Co-director for Customer Energy Resources
Yoh Kawanami is co-director for customer energy resources at Hawaiian Electric.
We interviewed nine of the leaders at Hawaiian Electric including Yoh Kawanami, co-director for customer energy resources.
PUF: What is your role and what do you do on an average day?
Yoh Kawanami: I'm the co-director of Customer Energy Resources. We recently created this new department by combining distributed energy resources and demand response and we changed the name to emphasize this is about customers, not just equipment. I'm co-director with Lani Shinsato. The DER side was in charge of rooftop solar.
For demand response, we were in charge of water heaters and air conditioners. But as time went on, Lani started introducing batteries into her programs and then demand response started putting batteries into the programs.
We started to figure out that we need alignment, that the customers need to know what are their options, rather than sending them to two different locations, to have one location, Customer Energy Resources, and have one offering or limit the number of offerings rather than too many options with too much confusion.
PUF: Were you and Lani paid by commission? Was it whoever got to that customer first, in the old days?