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Yee Family

Kauai

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It should be no surprise that a family business specializing in financial services and insurance is smart with its own investments. For the Yee ohana of Kauai, investing in clean energy at their Lihue office made economic and environmental sense.

Twelve years ago, Gordon and Yoli Yee installed 42 solar photovoltaic panels on the roof, back when net energy metering and tax credits were still available. “At that time, we rented the space to another business,” explained Gordon. “They were paying $1,700 a month before, and after the PV panels, their bill went down to $115 a month.”

But the Yees didn’t stop there. They insulated the walls and installed double-paned windows to keep the cool air inside, and solar tubes to help brighten rooms. Outside the one-story, peach-colored structure, they planted fruit trees to provide shade and installed an electric vehicle charger. And they changed their business operations to be more responsible -- stocking up on reusable cups and water jugs, and going as digital as possible to reduce the amount of paper they use.
Gordon has also embraced clean transportation, driving electric for the past 12 years. Currently, he commutes with a plug-in hybrid that he charges during the day at the office.
The next item on the Yees' list is a battery backup system. “We’re always thinking if we can do better.”

Gordon and Yoli say they’re doing this for their children, including son Tyler who has joined the family’s financial business and works in Hilo. “We want to leave a legacy for our kids and try to not create a carbon footprint,” said Gordon.

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