Lingle signs trio of alternative-energy bills into law


POSTED: Sunday, June 28, 2009

Three measures aimed at increasing the state's reliance on solar, wind and other clean-energy sources are now law.

The legislation was signed by Gov. Linda Lingle, who along with clean-energy enthusiasts contend they will reduce the state's dependence on foreign oil.

One measure, HB 1464, requires Hawaii's electric utilities to generate at least a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and 40 percent by 2030.

In addition, the law directs the state to enact standards so energy consumption drops by 30 percent by 2030, and requires property owners to disclose the cost of electricity for a recent three-month period before selling their homes.

A second new statute, SB 1202, mandates the placement of electric car charging stations in parking lots—1 percent of parking spaces in most parking lots must be dedicated for electric vehicles by Dec. 31, 2011. The requirement will rise by an additional percentage point for each additional 5,000 registered electric vehicles.

The third new law, SB 464, is intended to attract more private investment in renewable energy.

Advocates are urging Lingle to sign another bill, HB 1271, that would impose a per-barrel tax on distributors of petroleum to finance clean-energy initiatives.

The measure would raise the levy from 5 cents to $1.05, generate $31 million annually and expand use of the revenues to include clean-energy projects and food-safety programs. It could cost consumers 2 to 3 cents more per gallon of gasoline.

Lingle has until Tuesday to declare if she will veto the bill.