HECO recently announced that U.S. sanctions on Russian Oil will cause electricity bills to increase over the next several months. In Oahu, the utility forecast shows an increase of about 10%, whereas in Maui and on Hawaii island, that rate could go as high as 20%. The uncertainty of when we will see conflict resolution in Ukraine means that these prices could continue to climb, making an investment in solar and energy smart appliances even more important than ever. Energy dependance on oil means considering all the ways you can conserve and store your own energy. 

President Joe Biden acknowledged that the sanctions on Russian imports would be seen at the gas pump, and in Kauai, that means prices of over $5.00 a gallon. Hawaii is running about $.40 more than the national average across the board, and it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be a break at the pumps anytime soon. 

Par Pacific Holdings Inc., owner of Hawaii’s oil refinery, had said it would suspend purchases of Russian crude oil in response to the war in Ukraine along with many other countries in the world. While Par Pacific said there would be no oil supply disruptions or significant price increases, and that it would turn to other sources it is still tied to the world market.

Furthermore, Hawaiian Electric said it makes no profit on the fuel used to generate electricity, because it is under very specific regulations. These rules state that the shareholders actually have to pay some of the costs themselves if gas and oil prices get pushed to high. Nonetheless, these rules and regulations still haven’t prevented the increase in cost from negatively impacting thousands of Hawaiian residents.  

On top of all this, the emergence of the Omicron variant of covid-19 may promise more disruptions in the oil realm due to the global pandemic. This means travel is going to become more costly and more difficult. While this might detur travel to European destinations, it might make Hawaii seem more of a sound destination for holidays in the near future. 

Regardless of what this means for tourism, the uncertainty of the near future and our own oil dependency, means that today is the day to contact Sunspear solar. If you already have solar, then today is the day to make a few referrals. Sunspear has multiple referral programs that will save you even more money during these uncertain times.