Honolulu Museum of Art Receives $346,026 for Energy Efficiency
5/30/2012 Filed under Press Releases
Honolulu — Honolulu Museum of Art completed a major energy-efficiency retrofit and received a record $346,026 incentive from Hawaii Energy for its investment in its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC) and control systems. Energy Industries, LLC provided a comprehensive program that protects the artwork, increases energy efficiency and reduces utility expenses.
This incentive is the largest received to date by a charitable organization from the Hawaii Energy-administered Public Benefit Fund. Governor Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Chair Hermina Morita, and representatives of Honolulu Museum of Art, Energy Industries and Hawaii Energy attended today’s press conference for a check presentation and a review of the project’s technology and savings details.
The Museum’s electricity consumption has been reduced by 28 percent, which saves an estimated $250,000 annually. The $1.5 million retrofit project, funded by a Honolulu Museum of Art donor and local financing, is expected to generate enough energy savings monthly to cover the financing costs of the mechanical system improvements.
“This project provides numerous vital benefits to the museum. In addition to reducing energy usage, the retrofit will help to safeguard our collection of antiquities. Our environmental values, our financial goal and our financial realities were in complete alignment,” said Stephan Jost, director of the Honolulu Museum of Art. “It is an example of government policy supporting energy conservation so we will have more resources to spend on educational initiatives that benefit our children here in Hawai‘i.”
The largest measure was the redesign and replacement of five aging, unconnected chillers with an integrated central plant of three energy-efficient chillers working in tandem. Should one malfunction, the other serves as backup. This is crucial in the maintenance of the museum’s artwork, providing the climate control in the galleries and vaults. The smallest measure involves installing devices to control the fan speed in the museum café’s walk-in freezer.
“For all organizations, especially charitable ones like the museum, we understand that high electricity cost is a key operational concern these days,” said Ray Starling, program manager for Hawaii Energy. “We applaud the Honolulu Museum of Art for being the energy heroes that they are, and Energy Industries for helping them get there.”
“Sophisticated, self-funding projects like this represent the very best opportunities for nonprofits in managing rising energy costs,” said Miles Kubo, Energy Industries chief operating officer. After the first year, the Museum’s monthly electricity savings will surpass the financing payments.
Honolulu Museum of Art is one of the world’s premier art museums presenting international caliber special exhibitions and featuring a collection that includes Hokusai, van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso and Warhol, as well as traditional Asian and Hawaiian art. Located in two of Honolulu’s most beautiful buildings, visitors enjoy two cafés, gardens, and films and concerts at the theater. In 2011, The Contemporary Museum gifted its assets and collection to the Honolulu Academy of Arts and in 2012, the combined museum changed its name to the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Hawaii Energy is a ratepayer-funded conservation and efficiency program administered by SAIC under contract with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, serving the islands of Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu. Hawaii Energy offers cash rebates and other incentives to residents and businesses to help offset the cost of installing energy-efficient equipment. In addition to rebates, the program conducts education and training for residents, businesses and trade allies to encourage the adoption of energy conservation behaviors and efficiency measures. The program plays an important role in helping to achieve Hawaii’s goal of reducing total electric energy usage by 30 percent or 4.3 billion kWh by 2030.
Energy Industries LLC is a Hawai‘i-based energy-services company that specializes in energy efficiency and renewable energy for commercial, industrial and institutional sectors. Providing a full range of energy management solutions, it maintains operations in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Guam. Hawaii Energy reported that Energy Industries received approval for the most rebate applications (294) for its clients, and the second highest kWh reductions in clients' commercial/industrial projects.