HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – More Hawai‘i schools will be getting a break from the heat following the signing of HB957 into law. The bill, now Act 57, authorizes the Department of Education to borrow money, interest-free, from the Hawai‘i Green Infrastructure Loan Program for heat abatement measures in Hawai‘i’s public school classrooms.
The Department of Education is expecting significant decreases in energy use and electricity costs through heat abatement efforts including heat reflective material, trees, awnings and ceiling fans. The use of LED indoor lighting in public school classrooms is expected to result in a $4 million drop in energy costs annually.
This Act comes on the heels of a $100 million general funds appropriation approved last year (Act 47) for the installation of and equipment for air conditioning, heat abatement, energy efficient lighting, and other energy efficiency measures.
Education is one of the priority issues included in the 2017 Hawaii State Senate Legislative Program.
“A big mahalo to our state legislators for their support of our efforts to cool the schools. Thank you also to the DOE for its hard work and for helping us to achieve our goal of creating a learning environment in which our students and teachers can thrive,” said Gov. Ige.
Other measures introduced this past legislative session in support of education include SB423, which
prohibits denying a student a meal for failure to pay within the first 21 days of the first semester of a school year while the student's application for free or reduced lunch is being processed or during the 7 days after the student's meal fund account balance is zero or negative. It authorizes the Department of Education to adopt rules or policies for the collection of funds for negative student meal balances.