On June 8, 2015 Governor David Ige signed into law HRS 304a-119 which established a collective goal for the University of Hawai‘i “to become net-zero with respect to energy use, producing as much (renewable) energy as the system consumes across all campuses by January 1, 2035.”
The goal of this project is to assist the University of Hawaii Director of Energy Management and State of Hawaii to achieve the requirements described by this new law. In the first stages of preparing the University, this project will be used to help determine what the current energy consumptions for the University of Hawaii are. This data will then be used as a baseline data to help establish the definition upon which the energy goals are created. From this baseline, the University of Hawaii will then be able to calculate their progress on their way towards the Net Zero mandate. In essence, the University of Hawaii will be able to calculate how much energy it will need to produce and reduce to reach its’ goals.
In order to determine the percent progress towards the Net Zero goal, it must be first determined how the energy consumption is calculated. Traditionally, energy consumption is defined by kilowatts usage per hour per square foot. Unfortunately, this traditional method of calculation produces numbers that are more useful in determining a baseline comparison with residential and corporate numbers. This particular baseline does not work well within a university environment. Within the University environment, different buildings have a wide range of energy usage. A classroom building will have a lower usage than the Stan Sheriff building on a game day. The Duke Kahanamoku pool will have less of a power drop over a school break than the Campus Center. As a university, maybe a better question should be how is the energy usage compared to the number of degrees awarded or compared to the number of research dollars awarded.