News Release: August 10, 2022


Hawaii Energy Seeking Applicants For Its Empower Grant Program For Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Restaurants

Grants of up to $5,000 are available for eligible energy efficiency projects

Honolulu, HawaiiHawaii Energy, the state’s Public Benefits Fund administrator that focuses on energy-efficiency education and clean-energy initiatives, today announced a call for applications for its 2022-2023 EmPOWER Grant program, which is designed specifically for nonprofits, small businesses and restaurants that are pursuing energy efficiency projects at their facilities to cut back on energy usage, increase resiliency, and reduce operating costs. From now until Sept. 30, 2022, organizations may apply for a grant of up to $5,000, which may cover up to 100 percent of eligible energy efficiency projects.

“Since 2009, Hawaii Energy has remained committed to making energy efficiency programs more accessible and more affordable to Hawaii families and businesses,” said Caroline Carl, executive director of Hawaii Energy. “And as many businesses are still recovering from the devastating economic impact caused by the pandemic, this year we are offering more than $300,000 in grants to small businesses, nonprofits and restaurants to help implement energy efficiency projects that save them money in the long run, all while becoming more energy efficient.”

EmPOWER Grant funding may be used to cover the following expenses of energy efficiency projects:

  • New energy efficient equipment, including HVAC systems, LED lighting, ENERGY STAR® certified commercial kitchen appliances, and refrigeration technologies like motor controls and adding doors and anti-sweat controls to open cases
  • 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 EmPOWER Grant, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be a commercial rate schedule account holder of an electric utility on the island of Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, or Oahu where the electricity-saving energy efficiency measure is being installed.
  • Business must fall into ONE of the following categories:
    • 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
    • Small businesses with electric rate Schedule “G”
    • Small business with less than 5,000 sq. ft. facility
    • Restaurant
  • Complete the installation with one of Hawaii Energy’s participating Clean Energy Ally contractors
  • Preference will be given to organizations that serve populations identified as ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-constrained, Employed) or rural/other vulnerable communities, as well as organizations who have not participated with Hawaii Energy before. Since 2020, Hawaii Energy has distributed more than $3 million to 285 small businesses, nonprofits and restaurants through the grant program. Hawaii Energy estimates that the energy-efficient upgrades have helped save more than $800,000 in total electricity costs since 2020.

    A full list of eligible equipment, applications, and frequently asked questions are available online at Applications must be submitted by September 30, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. HST to


    Media Contact:

    Angela Behm
    Stryker Weiner Yokota
    (808) 523-8802