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Please note: This summary is provided to help you understand the regulations. Consult the references provided for links to the full text of the regulations.

Alternative Fuels -- State Regulations for Hawaii

This page contains selected data from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) at the U. S. Department of Energy. Additional details and the latest updates may be found at the AFDC summary page for Hawaii.

Vehicle Acquisition

State agency vehicles

State and county agencies must purchase light-duty vehicles that reduce petroleum consumption and meet the needs of the agency.(Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 103D-412 and 196-9)

Fuel Use

Fuel Use Standard (target)

The state of Hawaii is responsible for facilitating the development of alternative fuels and supporting the attainment of a statewide alternative fuels standard. The alternative fuels standard will be as follows: alternative fuels will provide 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020, and 30% by 2030. For the purposes of the alternative fuels standard, ethanol produced from cellulosic materials is equivalent to 2.5 gallons of non-cellulosic ethanol. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 196-42)

State agency vehicles

State agencies must purchase alternative fuels and ethanol blended gasoline when available, evaluate a purchase preference for biodiesel blends, and promote the efficient operation of vehicles. For the purpose of this requirement, an alternative fuel is defined as an alcohol fuel, an alcohol fuel blend containing at least 85% alcohol, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), hydrogen, biodiesel, a biodiesel blend containing at least 20% biodiesel, a fuel derived from biological materials, or electricity generated from off-board energy sources.(Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 103D-412 and 196-9)


Procurement Preference (biofuels)

State and county agency contracts awarded for the purchase of diesel fuel must give preference to bids for biofuels or blends of biofuel and petroleum fuel. When purchasing fuel for use in diesel engines, the preference price is $0.05 per gallon of B100. For blends containing both biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel, the preference is applied only to the biodiesel portion of the blend. For the purpose of this requirement, biodiesel is a vegetable oil-based fuel that meets ASTM specification D6751 and biofuel is a fuel from non-petroleum plant- or animal-based sources that can be used for the generation of heat or power. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 103D-1012)

Promotion (alternative fuels)

The state of Hawaii has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Energy to collaborate to produce 70% of the state's energy needs from energy-efficient and renewable sources by 2030. This effort is part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The goals of the partnership include defining the structural transformation required to transition the state to a clean energy-dominated economy; demonstrating and fostering innovation in the use of clean energy, including alternative fuels; creating opportunities for the widespread distribution of clean energy benefits; establishing an open learning model for other states and entities to adopt; and building a workforce with cross-cutting skills to support a clean energy economy in the state.

Promotion (energy feedstock)

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture established the Energy Feedstock Program to promote and support the production of energy feedstock development in Hawaii and to establish milestones and objectives for energy feedstock to be grown in the state to meet its energy requirements. Energy feedstock includes feedstock used to produce biofuels. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 141-9)

Tax (alternative fuels)

A distributor of any alternative fuel used to operate an internal combustion engine must pay a license tax of $0.0025 for each gallon of alternative fuel the distributor sells or uses. In addition, a distributor must pay a license tax for each gallon of fuel sold or used by the distributor for operating a motor vehicle on state public highways according to the following rates:Fuel Type TaxEthanol 0.145 times the rate for dieselMethanol 0.11 times the rate for dieselBiodiesel 0.25 times the rate for dieselPropane 0.33 times the rate for dieselFor other alternative fuels, the rate is based on the energy content of the fuels as compared to diesel fuel, using a lower heating value of 130,000 British thermal units per gallon as a standard for diesel, so that the tax rate, on an energy content basis, is equal to one-quarter the rate for diesel fuel. Counties may also impose additional taxes.(Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 243-4)

Zoning Exemption (land use)

Lands originally zoned as agricultural land use districts may be used for renewable energy production, storage, and distribution, including the production of biofuels. Biofuels production or distribution facilities must be integrated with an agricultural activity and may not adversely impact agricultural land and other agricultural uses in the vicinity. Biofuels production or distribution facilities include those that produce or distribute liquid or gaseous fuels from organic sources such as biomass crops, agricultural residues, food wastes, animal residues and wastes, and oil crops including palm, canola, soybean, and waste cooking oils. Additionally, biofuels production or distribution facilities are exempt from subdivision requirements for leases and easements within agricultural land use districts. To qualify for the exemption, a biofuels facility must have the capacity to produce or distribute at least 100,000 gallons of fuel annually and be designated as a renewable energy facility. (Reference Hawaii Revised Statutes 201N-14, 205-2, and 205-4.5)