Want to Help the Hawai‘i State Energy Office Spend More Than 8 Million Dollars?

You have until March 20 to tell the state energy office your plan to spend automaker Volkswagen’s money.
Hawaii VW settlement
Image: Courtesy of the Hawai‘i State Energy Office


Want to help the state energy office spend more than $8 million? The experts there want public input by March 20 to develop a nonbinding plan to spend money from a settlement with automaker Volkswagen to promote the reduction of vehicle emissions in Hawai‘i.


You might recall that the German automaker got in trouble after a civil complaint claimed that VW installed software in its 2.0-and 3.0-liter diesel engine vehicles to disable emission controls under normal use and to turn on emission controls only when the vehicle was being tested. That meant the so-called “defeat device” showed better real world fuel mileage and driving performance, while it resulted in the release of thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide emissions.


Experts estimated emissions were in excess of roughly 40 times the amounts allowed under the U.S. Clean Air Act regulated limits. 


The funds represent Hawai‘i’s share of a $2.925 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust established as part of agreements between the federal government and Volkswagen to settle allegations that the automaker cheated emissions tests and deceived customers.


The Hawai‘i State Energy Office has developed a questionnaire to solicit and consider public input as it develops the state’s mitigation plan.


Some of the options for spending the money include: trust funds allocated toward projects that replace or retrofit medium- and heavy-duty vehicles or equipment with cleaner options. And up to 15 percent of the funds can be used to install electric vehicle charging stations around the state.


Find the questions here and more information here.