Makoa Trucking ready to deliver new refrigerators to Moloka‘i residents who participated in the Hui Up! 3.0 program. (Center) Hui Up! participant Desiree Puhi looks forward to energy savings and lower electricity bills. (Bottom) The Sust‘AINAble Molokai Youth Energy Team helps households save kilowatt hours.

*Based on $0.46 per kWh