Energy Affordability Specialist

James McCallen

Energy Affordability Specialist

Office: Hawaiʻi State Energy Office

Email: [email protected]

  • BIO

James McCallen serves as part of the inaugural Climate Ready Hawaiʻi AmeriCorps VISTA cohort that is helping Hawaiʻi adapt to climate change impacts. He is the Energy Affordability Specialist at the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office (HSEO). In this role, he will assist the HSEO in projects involving energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, and public education to help Hawaiʻi achieve a resilient clean energy economy. Along with the cohort, he will also be assisting in the development of a framework for the State’s Climate Commission and its members to incorporate equity and anti-poverty strategies into climate change mitigation and adaptation.

James served as a Health Volunteer with the Peace Corps (2017-2019) in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. In Vanuatu, he primarily worked on issues of hygiene and sanitation, non-communicable diseases, and managed the design and planning of a sustainable, clean running water system for a community of 125 people. James has a Master of Public Health, with a concentration in Global Environmental Sustainability and Health, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. While obtaining his MPH, James worked as a Health Policy Fellow in the Maryland General Assembly, where he collaborated with state policymakers and community organizations on issues of environmental sustainability and zero waste policy.

James holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Chinese Language & Culture from Wake Forest University. He is originally from Long Island, New York.

  • Energy Equity Hui: James currently represents HSEO on the newly formed Energy Equity Hui, a working group of public and private partner organizations dedicated to prioritizing equity for LMI and vulnerable residents within the energy sector in Hawaiʻi.
    • Equity Playbook—Energy: James, with his energy focus, is collaborating with the entire VISTA cohort to develop components of an Equity Playbook for the State’s Climate Commission. This work is an outcome of the findings of the Commission’s Permitted Interaction Group on Equity.
    • HSEO Newsletter: The work of the three HSEO AmeriCorps VISTAs are highlighted in the office's Spring Newsletter as they continue help build HSEO's capacity to serve vulnerable communities. 

    • Energy Financial Assistance Resources: James developed a comprehensive guide of all energy financial assistance resources available in Hawaiʻi for low-to-moderate income residents, which can be found in the HSEO website. This resource will be used to develop future community outreach and engagement initiatives, with the main purpose of connecting residents to the appropriate programs to reduce their energy utility bills and increase their access to renewable energy options.