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Solar Panels in Hawaii

Make the best decision about investing in solar power in Hawaii

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Hawaii Solar Energy

Hawaii has some of the most expensive electricity rates in the U.S. Solar panels allow you to harness the sun to offset your electricity costs.

Cost of solar panels in Hawaii

How much do solar panels cost in Hawaii? 

The average price for a home solar panel system in Hawaii is $19,250 or about $2.45 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the types of solar panels you choose and the size of your system. When shopping for solar panels you should consider getting multiple quotes from various installers.

How long does it take to pay off solar panels in Hawaii?

The average payback period for solar panels in Hawaii is around 7 years years. Your payback period will depend on the cost of your system and the amount of power it generates. The more energy your system generates the faster it will pay for itself.

Are solar panels worth it in Hawaii?

Everyone has their own method for determining if solar is “worth it”. If your objective is to leverage solar to eliminate or reduce your electric bill you have different expectations of someone who is more interested in reducing their carbon footprint. 

To help you determine the best option for you you can use this solar calculator that will weigh different solar options and other renewable energy options.

Why invest in solar panels in Hawaii

We mentioned the high electricity prices in Hawaii, but there several reasons why investing in solar panels can be beneficial. These are the most common reasons more and more homeowners are buying or leasing solar panels.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Solar has roughly 20 times less carbon output than coal-powered energy sources. After three years of use, solar systems are completely carbon neutral and remain so for the duration of their lifespan. 

In short, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint going solar is a great option. 

Lower electricity bills

When you have your own solar system you are putting energy back into the grid. Your utility rewards you by crediting back the value of the energy you put into the grid. For example, if your system generates 2,500 kWh in a month and you use 2,500 kWh in that month you would have a $0 electric bill.

In most cases, if your system generates more energy than you use the credits will roll over to the next month.

Become energy independent

With the right solar system, you could potentially have a self-sufficient power system for your home. This means you don’t have to rely on the grid for energy. If the grid has an outage you could still power your home with your solar system. 

Those who are trying to become energy independent often pair their solar system with a battery. This allows you to store electricity and use it when you need it.

Solar panel incentives in Hawaii

Hawaii Solar Tax Credit

The biggest solar incentive in Hawaii (other than the federal solar tax credit) is the states 35% solar tax credit. This tax credit is available for all new residential solar systems but does have a $2,250 limit unlike the federal tax credit that has no limit. So if you install a $20,000 system you would get the full $2,250 state tax credit and a $5,200 federal tax credit for a total of $7,450 in credits.

Net Metering in Hawaii

Hawaii no longer offers a traditional net metering program. Instead HECO has two options.

  • Customer Self Supply: You use all of your solar energy produced to power your home. This would require battery installation, but could mean complete energy independence and no electric bill from HECO.
  • Customer Grid Supply: Your solar panels energy flows into the grid and HECO pays less than the retail price. In this model you are essentially becoming a mini solar farm that's selling wholesale energy in order to offset your energy costs.

To determine which option makes the most sense for your home we recommend contacting a local solar expert near you.

Hawaii Solar Property Tax Exemption

In most cases your homes value will increase when solar panels are installed. While this is generally regarded as a good thing, it can lead to an increase in property taxes. In Hawaii where real estate is at a premium and property taxes can quickly add up, accelerating your home's value with solar panels may not seem like a great idea. But not to worry! The City and County of Honolulu (70% of the population of Hawaii) are now protected from property tax increases from their solar system. This means your are 100% exempt from increases in property taxes that are associated with increased home value because of your solar panel system.

Hawaii Federal Solar Tax Credit

Like every other state, new solar panel systems in Hawaii are eligible to receive the federal solar tax credit of 26%. This credit is applied on your annual income tax credit.

Buying vs Leasing Solar Panels in Hawaii

There are many options when it comes time to purchase our solar panels. You can finance, lease, or pay the entire cost upfront. The right choice will depend on your financial situation and the costs of your system and other factors. Our solar calculator will help you weigh your options. You can find more information on leasing vs buying solar panels here.

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