By Nina Wu
Ouch. The Hawaiian Electric Co. is raising everyone's monthly bill by an average of $4.89 as part of a "decoupling" move. It won't matter whether you used more or less for the month — everyone is going to have to foot that extra fee. That's the bad news.
But there's some good news.
There's a cool technology being offered by Hawaii Energy (a ratepayer-funded conservation and efficiency program) in partnership with a Palo Alto, Calif.-based tech company called People Power. And they're offering it for up to 600 Oahu residents, for free.
That's right. Free.
There's not much you can get for free any more these days. People Power is looking for 600 Oahu residents to test out a home energy management system for a year, which can potentially save participants as much as 20 percent on their electric bill. The system comes with a mobile app — called Presence (which turns iOS devices into remotely monitored video cameras) — and Monster Central smart plugs. They're valued at about $300 or more.
By the end of the program, participants get to keep the Presence Pro Energy kit.
But there are only about half of the spaces left, and you do need to qualify.
To qualify, you need a smartphone or tablet, a home WiFi connection with an available port on your Wireless Internet router. You can still qualify even if you have solar water or solar PV.
Sign up at www.Oahu.PresencePro.com.