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Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels in Hawaii

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Hawaii home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

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** What's new for 2020 **

Electricity prices here in Hawaii remain the second highest in the nation, making it one of the most practical places to install solar. Innovative new on-bill repayment plans have been great at assisting low income residents to install their own solar energy systems. Read on below to discover more about how it all works.

How much money you can save with solar depends on which island you live on and how much electricity you use. Everyone in Hawaii can grab the US federal solar tax credit (now stepped down to 26% of your costs, still a significant savings). It's important to note that Hawaii's state government has your back. Even without huge incentives or a perfect net metering program, the state is committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045, and they're gonna need a lot of help form folks like you to do it.

So check out this page full of information about solar panel policy, incentives, and savings in Hawaii, and get ready to go solar!

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you! Simply sign up for personalized help. You can get discounted pricing as low as $3,000/kW! This is paired with the very strong Hawaii solar panel incentives below.

What you'll find on this page:

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Hawaii, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in Hawaii. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in Hawaii.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Generate an accurate online solar estimate for your home

Your Solar Strategy in Hawaii

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Hawaii can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in Hawaii

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or lease. As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires an up-front investment. We've also estimate the returns if you take a loan to pay for solar, or if you sign up for a PPA.

Hawaii does something a little different than most states when it comes to solar payback. For most people, the easiest option (the one that doesn't involve batteries), is HECO's "Customer Grid Supply Plus" program, aka CGS+. Under the program, your home still gets to use the solar energy your system generates, up to as much as it needs while the sun is shining. But the excess electricity made by your panels goes to HECO, who sends it to other customers. In most states, you get full credit for that electricity, and whatever you end up needing from the utility at night offsets what you've banked up by sending electricity.

In Hawaii, however, you get a reduced-cost credit for that electricity. So while you might be paying $.30 for every kilowatt-hour (kWh), you'll only be getting, say, $.108 per kWh (if you live on Oahu). That makes it hard for us to estimate how much you'll save, because if you're a heavy user of electricity during the day and light at night, you'll actually be saving more than if you have a more typical usage pattern, heavy during "peak" times like afternoons and evenings. The system HECO uses isn't perfect, and there's no telling if they will come up with something better than CGS+, or what exact effects it will have on your usage, or long-term, on your rates.

The US Energy Information Administration shows the average household usage in Hawaii is just over 6,000 kWh per year. That's actually pretty low, which makes sense considering the relatively mild climate. But that 6,000 kWh costs a ton of money, because the average price of electricity is $.30/kWh, compared to $.13/kWh US average.

For all the estimates in this section, we assume that 39% of your solar energy will power your home, and 61% will go to HECO. That represents a pretty standard usage curve that's heavy during peak times. We also assume the compensation for excess energy will remain relatively unchanged, but also that the price you pay for retail energy won't change much over the next 25 years. After all, as Hawaii transitions to 100% clean energy, the costs should actually stabilize, because HECO won't be reliant on the fluctuating, impossible-to-predict prices of imported fuels.

If you're ready to read on about our estimated solar savings for Hawaii, read on to get detailed information about each option.

How much can solar panels on roof save you?

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

An outright purchase is a very fine way to go solar in Hawaii, and with the combination of two sweet tax credits and savings on your electric bill, you can have your system paid off in just 5 short years. Speaking of electric bill savings, because Hawaii does things differently with CGS+, we've designed a system here that we estimate will make enough electrciity to offset your usage during daylight hours, while not generating so much that you end up with a huge amount being sent to HECO and paid out at a lower-dollar rate.

In our example, you put down $16,000 up front, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy bill savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $26,000 in income, thnaks to all the money you'll be saving on electricity. But even though that sounds huge, look into the solar loan or HELOC option, because taking a loan to buy an income-generating asset means it'll pay for itself starting on day 1, and you'll actually be making money as you pay the loan off.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out when you pay up front for a 5.2-kW rooftop solar system in Hawaii:

  • Installing a typical 5.2-kW solar system should start at about $16,000. Don’t worry, because the two tax credits you're about to get will reduce that by a ton after just 1 year.
  • First, take the federal tax credit, equal to 30% of out-of-pocket costs. That's $4,800 off, for a new price of $11,200.
  • The Aloha state gives you a nice tax break, too. This 5.2-kW system is eligible for the full $5,000, so now you've only invested $6,200 after year 1.
  • On top of the tax credits, you get to save a bundle in electricity costs. Subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $1,400. That reduces your cost after the first year to be only a little more than $4,800.
  • Over the 25-year life of your system, you'll see a total net profit of $26,251, after the system pays for itself.
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by over $6,000, too (your expected costs after incentives)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 128 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Hawaii. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

Did you ever see that Matthew Lesko guy on late-night TV? He had an informercial all about how the government is giving away free money, and he was basically begging people to buy his book that told you how to get all that sweet gubbamint cash. Buying solar with a loan in Hawaii is kinda like that, but, y'know... not insane.

This is without a doubt the best solar option when it comes to return on investment. That’s because it relies on using a bank's money for the purchase price, which you then pay back over time out of the electricity savings caused by the system. We know you hate your electric bill, and in Hawaii, a solar loan will take out a huge chunk of it—enough that it will pay for itself on day 1, because your savings will always be greater than your costs.

The reason this works so well is that you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get all of the incentives that go along with buying solar. You'll get the 30% federal tax credit and the $5,000 Hawaii tax credit, and then you'll start saving on your electric bill. As we mentioned above, HECO's CGS+ program works a little differently than normal, but the numbers come out relatively simply. Here's how it works:

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Hawaii solar purchase with a solar loan:

  • Installing a typical 5.2-kW solar system should start at about $16,000. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity your system will produce will net you about $1,415 off your electric bill in year 1, but your loan payments will total $1,480, for a difference of $65, or about $5.50 per month.
  • On top of that, your tax savings for the year will be $9,800 ($4,800 from the feds and $5,000 from Hawaii)! You'll come out $9,770 ahead after year 1, which is so crazy that we're thinking about moving to Hawaii right now.
  • You'll never actually spend a penny on loan payments. And after the loan is paid off, your profits stack up just like if you bought the system outright. You'll end up with $20,000+ in profits over our 25-year example.
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too. 128 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Hawaii. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Hawaii is a state where a solar Power Purchase Agreement isn't a runaway first choice. That's because electricity prices are so high here that paying for solar a different way is monumentally better. That's not saying that a PPA is a bad idea—far from it, actually—and if you don't have a ton of cash or equity in your home, you can still save a good deal of money over the next 25 years.

How a solar PPA works

Solar PPAs are also called "third-party solar," because they're basically billing arrangements under which a third party (your solar installer) owns the solar panels that are installed on your house and sells you the solar energy for a price a little lower than the cost of electricity from the utility company. PPAs work great for people without any equity, income, or cash, because they don't require any down payment.

In Hawaii, you can get a PPA that will save you about $64 per month starting now, which is no small thing. Because we estimate that the price of electrciity will remain relatively stable over the next few decades as the state switches to 100% renewable power, the PPA might not actually save you a ton of money over the long term. That's because most PPA contracts include a clause that raises the per-kWh price you pay by around 2% annually. According to our estimates, that will eventually lead the PPA to ost more than electricity from HECO after aabout 14 years. But hey, if you haven't got equity, cash, or income, there are worse ways to save $64 per month for a decade.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Hawaii. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Calculate solar panel cost and savings for your specific home

Hawaii Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Hawaii:

Hawaii's Renewable Portfolio Standard

100% by 2045

Grade: A

Hawaii's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

In 2015, Hawaii kicked its pursuit of renewables into the highest gear possible. The state now has a goal of 100% renewable energy generation by 2045, up from its earlier goal of 40% by 2030.

The 100% goal is being phased in by the following schedules:

  • 15% of net electricity sales by December 31, 2015
  • 30% of net electricity sales by December 31, 2020
  • 40% of net electricity sales by December 31, 2030
  • 70% of net electricity sales by December 31, 2040
  • 100% of net electricity sales by December 31, 2045

Hawaii is setting the pace for the nation, and it's doing it because the switch to renewables is so necessary. Much of the energy generation in Hawaii is done with imported fuel oil and other fossil generation. That's why the state has such terribly high electricity prices—shipping in all that fossil fuel is expensive.

Hawaii also has a good chance at meeting its 2045 goal, too, considering its natural wind, solar, and geothermal potential. Let's all give a cheer for Hawaii and its forward-thinking governor, David Ige! Hip-hip hooray!

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

Hawaii's Solar carve-out and SRECs


Grade: F

Hawaii's Solar Carve-out grade

You'd think with a goal of 100% of electricity from renewable source, we might see a specific requirement for solar here, but that's not the case. Not to worry though, since Hawaii has high electricity prices and a great solar tax credit, the possibilities for huge savings with home solar are better here than in almost any other state.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

Hawaii Electricity Prices


Grade: A

Hawaii's Electricity cost grade

Hawaii electrciity prices fluctuate month by month, because of the state's unique mix of imported and locally-generated energy. For the last year, the average price you pay has been about 30 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity. 30 cents! That’s over two times than the rates most mainlanders pay!

If you live in Hawaii, we have no doubt that you hate how high your electric bill is every month. And being subject to the fluctuations only hurts more! Hawaii has a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045, so why not do your part today and get mutlitple quotes for a home solar system.

Find out why electricity prices matter

Hawaii Net Metering

Grid Supply Tariff

Grade: D

Hawaii's Net Metering grade

Hawaii no longer has net metering for solar owners. Instead, HECO has switched to giving homeowners a choice. In Hawaii, you can set up your solar panels under a system called "Customer Self Supply," which means you have to use all the solar energy to power your home (hello, batteries!) or "Customer Grid Supply," which means you send all your solar energy to HECO, and they pay you less than retail prices for it. Finding out which system works bets for you can be complicated, so make sure to talk with a solar expert near you to get help with this complicated decision.

Learn more about net metering

Hawaii Interconnection Rules

Standard for most

Grade: B

Hawaii's Interconnection Standards grade

Even though net metering is gone in Hawaii, getting your system connected to the grid is now much easier than it used to be. That's good news, because it used to be nearly impossible to get solar in some places here.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Hawaii Solar Incentives

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 26% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Hawaii measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.

Hawaii Solar Power Rebates


Grade: F

Hawaii's Solar Rebates grade

Hawaii utility companies offer no rebates for getting solar installed on your home. Usually, we'd be crying in our poi about that, but the state does have a really excellent tax credit that will get you up to $5,000 back when you go solar, so no worries!

Learn more about solar rebates

Hawaii Solar Tax Credits

35% or $5,000

Grade: A

Hawaii's Solar Tax Credits grade

Here's where Hawaii wins when it comes to solar. If you buy a solar system in the Aloha state, you'll see 35% of the cost (up to $5,000) come back as a credit at tax time, in addition to the federal tax credit of 26% (with no limit)! When April 15th rolls around, a standard 5.2-kW system that costs just over $15,000 will net you an estimated $9,100 back from both credits, provided you owe at least $3,900 to the feds and $5,200 to the state. These credits reduce your first-year cost of that 5.2-kW solar installation to under $6,000. Wow.

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Property Tax Exemption

100% HNL only

Grade: B

Hawaii's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

When you add a solar power system, you add value to your home. How much value you add depends on how much money you save on your energy bill. In a state like Hawaii, solar panels can save you a lot – more than anywhere else in the country, in fact. Normally, as you are all too aware, an increase in your home’s value means a corresponding increase in property taxes. Many, if not most states exempt you from those property taxes. Hawaii sadly lacks such a statewide law. Don’t panic just yet though. The City and County of Honolulu has passed their own property tax exemption! No, that’s not the entire state, but it is about 70% of the people here in Hawaii.

If you’re one of those 70%, you’re already golden – you’re 100% exempted from property taxes associated with your new solar power system for 25 years. If you’re one of the unlucky 3 in 10, sounds like we all need to get on the phone to the state capitol to tell them we want solar power tax exemptions!

Seriously… that phone call might not be a bad idea, because Hawaii is slacking altogether on these tax exemptions. In addition to lacking a statewide property tax exemption, Hawaii fails to exempt Excise and Use Taxes for solar panels.

Sales Tax Exemption


Grade: F

Hawaii's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

Hawaii does not have a true sales tax, but the General Excise Tax is built into the price of goods and services throughout the state. With one simple law exempting solar panels and their installation from such those taxes, the legislature could reduce the initial cost of solar systems by another 4-5%.

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

Low-income Solar Programs

GEMS Program on-bi

Grade: A

Hawaii's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade Learn more about low-income solar programs available in the U.S.

The consensus on Hawaii solar power rebates and incentives

Hawaii is really in a class all its own when it comes to the money you can save by installing a solar power system, and the delightfully short payback timeframe. With the huge amount of cash you’ll save, and how fast you will save it, it’s hard for us to give Hawaii anything but the full 5-sun rating.

Really though, the state gets such high marks only because of the high electricity rates. The rest of the landscape is less rosy… In fact, it’s pretty bad overall.

While the state tax credits are nice, the legislature should be doing more to encourage solar power. The tax exemptions should be extended, and we’d love to see tariff payments be paid in addition to net metering surpluses, as Renewable Energy Credits are in other states. At the very least, the net metering law needs to be amended to force utilities to pay you for yearly surpluses, and interconnection laws need to be vastly simplified and improved.

With the improvements we recommend, Hawaii would be an A+ for solar. In fact, if your tolerance for messing around with utility company rules is high, it already is. Of course, if you’d like some personalized assistance from someone who’s in your corner, get in touch with us and we’ll have an expert contact you in a jiffy.

41 thoughts on “2020 Guide to Hawaii Solar Panels | Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

  1. Avatar for Glenn Glenn says:

    I want to install PVV solar for HOT WATER, on my rental property (single family home); would I qualify for the state tax incentive, for a rental property?

  2. Avatar for Bobby Bobby says:

    I bought a nem system in 2015 with a 25 year warranty a couple of my panels were replaced by the installer, no charge, except now they went bankrupt how can I get my panels replaced that’s gone out?

  3. Avatar for Marty Adler Marty Adler says:

    I have had a 7.5kw system with net metering on my home for about 10 years. My monthly bill averages about $190. I’m considering putting in a battery system and going off grid. Am I allowed to do that and what would the estimated cost be?

    1. Avatar for Ben Zientara Ben Zientara says:

      Hey Marty-

      Since you installed solar 10 years ago, HECO has come up with a few new ways for its customers to install solar and connect to the grid. They do have a plan called “customer self supply” (CSS) that allows you to have solar+battery installation that is not connected to the grid to power your home. If you choose the CSS plan, you’ll still be connected to the grid to service your needs above and beyond what your solar can make, and you’d still need to pay the minimum monthly connection charge, even if you have a solar+battery system large enough to supply all your needs.

      HECO also offers plans called “customer grid supply” and “customer grid supply plus,” which offer various levels of credit for excess energy exported to the grid, but because you installed solar 10 years ago, none of the above plans are likely not your best option.

      Assuming you signed up for net metering when you installed your 7.5-kW system (all systems installed before October 13th 2015 should be on net metering), you can add solar panels to your installation without giving up your net metering status. Read more about the Net Energy metering Plus plan here.

      With the Net Energy metering Plus plan, you can simply add more solar to eliminate more of your bill, and not worry about expensive batteries if you don’t absolutely need the peace of mind that comes with backup power. Adding another 4-5 kW of solar panels should eliminate most of the rest of your $190 monthly bills, and cost somewhere around $12,000-$15,000 before the 26% federal tax credit and Hawaii’s own 35% tax credit.

      If you’re able to claim both tax credits, you could be looking at a net year 1 cost of $5,265 to wipe out your $2,300 annual bills. I’d call that a no-brainer!

  4. Avatar for Ben Ben says:

    Can we rollover the Hawaii state and/or fed tax breaks if we dont have a big tax bill?

  5. Avatar for sherrie sherrie says:

    Question: We own a 3500 sq ft home in Ewa with 28 PV panels, Solar HWH and Solar attic fans but we are still receiving an average electric bill of $220 as we have 4 adults in the home with someone home 24/7. We were set to add an additional 19 panels and two batteries at a cost of 30k, Net cost after rebates of approx. 17K. and have this completed before the end of the year. This would bring our bills to $19 per month. We are now contemplating a move off island in the late spring due to a possible job change. We purchased our home in Nov. 2017 in the million dollar range. In your opinion would purchasing the panels as planned be worth the money with a possible sale of the property possible in the next 6-8 months? Would the 17k be recouped in the sale price or at least make the property more attractive?

    1. Avatar for Ben Zientara Ben Zientara says:

      That’s a great question, Sherrie. In general, we say a solar installation adds about 70% of its pre-incentive cost to the value of a home right off the bat, and of course that value goes down over time. But a brand new battery system along with what seems like it will be a 14- or 15-kW solar system on the roof? it seems to me like that would be an attractive amenity for a homebuyer, for sure.

      Just looking at the economics, saving $200 per month would result in a net savings of $2,400 per year, paying back the initial investment in just 7 years. If I were a homebuyer, that would sound like a good deal to me. On top of that, EVERYBODY wants a home battery. Whether or not it’s financially a smart play, a battery is an emotional balm, telling people “it’s okay if you lose power. Day or night, I’ve got you.”

      One thing to be wary of is making sure you can continue with your current agreement with HECO, whether that’s a grandfathered net metering agreement from the original solar installation or a customer self-supply/smart export plan you’ll be on. If you have an existing net metering agreement, it’s best to try to keep it in place, because HECO now pays Oahu residents only between 10 and 15 cents per kWh, depending on the plan.

      1. Avatar for sherrie sherrie says:

        We do have a grandfathered NET metering agreement that was transferred to us so I assume that it would transfer if we sold but I will of course confirm that, thank you! So from the sounds of it you recommending a go ahead? This was my feeling as well but I was getting conflicting advise and thought I should ask the experts!

        1. Avatar for Ben Zientara Ben Zientara says:

          Thanks, Sherrie-

          Just make sure to confirm that the net metering agreement stays in place if you add the new panels to the home. HECO might require you to set up a separate agreement or amend your original agreement if you add to your system. It’s a very fiddly subject, so make sure you get protections in writing before agreeing to go ahead.

          And yeah, I think it sounds like a good idea to go ahead with it. The addition of home value with solar is ephemeral and personal for the buyer, but (especially if you can lockdown the net metering agreement), there are some really concrete financial numbers behind why the solar would add that value. $17,000 is less than 2% of a million, so if that’s the premium to the asking price, compared to a similar home without solar, I’d think you could get that. Just my opinion, though.

          Cheers, and have a sunny day out there!

  6. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

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  8. Avatar for Make Money Online Blog Make Money Online Blog says:

    Excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!|What’s Taking place i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & assist different users like its aided me. Great job.

  9. Avatar for SB SB says:

    Another and maybe a better choice is to opt for a contract agreement with VIVINT or RevoluSun. These companies guarantee you 1/3 the savings of your current electric bill and lock in a max of up to 3% increase.
    No up front costs, take full responsibility for all liability to the system and damage if caused by their system and will give you the full system outright after 20 years.
    That is a better deal for some without the upfront costs.

    1. Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

      do the math, 3% increase for the next 20years!???? not trying to bad mouth vivint or anything cause obviously they are doing something right!!! you cant look at your situation of now…you have to look at the long run and how much you will save…you will pay vivint for the next 20years by the time the 20 years is up you have spent anywhere from 80-300 thousand dollars depending on how big your system is in the long run…you finance and purchase your system you own it within 5 years and thats it…you dont have to worry about paying other solar company for your utility bill.

  10. Avatar for denise denise says:

    I know that the federal tax credit can be carried over to another year if it is not all used in that year. What about state of hawaii? do they rollover the exemption?

  11. Avatar for Blews Blews says:

    I highly recommend using a liscensed Electrician versus the Flash in the pan Solar guys. In fact, many of these “Solar companies” outsource the installs and engineered drawings to Electrical Contractors. The good guys are going to have a licensed Electrician on site at all times. This is to ensure proper installation, afterall, the majority of failing panels is due to improper installs. Research not only pricing and product, but contractor and installation team.

    1. Avatar for Solar HI Solar HI says:

      Many of the “Solar companies” are in business because they have a high pressure sales staff that can sell overpriced options and convince homeowners that they need to commit ‘right now’ or miss out on the opportunity. They also love to sell leased system ($0 down!!) that cost $80,000 over 20 years rather than a customer owned system that ends up costing $15,000 after tax incentives. Most of that $80K goes out of state as lease payment to investors.

  12. Avatar for Ruby Ruby says:

    Homeowners…if you are a licensed electrician or if you know one, you can pull the permit yourself. I,m a licensed electrician and I installed the system on my home myself. I saved thousands. I received quotes from my any different companies on Oahu and they all veried from 40k to 65k. My out of cost for materials was about 25k. I installed it by Myself after work and on weekends. It is not rocket science. But if you are not electrically or mechanically minded, I would advise against doing it yourself.

    1. Avatar for Solar HI Solar HI says:

      I did the same thing 6 years ago. The quotes were $48 to $52k and I had the equipment shipped here for about $30k. Now I’m in the biz as a licensed electrical contractor and can commission the same sized system (6kW) for less than $25k installed.

  13. Avatar for Rosemary Rosemary says:

    We are a solar thermal manufacture Solar Collector Inc. a leading to provide solar hot water lease+PPA program for residential and commercial owners. We are interested in Hawaii solar thermal rebate program, please contact us if there is any oppotunities of corperation. Thanks very much.

  14. Avatar for ANDi ANDi says:

    Where exactly is the actual application for PV rebates if I am a home owner on Maui?

  15. Avatar for lee lee says:

    It would be nice if they would allow homeowners to install there own systems and skip the overpriced contractors in Hawaii. It is not rocket science and the rebates are only good if you owe pay taxes and most actually get refunds instead. Most of the new solar snake oil salesmen are decendants of tin men.

  16. Avatar for Eric Eric says:

    We installed a solar PV system last year and received the Federal and State tax credits for it. The installer said that if we added more panels to it this year we could apply for the tax credit for that too. But our accountant said that it had to be a new, separately wired system in order to qualify for the tax credit. Who’s right, and how can I be sure?

  17. Avatar for HawaiiWahine HawaiiWahine says:

    Hi guys, your site is helpful in our planning. I went to an open house on solar power at a neighbors. The sales person said the inverters are warrantied for 10 years. If those need replaced every 10 years, can you give me a ball park figure of what that would cost using your $35,000 system as an example? I’m looking at all costs before we jump in. Also wondering how how much CO2 is created during production of the parts that go into the system as well as during transport to Hawaii, to see if the C02 emissions over time are a real benefit to the planet. Any ideas on where I can check that out? He also said that adding batteries costs about 30% more. Is that about right? While the tariff feed makes sense economically, we would plan on being off-grid.

  18. Avatar for solarawesome solarawesome says:

    i think that comments dont actually go anywhere and yours are fabricated

    1. Avatar for Dan Hahn Dan Hahn says:

      Solarawesome (great name btw),

      You’re certainly entitled to your own opinions about where comments go, but we have no interest in fabricating what is posted on our site. Your comment included!

  19. Avatar for Markharmon Markharmon says:

    In Japan an estimated 10,000,000 homes use this technology to heat their homes. In North America solar water heating is quickly growing as the price of solar collectors fall and governments support the use of clean energy, financially. A hot water system is in most cases done using a close loop system with glycol mixture running through the primary side of a heat exchanger

  20. Avatar for GEIGER GEIGER says:

    The Hawaii Residential Solar Water Heater Installation rebate from Hawaiian Electric Co. has been changed from $1,000 to $750 beginning in 2010. I just missed the deadline. Ouch!

  21. Avatar for Roger Roger says:

    returning to hawaii – my home – wanting to buy a house and get solar panel and solar water heater installed, also have other ideas like collecting rain water. i’ve done intensive research on the installation of solar equipment. my question is this, it seems that the local company that installs these units seems to have increased their price to equal the states incentives. why is that? or is it just my imagination.

    1. Avatar for Solar HI Solar HI says:

      Not to mention the fact that solar panel prices have dropped but installed system prices haven’t kept pace.

  22. Avatar for jim jim says:

    The State credit of 35% is still active

  23. Avatar for Kristin Higgins Kristin Higgins says:

    Where can I keep up to date on the Feed-in Tariffs for Hawai’i – is the website the best? Thanks.

    1. Avatar for Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" Tor a.k.a. "Solar Fred" says:

      Hi, Kristin. does indeed keep pretty close tabs on all state incentives. We do too, but we try to simplify the numbers and info, so check with them and us for further perspectives and explanation.

  24. Avatar for Kevin Joyce Kevin Joyce says:

    Lot’s of panels available…prices have never been better..great time to invest in solar power!!

  25. Avatar for Hawaii Solar Hawaii Solar says:

    Thank for the article. I also agree that Hawaii Solar energy is a very progressive way to solve our home needs, for example, recently I installed Solar Panels and now enjoy free natural energy!

  26. Avatar for steve moore steve moore says:

    want to install solar panels get a electric contractor to hook up to box get hawaiian electric to hook up the meter will this work? and will i get all tax credits?

  27. Avatar for Darrin Darrin says:

    we have 200 acre farm on the Big Island and would to perform feasibility study for solar farm. This is flat farm land and maybe 3-5 miles from the grid. We need advice and direction, financing options etc… any advice would be appreciated. or send response to [email protected]

  28. Avatar for lester chin lester chin says:

    I’ve been a taxpayer for the state of Hawaii all my working life of 35 years and am retired now and do not pay any state taxes. Why should I be penalized and not allowed a “refundable state tax credit” if I decided to install a solar water heating system?

  29. Avatar for Victor Victor says:

    I’m not interested in solar water heating. I live on the Big Island and with the vog, most of my neighbors on solar water are taking cold showers. What about solar power incentives and again, with this ever present vog, is solar still feasible.

  30. Avatar for Dawn Dawn says:

    What if I live on the Big Island? Off the grid?

  31. Avatar for Mapu Mapu says:

    GUy, so expensive ur guys systems for solar stuffs

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