Update on Maui Smart Grid Project

Free Home Energy Audits Are a Success!

Home energy audits for the project volunteers who requested them are complete. Here is a story on how an audit is helpful:

By viewing a participant’s energy use on personal data website, auditors noticed a big spike happening every day. It turned out a recirculation pump was cooling water down and causing the water heater from the solar hot water system to turn on in the morning. The extra usage was eliminated by having the circulation pump only run on a timer. These graphs show how this quick fix saves the homeowner 4-5 kWh per day. That translates to several hundred dollars a year at Maui’s energy prices.

Students from the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui at UH Maui College completed energy audits for the Maui Smart Grid Project. All Smart Meters for volunteers who requested them have been installed! Mahalo to all of the project partners and, most important, the project volunteers.

We are excited to be moving through the phases of the Maui Smart Grid Project and will keep you informed of our progress through our website: www.MauiSmartGrid.com.

From The Neighborhood

I know the smart meters offer a wide array of benefits – the ability to chart energy usage and enable me to change my usage patterns, the ability to detect power outages sooner and, more precisely, most important is that it will eventually allow the electric company to monitor the amount of photovoltaic-generated electricity flowing on the grid to make it more stable.

Better communication between consumers of power and the power company will ultimately make them more efficient and that will translate to less expensive electricity bills.

Ken Molina Maui Meadows Resident

PROJECT SCHEDULE

September

HNU begins installation of in-home technologies to volunteers who requested them.

October

MEDB hosts a gathering in Kihei for volunteers to discuss their experiences and best practices.

Notes from the Project Partners

On behalf of the Maui Smart Grid Project, we would like to thank the volunteers for their patience as we worked to resolve a programming problem with the new Smart Meters. With this effort being a demonstration project, it is important to understand technical challenges can arise, even with ample planning and preparation. We remain committed to ensuring a successful project for all of our participants.

The problem with the programming involved the new Smart Meter’s ability to record electrical usage over one-hour intervals (which we refer to as load profiles). These load profiles are critical to providing you with information regarding your electric power usage and helping you identify potential opportunities for energy conservation. This programming issue did not affect the meter’s accuracy for recording total electrical power consumption, which is used for billing purposes. Maui Electric Company is committed to providing accurate metering for its customers.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the delay and any inconvenience this may have caused. Mahalo.

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. All technologies and services will be provided at no cost to volunteers.

 

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