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Energy Savings Bring Holiday Cheer To Hawaii State Capitol

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State House of Representatives has an added dash of green this year, thanks to the efforts of Chief Clerk& Office accountant Neal Shigemura, Denise Liu from the House Journal and Tammy Tengan from the Print Shop, who teamed up to decorate the Christmas tree in the House Chamber foyer.

"The entire tree is decorated with whimsical home-made ornaments that celebrate saving energy," described Representative Cynthia Thielen (R, 50th District: Kailua, Kaneohe Bay), as she contemplated the imaginative display.

Illuminating the tree are strings of multi-colored LED lights as well as a string of white lights powered by a small solar panel (which stores power from ceiling lights just as well as from the sun, making it perfect for the basement room). A compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) placed as an ornament on the tree demonstrates that it saves 75% off lighting costs. Also, there are reminders to unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use to reduce phantom energy draw and save even more energy.

While admiring this year's Christmas tree, Rep. Thielen noted, "This is a wonderful expression of our State government's participation in the national iConserve Energy Initiative, where individual employees are helping to conserve energy by voluntarily making simple changes in their daily routine. I am very proud of our Capitol's Green Champions, and am inspired by this artistic, playful illustration of their commitment to being energy efficient," concluded Rep. Thielen.

In addition to encouraging reduced energy usage in the Capitol building, the State has installed an electric vehicle public charging station in the basement parking lot. Rumor has it that Santa may try out an electric sleigh this year; if so, maybe he'll stop by the State Capitol to power it up. But don't worry, he's sure to keep Rudolph and all the reindeer as a backup power source and for company on the long night's journey.

For more on Hawaii's iConserve Energy Initiative, see


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