News, Newsletter

May Maui Smart Grid Newsletter

January 28, 2021

Couple Engages In Electrical Usage Monitoring

Shirlye and Ted Sonsteby are constantly monitoring their energy usage and charges. “Ours were always low,” Shirlye Sonsteby said, referring to their monthly bills from Maui Electric Co. As participants of the Maui Smart Grid project, the Sonstebys said they can easily compare their usage and actual billing. “Now I check our little In-Home Device at different times of the day,” Shirlye said. She’s noticed the differences in hourly power usage in the home. IHD has plenty of benefits. “I don’t know of any disadvantages,” she said.

The Sonstebys had already purchased energy-efficient appliances and installed a solar water heater when they decided to become Smart Grid project participants. Still, they continue to look for ways to conserve energy. The IHD “makes people aware of their electrical use,” Shirley said. Since having the IHD in their house, Shirlye said, “I now check to be sure fans are off when not needed.”

She maintains an avid interest in her home’s electrical usage and wants the Smart Grid project to be successful in helping the island find energy alternatives. “We hope there will be more wind farms, PV solar use in public buildings and parking lots like our community recreation centre has,” she said.

Did you know?

46.3 million barrels of petroleum were imported for Hawaii’s total energy use over the past year.
11.3 million barrels of petroleum were burned by the Hawaii utilities last year to make electricity.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 75 per cent less energy and last nearly ten times as long as traditional incandescent light bulbs.

My Smart Energy Report

Maui Smart Grid Project volunteers that have had a second smart meter installed on their homes for their PV systems will soon be seeing changes to the web portal. Coming soon, the Maui Smart Grid Project web portal will incorporate data readings from your PV panel into your personal online portal, clearly showing the energy generated daily, even by the hour. The portal will continue to display energy used and additionally provide a net total of energy bought, or given back to the grid.

This enhancement will provide all volunteers more data about their energy usage and a clearer understanding of their bills. The up-grade will also provide estimated solar savings, providing homeowners with an assessment of monthly savings generated from their PV investment. Stay tuned for further information as to when this will be available to you!


There’s still time to sign up for the Maui Smart Grid eGauge. With this free installation valued at $1,500, volunteers will obtain precise information about their energy consumption and how to use their appliances more efficiently. The eGauge Current Transformers will measure electric currents of up to 10 household appliances and provide an online web database that displays the energy use of each connected appliance in up to 1-second intervals. The installation will not interrupt your power supply.

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