Hawaii Solar Panels

Pricing & Installation Data

Find out if solar panels are right for your home in Hawaii.

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Hawaii

Solar Panels in Hawaii

The Aloha State is making significant strides in embracing renewable energy, particularly solar power. Their goal is ambitious in the Renewable Portfolio Standard to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2045. It's no secret that Hawaii is filled with sunshine which has helped this growth. But recent policy changes have further facilitated the integration of renewable energy into the grid. Programs like the Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) program allow more residents to benefit from renewable energy sources.

While places like California are facing challenges in integrating a high percentage of solar energy into the grid, due to instability, Hawaii is taking on the challenge. With Hawaiian culture and tradition having deep roots with nature, Hawaii sees this as an opportunity. They are working to innovate and stimulate economic growth through the renewable energy sector. 

Cost of Solar in Hawaii

The average price for a home solar panel system in Hawaii is $16,020 for a 6kW system or about $2.69 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the solar installation company 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.

Average Cost
6 kW System
Average Cost
10 kW System
Estimated
Tax Credit
(10 kW System)
Average
Cost/Watt
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Hawaii$14,700$24,500$7,350$2.45
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Most Costly State(Michigan)$22,680$37,800$11,340$3.78
Least Costly State(Arizona)$14,640$24,400$7,320$2.44

Costs by Solar System Size in Hawaii

For most, the ideal solar system size is the sweet spot between price and capacity. The goal is to generate enough electricity to cover your home's demand while keeping overall costs low as possible.

I.E. Get the best bang for your buck.

System SizeSystem CostCost After Federal Tax Credit
5 kW$12,250$8,785
6 kW$14,700$10,542
7 kW$17,150$12,299
8 kW$19,600$14,056
10 kW$24,500$17,570

Pros and Cons of Solar in Hawaii

Unfortunately, even solar isn’t perfect. We want you to make the best decision for you. So, we have collected some pros and cons associated with installing solar in your home state. We suggest weighing everything!

Opinions matter and how you interpret one con, may outweigh all the other pros. Our goal is to present the most common prone and cons to let you make up your own mind. 

Hawaii Solar Pros

  • Reduce or eliminate electric bills
  • Energy independence from the grid
  • State tax credit available on top of federal tax credit
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Increase home value (4.1% on average)
  • Hawaii ranks 17th nationally in solar in the U.S. in Q1 2023
  • There are multiple excess energy utility plans

Hawaii Solar Cons

  • Not viable for all roofs or homes
  • Installation costs
  • Financial liability

EnergyBot's Take

Hawaii has an ideal climate for solar panels. Plenty of sunlight during peak energy usage seasons. On top of that, electricity costs come in relatively high compared to other states. In most cases, solar panels in Hawaii deliver substantial savings.

Most homes will can expect a payback of about 5 to 7 years, although it varies based on a handful of factors, so please check with your local contractor. With solar panels useful life expectancy to be 20 to 25 years, this is an extremely great payback.

With high savings along with a handful of rebates, our take is solar definitely makes sense in Hawaii.

If you are on the fence you can use this tool to get an accurate cost breakdown for your home based on your historical energy usage.

Leasing vs Buying Solar Panels in Hawaii

There are several ways you can purchase and/or finance your solar panel installation in Hawaii. Your goals and financial situation will dictate which option is best for you.

Cash Purchase

The most straightforward option. You pay upfront for the entire cost of the rooftop solar system. No interest, and fewer headaches, but many people are hesitant about spending several tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Solar Loan

The most common method for buying solar systems. Like many other types of large purchases, you can finance your solar system through a bank or solar loan provider.

This sounds great, and many other solar loan salespeople will leverage the low payment to justify the costs. You will likely hear something like "You pay $250 a month on your electric bill, with a solar loan you will pay $200 and have free electricity."

Do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. There are many horror stories of variable loan terms, ballooning interest rates, and harsh missed payment penalties.

Solar Lease

Leasing solar panels generally involves less money out of pocket upfront. But, it's important to note - you do not own your solar energy system. You essentially renting the solar system. A solar provider will install the equipment and charge you a fixed monthly fee.

Most solar lease contracts last for a couple of decades, during which time the provider will keep an eye on the system's hardware and performance. At the end of your lease, you can choose to:

  • Renew your lease agreement
  • Purchase the system
  • End your lease agreement

Solar leases can be complicated. Not all are bad, but in many cases the lease terms in not in favor of the buyer. Before you decide on a solar lease make sure to read your contract thoroughly. If you don't understand something, ask an expert.

Power Purchase Agreements

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a solar company will design and install a solar system on your home or business with little or no cost upfront. Instead of paying a monthly fee like a lease, the agreement includes a fixed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated.

For example, you agree to pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity generated for the next 20 years. The solar company will install and maintain your system and sell the power back to you that you use. They may also collect payment for any additional energy they put back into the grid.

Just like a lease, you do not own the panels. When the contract is up, they will either be removed or your contract may have other terms for you to buy or renew your power purchase agreement.

Power purchase agreements can be complicated. Before you sign make sure you review the contract and if possible have an expert in power purchase agreements review the details.

Hawaii Solar Incentives

In addition to the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, you may be eligible for solar incentives that could significantly reduce the cost of solar panel installation. The state provides several solar energy adoption incentives, including a generous 35% state tax credit for solar PV installation costs, capped at $5,000. This Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC). Honolulu offers a property tax exemption for solar panel owners, ensuring that they are not taxed for the increase in property value for 25 years post-installation. This exemption can result in substantial savings, especially given the high property values in the region.

But that’s not all! 

This table shows the available incentives in Hawaii. But, just because you don't see it here doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Check with your local utility for other potential incentives.

Name State Category Type
Solar and Wind Energy Credit (Corporate) HI Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Solar and Wind Energy Credit (Personal) HI Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Wind Energy System Personal Tax Credit HI Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Wind Energy System Corporate Tax Credit HI Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alcohol Fuels Exemption HI Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Ethanol Production Investment Tax Credit HI Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute HI Regulatory Policy Other Policy
Maui County - Solar Roofs Initiative Loan Program HI Financial Incentive Loan Program
Honolulu - Solar Bond HI Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Hawaii Solar Installation Rights HI Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
Solar Contractor Licensing HI Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing
Solar Water Heater Rebate HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Kauai Electric - Residential Solar Water Heating Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Distributed Generation Tariffs HI Regulatory Policy Net Metering
KIUC - Solar Water Heating Loan Program HI Financial Incentive Loan Program
KIUC - Solar Water Heating Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Solar Water Heating Systems for State Facilities HI Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Renewable Portfolio Standard HI Regulatory Policy Renewables Portfolio Standard
Capital Goods Excise Tax Credit HI Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Reduced Highway Taxes for Alternative Fuels HI Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
High Technology Business Investment Tax Credit HI Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
City and County of Honolulu - Solar Loan Program HI Financial Incentive Loan Program
Interconnection Standards HI Regulatory Policy Interconnection
Honolulu - Solar Bond Program HI Financial Incentive Bond Program
Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Solutions Business Appliance Rebates and Customized Incentives Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Hawaii Gas Company - Commercial Switch to Gas Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Renewables and Efficiency in State Facilities & Operations HI Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Building Energy Code HI Regulatory Policy Building Energy Code
KIUC - Energy Wise Commercial Energy Efficiency Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
KIUC - Efficient Appliance Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Priority Permit Processing for Green Buildings HI Financial Incentive Green Building Incentive
Energy Efficiency Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Public Benefits Fee for Energy Efficiency HI Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Solar Water Heating Requirement for New Residential Construction HI Regulatory Policy Building Energy Code
Farm and Aquaculture Alternative Energy Loan HI Financial Incentive Loan Program
City and County of Honolulu - Real Property Tax Exemption for Alternative Energy Improvements HI Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
Hawaii Energy HI Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Feed-in-Tariff HI Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Hawaii PACE program HI Financial Incentive PACE Financing
Hawaii - Residential Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard HI Regulatory Policy Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Fuel Mix Disclosure HI Regulatory Policy Generation Disclosure
GreenSun Hawaii HI Financial Incentive Loan Program
Residential Energy Disclosure HI Regulatory Policy Other Policy
Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Green Infrastructure Bonds HI Financial Incentive Bond Program
Feed-in-Tariff HI Financial Incentive Feed-in Tariff
Hawaii Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards HI Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebate Program HI Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Community Renewable Energy Program HI Regulatory Policy Community Solar Rules
Tax-Exempt Financing for Green Buildings, Renewable Energy & Brownfield Redevelopment US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Conservation Security Program (CSP) Production Incentive US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal) US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Exemption
Federal Excise Tax Exemption for Gasohol US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) US Financial Incentive Corporate Depreciation
2003 Climate Change Fuel Cell Buy-Down Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
HUD Energy Efficient Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy Star Financing and Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA Rural Housing Service Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Deductions for Clean-Fuel Vehicles and Refueling Property US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Deduction
Deductions for Clean-Fuel Vehicles and Refueling Property US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Deduction
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alcohol Fuel Credit US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Small Business Administration Loan Programs US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy-Efficient Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs - Funding Opportunities US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government US Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Value-Added Producer Grant Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Deduction
Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Energy-Efficient Appliance Manufacturing Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Veterans Housing Guaranteed and Insured Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy and Emissions Goals and Standards for Federal Government US Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Federal Appliance Standards US Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Agencies US Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Interconnection Standards for Small Generators US Regulatory Policy Interconnection
U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualifying Advanced Energy Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
U.S. Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Title I Property Improvement Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Fannie Mae Green Financing – Loan Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Personal) US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Previously-Owned Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit

Hawaii Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit: provides a tax credit of 35% of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $5,000.

State Solar Tax Credit: 35% state solar tax credit for purchased home solar systems, with a maximum tax reduction of $5,000.

Green Energy Money Saver Program (GEMS): offers low-interest loans to both homeowners and renters in Hawaii to finance solar energy systems and energy-efficient projects. The loans feature a fixed interest rate of 5.5% and can be repaid over a period of up to 20 years.

Hawaii Solar Companies

There are hundreds of solar companies in Hawaii. From solar installers to solar loan providers, and manufacturers. Each is a piece of the puzzle to help you get outfitted with solar panels.

To make things simple, EnergyBot works directly with 3 of the largest solar companies to give you a comprehensive view of the market.

The solar companies we partner with:

  • Project Solar - A nationwide provider of solar panel systems that has a non-sales-oriented approach to building your system. They build your system from their central office and send a local company to complete the solar panel installation.
  • EnergySage - The largest online solar installation network. They work with thousands of installers to help you find the perfect solar system for your home. With thousands of successful solar installations, they can give you a range of bids and pricing options.
  • Tesla - Brains behind some of the most cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry, Tesla also offers sleek and powerful solar systems and battery systems.

We believe comparing these three names in the solar industry will give you the info you need to decide if solar panels are right for you.

Before You Install Solar Panels

Just because solar is a popular discussion right now, doesn’t mean it makes sense for everyone. It is still a large and expensive decision. Installing solar has great financial and environmental benefits but it won’t feel beneficial if you run into issues. Along with studying a 20-year cost comparison for your home, read some more tips to keep in mind when mulling over your decision on your installer, system design, and financial plan.

  • What are the long-term savings and payback period for installing a solar panel system?
  • How will installing solar panels impact my home's value?
  • What is the system’s Return on Investment (ROI)?
  • Are there any specific design or aesthetic considerations for solar panel installation?
  • How do I weigh the environmental benefits against the costs of installation?
  • What are the specific terms and conditions for the installer?

Hawaii’s Latest Solar Milestone

Fourteen Thousand homes are now getting powered by the Big Island's newest and largest solar farm! AES Corp.’s Waikoloa Solar + Storage project started feeding power into the island’s grid in April 2023. This groundbreaking facility is situated on 300 acres along Waikoloa Road, making it a pivotal moment in Hawaii's renewable energy journey.

The project is not just a milestone for its scale but also for its potential impact on homeowners. With Hawaiian electrical bills being one of the highest in the country, residents are looking for any kind of relief. With a robust 120 megawatt-hour battery storage system, the solar farm can generate up to 30 megawatts of power. This project promises to bring down the monthly utility bills for residents by about $5. While that doesn’t seem like much, it’s definitely a start. Hawaiian Electric serves over 460,000 customers.

Why Trust EnergyBot

We have helped thousands of customers find electricity plans for their home or business. And we are pretty darn good at it, with over 1,000 5-Star reviews we know how to help you stay powered up.

Now using the same one-of-kind technology and platform we are helping consumers in Hawaii decide if solar is right for them. You will notice that sometimes our numbers make solar look less attractive. That's not by accident. We believe you should have full transparency during the solar purchasing process.

We aren't here to sell you something. We are here to help you make the best energy decision for your home or business.

Hawaii Solar FAQs

The cost of solar panel installation in Hawaii can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including the size and type of the system, the complexity of the installation, your solar installer, and the specific location. However, the average cost of solar panels in the U.S. was about $3.13 per watt, before any incentives or tax credits.

A typical residential solar system is usually around 8 kilowatts (8,000 watts), but varies based on energy use and the size of the house. The US average cost for a 6 kW system is $18,771 and the US average cost for a 10 kW system is $31,285, before incentives. The average price for a home solar panel system in Hawaii is $16,020 for a 6kW system or about or about $2.69 per watt.

The number of solar panels you would need depends on a variety of factors such as:

  1. Your home's energy consumption: The first step is to calculate your household's energy use. You can do this by looking at your electricity bills to see how much electricity you use in a year, usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average U.S. home uses around 10,400 kWh per year, but this can vary widely based on the size of your home, the efficiency of your appliances, and your personal habits.
  2. The amount of sunlight your location receives: This can vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a place that has many sunny days like Arizona, you might require fewer solar panels compared to someone living in a place with less sunlight like Seattle.
  3. The efficiency of the solar panels: Not all solar panels are created equal. Some panels can convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than others. On average, residential solar panels have an efficiency rating between 15-20%. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you would likely need to meet your energy needs.
  4. The size of the solar panels: Solar panels also come in different sizes. A common size for residential use is roughly 65 inches by 39 inches. Each panel typically produces around 250 to 400 watts of power, but this can vary.

To give you a rough estimate, let's say you live in a location that receives about 5 hours of peak sunlight per day, your solar panels have an efficiency of 20%, and each panel has a power rating of 300 watts. If your home uses about 10,400 kWh per year, you would divide this by 365 to get your daily energy use (about 28.5 kWh). You would then divide this by the hours of peak sunlight (5 hours), to get your required power output per hour (about 5.7 kW). If each solar panel produces 300 watts (or 0.3 kW), you would divide 5.7 kW by 0.3 to get the number of solar panels you need, which would be about 19 panels.

  • Lower Electricity Bills:
    Once your solar panels are installed, you can generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid, which can lower your monthly bills.
  • Environmental Benefits:
    Solar energy is clean and renewable, so using it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.
  • Increased Home Value:
    Installing solar panels can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Long-Term Savings:
    While the upfront cost of installing solar energy systems can be high, they can pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills and other savings.
  • Location:
    Homes in areas with lots of sunlight are generally better candidates for solar panels. If your home is shaded or doesn't receive much sunlight, it may not be the best choice.
  • Roof Orientation:
    Ideally, your roof should be facing south to get the most sunlight throughout the day.
  • Roof Condition:
    Your roof should be in good condition and able to support the weight of the solar panels. If your roof needs repairs or replacement, it's best to take care of that before your solar installation.

The installation process for solar panels can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation.

Your installer should be able to give you an estimated timeline based on your specific project.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. However, it's a good idea to have them inspected every few years to ensure they are working properly and to clean off any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the panels. Most solar panel installers offer maintenance services for an additional fee.

Some skilled DIYers may be able to save some solar installation costs by installing solar equipment themselves. But, any solar installation will require a foundational knowledge of wiring and electricity. There's is a lot that can go wrong, posing a potentially deadly hazard.

Before you try to DIY your system we would recommend getting a quote from a solar installer. You may find that the labor costs of your install is relatively small compared to the cost of the solar equipment itself.

There are two main types of solar panels: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. There are pros and cons to both. Either type can produce enough solar power for your home. We recommend getting a recommendation from a solar installer for your home. Depending on your budget, location, and other factors they can recommend the most efficient solar panels for your home. 

In Hawaii can vary depending on your local jurisdiction. 

Typically, you'll need to submit a permit application to your local building department, which usually includes site plans and system specs. Some cities have streamlined this process to encourage solar adoption. It's always a good idea to consult your local building department for the nitty-gritty details like required documentation and fees. 

If you're working with a solar installation company, they often handle the permitting process for you.

Honolulu

State Energy Office

Pearl City

Building Permit Data

Hilo

Building Permit Info

Kailua

Building Permit Info