News Release: August 10, 2020


Hawai‘i Energy To Award $1,000,000 In Energy Relief Grants To Hawai‘i Nonprofits And Small Businesses

This funding will help businesses upgrade to energy efficient equipment to immediately reduce operating costs


Honolulu, Hawai‘i Hawaiʻi Energy today announced a call for applications for its Energy Relief Grant program that will award a total of $1,000,000 in funding for energy efficiency improvements for nonprofits, small businesses and other qualifying organizations experiencing economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses may apply for the grant, which can cover 100 percent of eligible expenses on pre-approved energy efficiency projects, up to $25,000. Applications for the first round of funding, $600,000, must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. HST.

“Many Hawai‘i businesses are facing unprecedented economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many business owners are struggling to keep their doors open, let alone set aside funds for things other than the mandatory safety protocols,” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawai‘i Energy. “Through the Energy Relief Grant program, our goal is to help businesses during this difficult time reduce their energy costs to provide some immediate relief.”v

In addition, businesses who qualify for the grant may also qualify for increased incentives through Hawai‘i Energy’s Energy Advantage program, which covers most, if not all of the costs for an LED lighting upgrade.

Energy Relief Grant funding may be used to cover eligible energy efficiency projects including, but not limited to:

  • Upgrading to LED lighting and/or controls such as occupancy sensors;
  • Upgrading old, inefficient air conditioning units;
  • Upgrading aging commercial kitchen equipment with ENERGY STAR appliances; and
  • Upgrading to a heat pump water heater or solar water heater.

Eligible expenses for these projects include:

  • New energy efficient equipment that qualify for Hawai‘i Energy program incentives
  • Parts, accessories and other materials necessary for installation
  • Labor for old equipment removal, site preparation and installation of energy efficiency measure(s)
  • Shipping costs for equipment and materials
  • Taxes for the above items

To be eligible for the Energy Relief Grant, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Both the applicant and project must be eligible for the Hawai‘i Energy commercial incentive program (see “Eligibility” on the Hawai‘i Energy Commercial Incentive Application). Visit the Hawai‘i Energy website for currently available incentives.*
  • Applicant must fall into one of the following categories
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
    • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
    • City & County of Honolulu Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund
    • Maui County Micro Business Loan
    • Hawaii County Emergency Resilience Loan
  • Small businesses with electric rate Schedule “G”
  • Small business with solar PV using less than 25 kW or 5,000 kWh per month
  • Small business with less than 5,000 sq. ft. facility
  • Restaurant
  • Multifamily affordable housing property (occupants with at or below 100 percent of Area Median Income)

*Electric vehicle charging stations are ineligible for this program.

Hawai‘i Energy will be hosting a virtual info session on Aug. 18, 2020 at 12 p.m. for businesses interested in learning more about the program. To register for this session please visit,

For more information on the Energy Relief Grant and eligibility, visit



Hawai‘i Energy helps island families and businesses make smart energy choices. We encourage and reward energy decisions that will allow our state to reach 100% clean energy faster and cheaper. To date, we have saved the people of Hawai‘i more than a billion dollars off their energy bills. Let Hawai‘i Energy be your trusted energy advisor to help save you money and protect what makes Hawai‘i so special. For more information, please visit



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