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2018 Policy Grade


Avg. Yearly Savings


Yes, Hawaii Allows for Solar Leasing!

2018 Policy Grade


Avg. Savings/year


At Solar Power Rocks, our dream is to turn your thoughts of solar power for your home into reality

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

From the sun to the surf to the black sand beaches, Hawaii is known for its pristine natural settings and beautiful weather. We can’t think of many places we’d rather see protected with a healthy supply of renewable energy resources.

All that sun makes Hawaii an ideal location for home solar panels. The state legislature has shown progress, creating a strong state tax credit and fruitful tweaks to relatively weak standards for connecting your panels to the grid, but the laws still have a long way to go to be truly solar friendly.

However, because of Hawaii’s nation-leading high electricity rates, your new solar system will generate massive savings, regardless of any future legislative improvements. In fact, because of those high utility rates, solar power likely pays for itself faster in Hawaii than anywhere else in the United States. For that alone we really had to give Hawaii an A, even if there is still a great deal of room to improve.

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 $4,500/kW! This is paired with the very strong Hawaii solar panel incentives below.

Your guide to going solar in Hawaii

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Hawaii. Since there's a lot of important information 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!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Hawaii. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Hawaii. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Hawaii is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

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

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!

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments 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 a big up-front investment.

The very best way to go solar in Hawaii is to take a home equity line of credit (HELOC). You'll put nothing down; you'll get giant tax credits from the Feds and the state at the end of year 1; and you'll save more money every year on your electric bill than you'll pay for the loan. It's an absolute no-brainer, like investing in a company you know is gonna succeed.

The final option—the one with the smallest savings—is for a solar PPA. If you can't get a loan, or don't have equity, it may be the only option. You'll put $0 down on a rooftop solar system and pay monthly while you accumulate electricity bill savings over time. PPAs are an excellent option if you don't have any equity or cash to put down.

Read on to get detailed information about each option.

Net Present Value of Solar in Hawaii

“Net Present What?!” Don’t panic, this isn’t an economics test. NPV is just a tool used to compare investments. Basically, it asks, “if you had X dollars to invest, which investment would get you the best return?” It relies on the idea that getting a return on your investment sooner is better than later, because you can reinvest your early profits and keep the gain train going.

We compare an investment in solar to a “what-if” investment in a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 stock index fund, which has seen growth of about 7% per year over the past 25 years. We use the cost of solar in Hawaii and ask “how much better or worse (in 2018 dollars) is an investment in solar than stocks?” Here's what we found for the most popular ways of going solar in Hawaii:

npv of home solar installations in Hawaii

The Aloha state is great for solar, and the proof is in all that green you see in the image above. You can earn a return greater than the stock market whether you purchase solar panels with cash or pay over time with a loan. Here's some more about how we got these numbers above:

Solar Loan NPV: $8,630

As we’re fond of saying, taking a loan for solar is a no-brainer, because it’s like agreeing to pay over time for something that is also making you money, plus you get 30% of the loan value as a tax credit (cash in your pocket) after making payments for only 1 year. So if you can take advantage of that tax credit, you can make solar work for you in Hawaii! Your loan payments will exceed your savings for the life of the loan, but that big tax credit makes it all worth it. Read more about solar loans below

Solar Purchase NPV: $6,108

A solar purchase in Hawaii has a small negative NPV because electricity prices here are so cheap. Even with all the sun we get, solar takes about 13 years to pay off its cost, and the return you get after that can't compare to having more money to invest now. You're much better off with a solar loan, which allows you to pay over time for something that will also be saving you money. Read more about solar purchases below.

green square  Buying Solar in Hawaii

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the best dollar-for-dollar returns. The reason it's so great is that you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. The Federal and State tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down. Hawaii does things a little differently here, and it's tough to tell just what will happen in the future, but for now, here's how saving money with solar works:

  1. You sign up for the "Customer Grid Supply" plan with HECO. That basically means you'll be sending all your solar energy to the grid for about $.15/kWh.
  2. HECO will charge you as follows: Retail rate for all the energy you use, minus a credit of $.15/kWh for every kWh your system sends to the grid.
  3. Note: your minimum bill must be $25, so don't size your system too large. Contact a solar expert near you to see how large is too large.

In our example, you put down $20,000 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 $23,000 in income, thnaks to all the money you'll be saving on electricity. But even though that sounds huge, look into the 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-kW rooftop solar system in Hawaii:

  • Installing a typical 5kW solar system should start at about $20,000. Don’t worry – even without state rebates, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, the lack of a rebate means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $6,000 (30% of $20,000) for a new price of $14,000.
  • The Aloha state gives you a nice tax break, too. This 5-kW system is eligible for the full $5,000, so now you've only invested $9,000 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 $1,117. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $7,883.
  • Over the 25-year life of your system, you'll see a total net profit of $23,349, after the system pays for itself.
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by over $25,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • 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 123 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.

orange square  Solar Loans in Hawaii

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 gubmint 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 someone else’s money for the purchase price, which is paid back over time with electricity savings. We know you hate your electric bill, and in Hawaii, solar 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. Hawaii does things a little differently here, and it's tough to tell just what will happen in the future, but for now, here's how it works:

  1. You sign up for the "Customer Grid Supply" plan with HECO. That basically means you'll be sending all your solar energy to the grid for about $.15/kWh.
  2. HECO will charge you as follows: Retail rate for all the energy you use, minus a credit of $.15/kWh for every kWh your system sends to the grid.
  3. Note: your minimum bill must be $25, so don't size your system too large. Contact a solar expert near you to see how large is too large.

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

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity your system will produce will net you about $1,117 off your electric bill in year 1, but your loan payments will total $1,775, for a difference of $658, or about $55 per month.
  • On top of that, your tax savings for the year will be $11,000! You'll come out $10,342 ahead after year 1, which is so crazy that we're thinking about moving to Hawaii right now.
  • You'll never actually spend that 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 $16,721 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. 123 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.

blue square  Small Rooftop Systems in Hawaii

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.

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 Florida—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:


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!

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out


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.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

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.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Hawaii Net Metering


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.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Hawaii Interconnection Rules


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.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Hawaii

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!

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Hawaii Solar Power 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 30% (with no limit)! When April 15th rolls around, a standard 5-kW system will net you an estimated $11,000 back from both credits, provided you owe at least $6,000 to the feds and $5,000 to the state. These credits reduce your first-year cost of that 5-kW solar installation to just $9,000. Wow.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments


Grade: D

Hawaii's Solar Performance Payments grade

Hawaii Net Metering is dead, and the "Performance Payment" that is offered is less than retail. Solar is still a great choice in Hawaii, because the electricity prices are so insane. Check out the Net Metering section below for more information on selling your power into the grid.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

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.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

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%.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

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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.

32 thoughts on “2018 Guide to Hawaii Home Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

  1. Anonymous says:

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  3. Make Money Online Blog says:

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  4. 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. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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. 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.

  7. 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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. ANDi says:

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. solarawesome says:

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

    1. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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. Solar HI says:

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

  17. jim says:

    The State credit of 35% is still active

  18. 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. 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.

  19. Kevin Joyce says:

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

  20. 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!

  21. 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?

  22. 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]

  23. 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?

  24. 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.

  25. Dawn says:

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

  26. Mapu says:

    GUy, so expensive ur guys systems for solar stuffs

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