Sopogy Helps Saipan Energy Office

September 15, 2006

By Ferdie de la Torre

Darren Kimura of Energy Industries Holdings Inc. eleborates a point during his speech on the Hawaii-based certified energy manager Darren T. Kimura said Friday that simple energy saving steps could help the situation of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

“May best advice to the consumers is to save energy. When you save energy, we actually help CUC with their situation. And of course in the end the consumers can save money,” Kimura told the Saipan Tribune during a break at the “Helping CNMI Save Money by Saving Energy” workshop held at Hyatt Regency Hotel’s Sandcastle.

Kimura said the first thing that needs to happen is that everyone must be energy-efficient.

“We need to conserve, we need to understand that. Unfortunately, we have a problem. We are in a problem situation, but it is not the end of the day. And we have the opportunity that we can utilize to help the situation,” said Kimura, who was the featured speaker in the workshop sponsored by the Department of Public Works’ Energy Division.

He said residents, businesses, and government agencies should be energy-efficient by saving power at home and installing energy-efficient light and air-conditioning systems, among others.

“ All of all those things can reduce the amount of the demand that we put on the grid and.we can help CUC [achieve] a more stable condition and [we can] collectively move forward,” said Kimura, who is also the president and chief executive officer of Sopogy, Inc.

In the workshop, he talked about how to save energy, as saving energy saves money.

“ So in the end we are talking about how to save money,” he pointed out.

Kimura discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s Star Program, which is designed to help people easily save money by reducing the energy that they use.

“We’re talking about simple tips that consumers can use to save energy,” said Kimura, such a reducing shower time by minutes and air-drying clothes instead of using dying machines.

Kimura said a lot of people here are shocked at how their utility bills have gone up since CUC implemented the new power rates “but the most important thing is we have to address the fact that they [rates] have gone up and [we must] collectively work for energy-efficient features that can help us in moving forward. So we need to plan and prepare for the future,” he stressed.

DPW energy director Thelma B. Inos said they brought in Kimura, who is an expert of the Energy Star Program, to speak both at the workshop and at the Saipan Chamber of Commerce forum.

“ It’s a project that we are doing. It’s part of the program that I am putting in the application to the state energy grant. It is an energy awareness project,” Inos said.

Inos said that participants are mostly from government, private individuals, and businesses.

She said she was a little bit disappointed because not too many people showed up at the workshop.

Inos said Kimura is a very good speaker.

“From what I am hearing they are pretty impressed and they want him back,” Inos added.