As the State of Hawai`i moves toward a goal of 100 percent green energy by the year 2040, solar panels, electric and hybrid vehicles, wind farms, and other alternate sources of power have become more commonplace. And while change may be more gradual in some sectors of the economy than others, for one new residential development currently being built at Waikoloa Beach Resort, tomorrow is here today.
‘Āinamalu — which in Hawaiian means “protected, peaceful lands” — has taken the green credo to a new level of immediacy by planning and building the homes in this 252- acre community with energy efficiency built in, rather than being retrofitted. Each home has been outfitted with two Tesla Powerwall batteries in the garage, photo voltaic panels on the roof, and community- shared, underground, individually-metered propane tanks.
“Owners are getting 95 percent of their consumed energy from the installed systems,” says principal broker Cindy Wild of Premier Island Properties. “During the day, the photo voltaic panels provide the power, and at night the Tesla batteries kick in.” Wild says that the owners who have thus far moved in full time are reporting electric bills of no more than $35-$40 per month, including the mandatory hook up fee charged by HELCO. “Becoming energy efficient is one of the great challenges of our time,” says developer Brian Anderson. “And making that energy cost effective is equally critical. At ‘Āinamalu we have made great strides toward accomplishing both of these goals.”