Kauai became a clean energy leader. Its secret? A publicly owned grid

“Hawaii constitutes an unusually crisp comparison between for-profit and nonprofit utilities: all the islands besides Kauai get power from investor-owned, for-profit Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries. Hawaiian Electric serves 95% of Hawaii’s population to KIUC’s 5%, but they operate in similar climates, across similar terrain and within the same state policy regime.

Average retail electricity rates in Hawaiian Electric territory are higher today than they were a decade ago, per state data. Kauai’s rates have dropped from the highest in the state to the lowest, as KIUC shifted from costly imported fossil fuels to cheaper solar generation.”