Sierra Club supports Maui’s electric utility recommendations

Sierra Club Supports Maui County’s Push for a New Utility Model

Honolulu, Hawai‘i — Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa announced today that the county’s research shows that a new utility model, including a neutral “independent system operator” or cooperative ownership, would improve service, reduce rates, and promote clean energy.

Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawai‘i said:

“We agree with the conclusions of Maui County’s study, that the people of Maui should seek a new electric utility model, which may include pursuing public ownership of the utility.

Here on the clean energy leading edge in Hawai`i, large investor-owned utilities are dinosaurs.  It makes more sense for our environment and our economy to manage our electrical grid as a shared resource and encourage as much competition as possible to give ratepayers what they want: clean, cheap energy.

The outcome of Maui’s study bodes well for efforts in other counties to explore alternative utility ownership, including the study of Honolulu’s options for public ownership proposed on Tuesday by Honolulu Council Chairman Ernie Martin, and the work of Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative on the Big Island to create a utility cooperative.”

Link to Maui Report: