Electricity Laws and Incentives in Hawaii

The list below contains summaries of all Hawaii laws and incentives related to electricity.

Laws and Regulations

Alternative Fuel Standard Development

The state of Hawaii is responsible for facilitating the development of alternative fuels and supporting the attainment of a statewide alternative fuels standard. According to this standard, alternative fuels will provide 20% of highway fuel demand by 2020 and 30% by 2030. For the purposes of the alternative fuels standard, cellulosic ethanol is equivalent to 2.5 gallons of non-cellulosic ethanol. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 196-42)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Registration

Owners of plug-in electric vehicles and AFVs must pay an annual fee of $50, in addition to standard registration fees. Fees contribute to the State Highway Fund. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 249-31)

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Acquisition and Rental Requirements

State agencies must coordinate vehicle acquisition efforts to transition light-duty state fleet vehicles to 100% zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035. To support the state fleet transition to ZEVs, state and county agencies must purchase light-duty vehicles that reduce petroleum consumption. Vehicle purchasing priority is as follows:

  1. ZEVs;
  2. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs);
  3. Other alternative fuel vehicles; and
  4. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

Exemptions may apply. State agencies must purchase the most fuel-efficient vehicle available that meets agency needs, use alternative fuels and ethanol blended gasoline when available, evaluate a purchase preference for biodiesel blends, and promote the efficient operation of vehicles. For the purpose of this requirement, an alternative fuel is defined as an alcohol fuel, an alcohol fuel blend containing at least 85% alcohol, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), hydrogen, biodiesel, a biodiesel blend containing at least 20% biodiesel, a fuel derived from biological materials, or electricity generated from off-board energy sources.

State employees renting a vehicle for government business must rent either PEVs or HEVs. Rental rates for PEVs and HEVs must be comparable to that of a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle equivalent.

For more information, see the Hawaii State Energy Office's Vehicle Purchasing Guidelines website.

(Reference House Bills 424 and 552, 2021, and Hawaii Revised Statutes 103D-412 and 196-9)

Clean Transportation Promotion

The state of Hawaii has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Energy to collaborate to produce 70% of the state's energy needs from energy-efficient and renewable sources by 2030 and 100% of the state's energy needs from energy-efficient and renewable sources by 2045. This effort is part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The goals of the partnership include defining the structural transformation required to transition the state to a clean energy-dominated economy; demonstrating and fostering innovation in the use of clean energy, including alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies; creating opportunities for the widespread distribution of clean energy benefits; establishing an open learning model for other states and entities to adopt; and building a workforce with cross-cutting skills to support a clean energy economy in the state. For more information, see the MOU and Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative website. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 196-10.5)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Policies for Multi-Family Residences

A multi-family residential dwelling or townhouse owner may install EVSE on or near a parking stall at the dwelling as long as the EVSE is in compliance with applicable rules and specifications, the EVSE is registered with the private entity within 30 days of installation, and the homeowner receives consent from the private entity if the EVSE is placed in a common area. Private entities may adopt rules that restrict the placement and use of EVSE but may not charge a fee for the placement. The EVSE owner is responsible for any damages resulting from the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the EVSE. A private entity includes associations of homeowners, community associations, condominium associations, cooperatives, or any nongovernmental entity with covenants.

A working group within the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism identified and examined the issues regarding multi-family dwelling EVSE requests to private entities. The group reported its findings and recommendations to the state legislature in December 2015.

(Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 196-7.5)

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate Program Authorization

The Hawaii Public Utility Commission (PUC) is authorized to establish an EVSE rebate program. The PUC may contract with a third-party, non-government entity to administer, operate, and manage the rebate program. The EVSE rebate program may award up to $500,000 annually. The Hawaii Legislature established a special fund within the PUC to support the EVSE Rebate Program. The special fund receives $0.03 of the tax collected from each barrel of petroleum product sold by a distributor to any retail dealer or end user in Hawaii. (Reference House Bill 1142, 2021, and Hawaii Revised Statutes 269-72 and 269-73)

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Deployment Support

California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington (signatory states) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs through involvement in a Multi-State ZEV Task Force (Task Force).

By January 2021, the Task Force will develop a multi-state action plan to support electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Task Force will consider actions to accomplish the goals of the MOU, including limiting all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sales in the signatory states to ZEVs by 2050. The signatory states will also seek to accelerate the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to benefit disadvantaged communities and explore opportunities to coordinate and partner with key stakeholders.

For more information, see the Medium- and Heavy-Duty ZEVs: Action Plan Development Process website.

Multi-Unit Dwelling (MUD) Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Deployment Assessment

The Hawaii State Energy Office must convene a working group to evaluate opportunities and barriers for installing EV charging stations in MUDs. The working group must:

  • Assess barriers to EV charging stations at MUDs;
  • Consider changes to state statutes and administrative code to support EV charging station deployment at MUDs;
  • Identify best practices for EV charging station installations at MUDs;
  • Create guidelines for EV charging stations in MUDs;
  • Develop solutions for EV charging cost recovery and electrical capacity management; and,
  • Develop recommendations for installing shared-use EV charging stations at MUDs.

The working group must prepare a report of its findings, recommendations, and proposed legislation and submit it to the Hawaii Legislature 20 days prior to the 2023 legislative session.

(Reference House Resolution 42, 2022 and Senate Resolution 91, 2022)

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Parking Requirement

All parking facilities that are available for use by the general public and include at least 100 parking spaces must designate at least one parking space specifically for PEVs, provided that no parking spaces required by the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines are reduced or displaced. Spaces must be clearly marked and equipped with electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). An owner of multiple parking lots may designate and install EVSE in fewer parking spaces than required in one or more parking lots, as long as the owner meets the requirement for total number of aggregate spaces for all parking lots. A fee of $50-100 applies for non-PEVs that park in spaces designated for PEVs. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 291-71 and 291-72)

Public Utility Definition

An entity that owns, controls, operates, or manages a plant or facility primarily used to charge or discharge a vehicle battery that provides power for vehicle propulsion is not defined as a public utility. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 269-1)

Vehicle Performance Contracts

State agencies must identify and evaluate energy efficiency program contracts to implement, including vehicle and related infrastructure programs, as well as vehicle maintenance or fuel cost savings as they relate to a fleet’s energy efficiency program. Energy performance contracts may include installation of electric vehicle supply equipment infrastructure. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 36-42).

Utility/Private Incentives

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebates – Hawaii Energy

Hawaii Energy administers the Electric Vehicle Charging Station rebate program on behalf of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, which offers rebates to commercial and multifamily dwelling customers for the installation of Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast EVSE. Eligible applicants include individuals, non-profit organizations, private businesses, government entities, and homeowner associations or authorized entities on behalf of multi-unit dwellings. Rebates are available for new and retrofitted EVSE. Rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis while funding lasts. A total of $100,000 is available for eligible EVSE projects installed between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. For more information, including program eligibility and requirements, see the Hawaii Energy Electric Vehicle Charging Station website.

Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Charging Rate Incentives - Hawaiian Electric Company

Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company and Hawaii Electric Light Company, offer time-of-use (TOU) rates for residential, multi-unit dwelling, electric bus fleet facility, and commercial customers. The TOU rates are available to customers on Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii Island. Hawaiian Electric also offers a TOU rate for customers who charge their PEV at Hawaii Electric’s publicly available direct current (DC) fast stations. For more information, see the Hawaiian Electric Vehicles website.

State Incentives

Transportation Electrification Loan Program

The Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA) provides a revolving credit line of up to $50,000,000 to state government entities for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles and the installation of electric vehicle supply equipment. For more information, see the HGIA website. (Reference Senate Bill 932, 2021, and Hawaii Revised Statutes 196-65)

More Laws and Incentives

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