FAQs

WHY WORK WITH AEE HAWAII VS. ANY OTHER FOR-PROFIT AGENCY OF CHOICE?

AEE Hawaii’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to achieve your energy management strategy. AEE Hawaii has over 140 community members who are constantly reviewing and assessing the needs of our community in Education, Energy Management, Conservation, Generation, Policy, Regulation, Law, and Safety. The results of those efforts provide you with information you can trust.

AEE Hawaii partners with other community organizations to deliver programs that have measurable goals and results.  Our programs are reviewed annually for results and to make sure they are on track. Also, a board of directors who set policies and oversee our financial practices, ensures uphold our fiduciary duty and commitment to our mission. 

AEE Hawaii is not like any other for-profit or non-profit agencies you might consider. Contributions received for our statewide service area stay here and decisions about which programs to invest in and which partnerships to pursue are made here in our local community. As percentages of contributions, every $1.00 AEE Hawaii receives are used in the following ways:

40% of AEE Hawaii fees are applied to the Staff Salaries

On any given project, salaries may be donated to AEE Hawaii’s general fund, if the services are provided by a volunteer and they elect to donate their contributions.

20% of AEE Hawaii fees are applied to the Community Sustainability Fund

Our Community Sustainability program encourages members to examine ways to get more involved in their local communities. The program was designed to help share the knowledge of members to improve the world around them. Community energy, energy efficiency and education programs are a key way to integrating renewables and conservation into utility green power programs. AEE Hawaii programs are important for meeting the demand for renewables for all utility customers, particularly those whose residences are shaded; those who live in apartment complexes, Apartment Associations, Condo Associations, or low income housing; who are otherwise unable to invest in a renewable generation, energy efficiency installation; or who desire energy related education. Development of this proposal was aided by the use of Communality Sustainability Funds. Below are some other examples of active programs AEE Hawaii is delivering:

  • Rural Energy for America ProgramA project between the AEE Hawaii and GDS Associates, Inc., Hawaii DBEDT, and the USDA to provide investment grade energy audits to Hawaii farmers and rural small businesses. AEE Hawaii uses a mentorship approach to leverage this as an educational opportunity by matching rookie CEAs/CEMs with seasoned energy professionals to complete the onsite data collection portion of the energy audit. The project will complete a total of 12 commercial audits by the end of the year.

  • Multi-Family Residence (Association of Apartment Owners and Condo Association) Energy Efficiency and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: A project between the Chapter and EV Structures, Inc. to provide a 3000 amp 3 phase switchboard electrical load assessment analyzing a condominium's capacity to install new electric heat pumps and EV Charging Stations for an Association of Apartment Owners in Aiea, Oahu. The report included efficiency measure recommendations to increase capacity for more charging stations. 

  • Custom, In-House and Community Based CEM TrainingA project between the Chapter and a confidential global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries to create a custom in-house CEM training course, educating their engineers on energy management and energy engineering. This will deliver energy engineering training to working professionals across the South Pacific. 

18% of AEE Hawaii fees are applied to the General Fund (administrative and fundraising)

AEE Hawaii’s administrative and fundraising costs represent approximately 18 percent of contributions and are well below national standards. Most of every dollar you contribute goes to initiatives and programs that help people and build a stronger community. According to the Charities Review Council, a nonprofit is using contributions responsibly if overhead is limited to 30% or less of total donations. Other watchdog groups use figures as 40% as an acceptable standard for administrative overhead. The watchdog group “Charity Navigator” recommends a maximum of 20%, the U.S. Office of Professional Management’s recommended maximum is 25% and the Better Business Bureau’s recommended maximum of 35%. 

10% of AEE Hawaii fees are applied to the Hawaii Based College Scholarship Fund

AEE scholarships are available to candidates obtaining their undergraduate or graduate degrees who are enrolled in an accredited college or university focusing on energy engineering or energy management.  With the growth of the AEE, the increase in the number of scholarship applicants, and the rising cost of education, AEE is expanding its efforts to bolster and enhance the financial underpinnings of the Scholarship Program. Portions of this contribution may be deductible by the client as charitable donations. 

10% of AEE Hawaii fees are applied to the Endowment Fund

The chapter’s endowment fund is intended to provide a stable source of operating revenue to the organization. Annual endowment distributions help fund accounts such as operating capital and emergency reserves within the organization. This frees AEE Hawaii to focus on our mission and what they do best in our community.  It also provides, once funded, a relatively constant and permanent revenue source for the organization.

2% of AEE Hawaii fees are applied to the Energy Assistance Program Fund

The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is offered to households that need assistance in paying their electric or gas bills. It has two components, Gas or Electric Bill Payment Assistance - An energy credit for households having difficulty paying their gas or electric bills, and our Energy Crisis Intervention Program that provides financial assistance for households whose electricity or gas has been or is scheduled to be shut off. Options exist in this program to install up to 1kW of PV or small wind using EAP or ECIP funds for households or businesses that meet the eligibility criteria to help longer term energy affordability for those most in need.

AT WHAT STAGE SHOULD I HIRE AN OWNERS AGENT?

The sooner the better, preferably at before the start of the Planning phase. Dissection and refinement of the plans can often help your project run smoother, assess its true fiscal feasibility, and ensure that infrastructure requirements are accurately calculated. This is the "ideal" timing; however, don't let that stop you from bringing AEE Hawaii in no matter where you are on your project. 

HOW DOES OFFERING OWNERS AGENT SERVICES SUPPORT THE AEE HAWAII MISSION?

Offering Owners Agent services on this project is an opportunity for AEE Hawaii to move into a Owners Agent role and

  • Raise funding for scholarships and education

  • Raise funding for workforce development and education of energy professionals

  • Develop expertise on the islands in support of our energy independence goal

  • Advocate for sane energy policy

  • Provide objective 3rd party advisement

  • Participate in master planning the community and set design criteria for future energy decisions

  • Increases capacity to expand production and innovative energy and energy efficiency projects

WHY DOES AEE HAWAII WANT TO REPRESENT YOUR BUSINESS AS OWNERS AGENT?

As AEE Hawaii looks over the energy management space, we see a key role woefully underrepresented, that of the Owners Agent for energy projects. Most businesses do not have the resources or experience necessary to manage an energy project. Hiring an Owners Agent firm offers many benefits.

An Owners Agent is similar to a project manager in many respects, but there are several distinct differences. One of the advantages is that an Owners Agent can provide you with experienced labor, tools, and industry knowledge on projects without the expense of managing the project in-house. Also, an Owners Agent looks out for your interests as though they were the interests of the Owners Agent. This means that an experienced person will make sure that the work is completed in a professional and verifiable manner. They also provide conflict and problem resolution whenever issues arise.

Hiring an Owners Agent will allow you to focus on doing what you do best, running your business and making key strategic and operational decisions. It will provide you peace of mind knowing that your project will be run in a timely and efficient manner. As your Owners Agent, we represent your interest only, not the interest of the design staff, financers, utilities, equipment vendors, or contractors. AEE Hawaii is your eyes and ears on the jobsite, ensuring you the quality you expect, completed on time and within budget.

It is AEE Hawaii’s opinion that non-profits are unable to take advantage of the best options available in the energy management market because there are few firms whose core competency is to represent a buyer who is making an energy procurement decision. AEE Hawaii represents the Owners interest throughout the planning, design, construction, and closeout phases of a project. The best Owners Agents have a way of looking at a project that's entirely different than single Project Management Services. They are able to envision the consequences that one small task might have on a huge project, offer consulting advice across a multidisciplinary landscape of development, policy, law, taxes, engineering, construction, and project delivery  plus have the expertise to prevent or resolve issues in these areas if they occur.

WHAT ESTABLISHES AEE HAWAII AS AN EXPERT IN ENERGY MANAGEMENT?

Internationally, AEE offers a full array of custom programs to bring together the best and brightest the energy industry has to offer. No energy management certification program is more universally known then the professional certification designated as the Certified Energy Manager® (CEM®). The CEM was established in 1981 to meet the growing needs of individuals and organizations wishing to advance their position in the energy efficiency field.

AEE has certified more than 26,000 professionals, 14,000 of them CEMs, thus enabling them to receive special recognition for their expertise in a variety of specialized areas within the energy, power and green facilities industry. Individuals granted the use of this designation by AEE have distinguished themselves as having earned the highest level of competency in energy management. The CEM is nearly universally accepted and recognized by a cross-section of institutions both public and private. For more information, see: http://www.aeecenter.org/files/certification/CEMArticle092210.pdf

WHAT IS THE ASSOCIATION OF ENERGY ENGINEERS, HAWAII (AEE HAWAII)?

The Association of Energy Engineers, Inc. (AEE) was founded in 1977 as a Georgia based 501(c)(6) federated nonprofit professional society to bring people and communities together and advance the common good by promoting the commercial, scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry, and foster action for sustainable development. Over time, AEE has grown to over 16,000 members in 89 countries and more than 140 community-based AEE local chapters across the globe and each is independently governed by local volunteers. Many of these local chapters are similar in their mission and structure, but some are very different.

AEE Hawaii was founded in January 2012. Built on a philosophy of statewide engagement, AEE Hawaii plays a key-role in fast-forwarding Hawaii’s energy future by becoming firmly engaged in a number of important local projects that demonstrate our commitment to economic, social, and environmental responsibility. We are working to fill the gap between energy consumers and energy providers by providing expert advice to energy consumers from a trustworthy platform that ensures that energy providers supply the best value solutions for the lowest prices. AEE Hawaii and its affiliates have the highest standards when it comes to energy efficiency and smart energy solutions.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this FAQ is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or other professional advice of any kind.

No recipients of this FAQ should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this report without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a Certified Energy Manager, a Professional Engineer or an Attorney licensed in the recipient’s state.

The content of the document contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. The Association of Energy Engineers expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of the document. The content of the document addresses topics of interest to our membership and other audiences, and is offered on a blind basis, without any knowledge as to your specific circumstances. The application and impact of relevant laws will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There may be delays or omissions in information contained in the document. The content should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisers.