How much does it cost for Solar Water Heaters on Maui???

Hawaii is an ideal candidate for alternative energy solutions. It’s an island, meaning any outside fuels must be shipped directly to the state (and each various island). Furthermore, it has an abundance of natural energy gifts – active geothermal energy, powerful wind cycles, easy access to tidal, and a whole lotta’ sun.

It’s no surprise then, that Hawaii has now created a new mandate for new homes built in the state – solar hot water heaters must now be included in any new home construction!

Solar water heaters can lower your Electric usage by up to 85%!!! Read below for costs and discounts for Solar Water Heater Technology

Solar Water Heater
120-gal Solar Water Heating System

System Cost: $5,100
MECO Rebate: $1,000
Fed Tax Credit: $1,230
HI Tax Credit: $1,004.50

NET COST: $1,865.50

Average Electric Bill Savings $75.00/Mo.
Yearly Savings: $ 900.00
Estimated Payback Period 2+ years

WWW.MAUISOLAR.COM for more information!

*Information for this blog provided by *(this is one of many choices for solar technology installation on Maui)

Meghan Clair-Maui’s Green Real Estate Agent is in the news again

EcoBrokers® In the News…

Here is a article about me from the EcoBroker International Newsletter: 12/22/08

EcoBroker Certified® agents are often recognized for their outstanding community work and no one epitomizes this EcoBroker spirit of involvement more than Meghan Clair of Windermere Real Estate Wailea, LLC in Maui, Hawaii. Clair, a Certified EcoBroker® since October 2007, lives, learns and teaches green building, real estate and sustainable living ideas throughout the community in many ways. She helps write articles for a variety of real estate trade and better living magazines in Hawaii. She has been a prime resource for a number of reports on incorporating green into personal and professional lives. Clair has organized the nationally accredited “Houses That Work” green building seminar on Maui and has volunteered as a team leader for Habitat for Humanity’s green building projects. She has even organized beach restoration and park clean-ups. Additionally, Clair is currently involved in the production of a web-based television show titled “EcoHome,” in which she explains green features in real estate and green remodeling and interviews established green business owners about products specific to the housing and construction industries on Maui. Clair was recently featured in the Maui Weekly, December 17, 2008 article Green House by reporter Jessica Baker. Nice work Meghan! Read the entire article here.

View EcoBroker Newsletter in Full

Hawaii goal: 70% of energy with alternative sources by 2030

Though Hawaii announced its goal of producing 70% of its total energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 back in January, the program got further support yesterday with the announcement that a “historic accord” has been reached between the current state government and the Hawaiian Electric Company.

Though the details of many of the agreements points have yet to be worked out, what is planned is certainly a step in the right direction. Here they are:

Ban on Coal Plants, Increased RPS, Feed-in-Tariff Creation, Biofuels

The Renewable Portfolio Standard for electricity is doubled to 40% by 2030.

A new feed-in-tariff system will be created to encourage renewable energy installation. Details on how much different renewable energy technologies will be receiving have not been disclosed. Conversion of existing fossil fuel generating plants to “renewable biofuels, ultimately using crops grown locally and in a sustainable manner.” Currently Hawaii generates about three-quarters of its electricity from oil-fired plants. A prohibition on construction of any new coal plants in Hawaii.

Solar Hot Water Program Expanded
In addtion to a mandatory installation of solar water heaters on all new developments by 2010, there wil be an expansion of the Pay-As-You-Save program, under which customers can install solar hot water systems with no money down.

Transmission Grid Integration
Construction on an undersea cable connecting Maui, Molokai and Lanai into one electric grid so that 400 MW of wind power generated on Maui can be transmitted to Oahu. Integration of 1100 MW of “already identified additional renewable energy” into the grid, 700 MW of which will be done within five years.

The complete list of items to be implemented under the agreement is available here: Hawaiian Electric Company

Green Home Staging will give your Home that extra marketing edge!

One of the latest trends in home staging (preparing a property to get a quicker sale and the best possible price) is to include Eco-friendly practices. While in a market where there is a lot of similar inventory for sale, sellers have to make special incentives to differentiate their property…here are a few EcoFriendly staging ideas to make your home unique, justify pricing, and improve quailty of living!

Eco-Friendly Staging Tips

1. Flooring
Lots of buyers are concerned about allergies. Old carpets are full of chemicals, toxins, and allergens. The carpet should be removed and replaced with a natural carpet such as jute, bamboo, wool, or grasscloth (woven seagrass). Another option is to put down a natural wood floor made of bamboo or cork.

2. Walls
Old wallpaper and the paste must be removed. Moisture gets underneath, particularly in bathrooms, where mold is likely to develop. If there is a mold issue, it must be remedied. Paint the rooms using Non-VOC or Low-VOC(volatile organic compounds) paint brand such as Benjamin Moore Aura. If the seller insists on wallpapering, use recycled wallpaper or ecofreindly options

3. Furniture
Stage the home with furniture that incorporates ecofriendly materials, or stage with recycled and unique items. Also RECYCLE any furniture you want to get rid of at a consignment store, goodwill, or local recycle center. Any furniture surplus should not be thrown away. Donate any pieces that clutter your home.

4. Plants
Remove artificial plants and flowers replace with live plants. This can improve the air in a home and keep allergens from occuping the home. Also if you are improving the landscaping for Curb Appeal, why not use Native Landscaping options that will gorw naturally in the area and reduce water usage. Additionally if replanting, add some fruit trees! Buyers loves them and its ecofriendly to have food growing on the property.

Any new bedding, towels, rugs, or curtains bought for green staging purposes should be made of natural fibers like cottons and silks. The cost is approximately ten to fifteen percent more than acrylics.

6. A Chemical Free Home is A Green Home
The garage, attic, storage closets and extra buildings on a property are often full of paints, garden sprays, and other chemical-laden products that need to be disposed of. You can also use EcoFriendly alternatives and leave them with the new buyer!

7. Squeaky Green Clean
You have to throughky clean your home when you sell it anyways…why not clean dirty surfaces, remove pet stains, as well as getting rid of odors with EcoFriendly cleaning supplies! Seventh Generation is a great established brand of green cleaning products tha is affordable and readily available in most stores.

8.The Little Things

Use Compact Flouresent Light Bulbs (CFLs) in all lamps and fixtures. RECYCLE!!!! Be aware of your energy and water use…you can report the utility savings that the staging has afforded you to a potential buyer!

****Most importantly use an EcoBroker like Meghan Clair who is professionally certified on how to highlight the EcoStaging to Prospective Buyers and market your home on a variety of EcoFreindly Home Search Websites!!!*****

Please visit to learn more about Green Home Staging on Maui!

Hawaii Plastic Bag Reduction Bill Passed Unanimously 8/22/08

The plastic bag reduction bill, which prohibits businesses from providing plastic bags to customers at check-out counters, passed its second and third reading at the Maui County Council meeting on Aug. 22. The bill was passed unanimously at the meeting with no amendments made, and will come into effect on Jan. 11, 2011.

Councilmember Michael Molina introduced the bill in July because of the harmful effects plastic bags have on the environment. He said he is very pleased about the unanimous vote.

(use Reusable Bags like Chico Bags instead of Plastic Bags)

“It is especially important here in Hawaii where we have a strong spiritual and emotional connection to the land and the water,” said Molina.

Protect the Aina!

He said 2011 date was set to let people adjust to the new concept and to provide retailers with enough time to exhaust their supply of plastic bags and think of a more environmentally-friendly alternative. The date also gives the Environmental Management committee time to come up with rules to enforce the new law.

The plastic bag reduction bill bans only plastic bags provided at check-out counters. It does not apply to plastic bags used for meat and vegetables, or garbage bags.