Natural Gas Laws and Incentives in Hawaii

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

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 Tax Rate

A distributor of any alternative fuel used to operate an internal combustion engine must pay a license tax of $0.0025 for each gallon of alternative fuel the distributor sells or uses. In addition, a distributor must pay a license tax for each gallon of fuel sold or used by the distributor for operating a motor vehicle on state public highways according to the following rates:

Fuel TypeTax
Ethanol0.145 times the rate for diesel
Methanol0.11 times the rate for diesel
Biodiesel0.25 times the rate for diesel
Propane0.33 times the rate for diesel

For other alternative fuels, the rate is based on the energy content of the fuels as compared to diesel fuel, using a lower heating value of 130,000 British thermal units per gallon as a standard for diesel, so that the tax rate, on an energy content basis, is equal to one-quarter the rate for diesel fuel. Counties may impose additional taxes. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 243-4 and 243-5)

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

State and county agencies must purchase light-duty vehicles that reduce petroleum consumption and meet the needs of the agency. The priority to be used for purchasing such vehicles is as follows:

  1. Plug-in electric vehicles;
  2. Hydrogen or fuel cell vehicles;
  3. Other alternative fuel vehicles;
  4. Hybrid electric vehicles; and
  5. Vehicles identified as top performers for fuel economy in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's annual "Fuel Economy Leaders" report.

Exemptions may apply. State agencies must purchase 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. For more information, see the Hawaii State Energy Office's Vehicle Purchasing Guidelines website. (Reference 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.

More Laws and Incentives

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