Let’s Talk Energy on Maui

June 20, 2017

Two years ago, Hawaii committed to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Since then, our state has been viewed as a leader in adopting clean energy initiatives, and has been the focus of many global conversations.

The discussion on clean and renewable energy has been especially prevalent in Maui County, consisting of the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Maui is home to the annual Maui Energy Conference, attended by an international audience of energy and technology experts and stakeholders; it also boasts a television program specifically focused on energy.

Let’s Talk Energy, airing monthly on Maui’s Akaku channel 55, centers on all things energy related to Maui County — from electricity basics and electrical safety, to powering Maui, Molokai and Lanai today and into the future.

“We acknowledge and value the strong interest of our customers when it comes to energy matters on Maui, Molokai and Lanai, and we want to foster this important, ongoing dialogue,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. “Whether you’re wondering where your electricity comes from or how we’re working together to reach the most ambitious clean energy goals in the nation while balancing affordability and reliability — we invite you to tune in and come talk energy with us.”

Let’s Talk Energy is produced entirely by Maui Electric, using facilities provided by Akaku Maui Community Media. Employees from Maui Electric’s Communications, Community Relations, Safety, and Engineering departments help run cameras and other production equipment, and the series is moderated by Kaui Awai-Dickson, Manager, Administration.

“Let’s Talk Energy began as an idea to further broaden our reach to different segments of our diverse communities on Maui, Molokai and Lanai,” said Sayble Bissen, communications specialist and the series’ producer. “We also saw it as an opportunity to share names and faces of employees working on various projects that our community may be interested in.”

“We’ve received very positive feedback on the series, from both our customers as well as our employees, who appreciate that we continue to ‘get out there’ and share information and updates that are important to them,” Bissen added.

The first three episodes of Let’s Talk Energy featured topics ranging from the company’s clean energy plans and its low-income energy assistance programs, to overhead and line electrical safety, and how power is generated in Maui County. July’s upcoming episode highlights some of the community efforts the company supports, and the people behind them.

Every episode also features a “Getting to Know MeCo” (Maui Electric Company) segment that highlights an employee who shares their history with the company, what their job entails, and a little about their background and personal life.

“While Maui County is big in the worldwide discussion about energy, at heart we’re still a small, tightknit community. It’s important that we continue to show our customers that our employees are their fellow island residents and neighbors. We’re all working towards the same goal, because we all come from the same place of caring about what happens to these islands we call home,” Bissen said.

Let’s Talk Energy’s half-hour episodes air the first Tuesday of every month at 8 p.m. HST, on Akaku channel 55. New episodes repeat in the Tuesday timeslot for the entire month. The series is also available to view on YouTube.

Viewers are invited to email their energy related questions and suggested energy topics to letstalkenergy@mauielectric.com.