Top 5 Best Solar Companies in Hawaii (2023 Reviews)

In this guide to Hawaii’s best solar companies, we’ll answer your questions including:

  • What are the best solar providers in Hawaii?
  • How can Hawaii residents save money on their solar systems?
  • Is DIY solar a better option than hiring a professional in Hawaii?
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What Are Hawaii’s Top 5 Solar Energy Companies?

Hawaii is one of the best states in the country to convert to solar energy. Given solar’s popularity, there are over 50 installation companies that serve the Aloha State, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).1 That means you’ll have plenty of companies to choose from to handle your system installation.

While having choices is great, it may make your decision more difficult. Choosing the right company for your needs means spending a lot of time and energy researching installers to see what each one offers.

Below is our list of the top solar companies in Hawaii, specifically tailored for residents throughout the state.

You can use the drop-down menus below to learn more about each company and help decide which is right for you.

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Rising Sun Solar

Solar Veteran

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Many years of experience
  • Competitive pricing
  • Locally owned and operated

Cons

  • Relatively short workmanship warranty
Badge icon

RevoluSun Hawaii

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Many financing options
  • Excellent reputation

Cons

  • Limited brands of solar equipment available
  • Slightly expensive
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SunPower by Eco Solar

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Excellent reputation
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Full-service home energy solutions

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited service area
  • Limited brands of solar equipment available
Badge icon

Malama Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Family-owned and -operated
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Many financing options

Cons

  • Relatively young company
  • Limited service area
  • Slightly limited service offerings
Badge icon

Independent Energy Hawaii

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Locally owned and operated

Cons

  • Relatively young company

How to Save Money When Hiring a Solar Installer in Hawaii

best solar installers hawaii

Hawaii property owners have access to some of the most affordable solar panel systems in the country. Although the average per-watt solar price in Hawaii — $2.67 — is in line with the U.S. average, the typical system size a homeowner needs is just 5.5 kilowatts (kW). That puts the typical system cost before credits at $14,685, or closer to $10,280 after the federal tax credit is factored in.

Despite this total sitting well below the U.S. average of $23,940 — or $16,758 after the tax credit — Hawaii residents can still look for ways to save money on installation. Below is a list of things you can do to keep installation costs down.

  • Take advantage of the wealth of benefit programs available in Hawaii
  • Consider installing solar batteries
  • Choose high-efficiency panels

Take Advantage of Hawaii Benefit Programs

The best thing you can do to reduce your upfront and long-term cost of converting to solar in Hawaii is to take advantage of the benefit programs available. These include tax credits, tax exemptions and rebate programs that lower the effective cost of solar equipment.

In the table below, we’ll include a list of the solar incentives available to Hawaii homeowners and a description of how each can save you money.

Incentive Description
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) This is a credit for 30% of your entire solar power system cost, which gets applied to your income tax liability. In Hawaii, the ITC averages out to $4,406, which is a massive benefit.
Solar and Wind Energy Credit This is a state tax credit that provides an additional credit of 35% of your solar energy system value of up to $5,000 to your tax liability. If you can take this, that brings your total credit — including the ITC — up to nearly $10,000.
City of Honolulu Real Property Tax Exemption Normally, when you install solar panels, your home value goes up, and your taxes follow.5 This exemption prevents your taxes from increasing, which saves you hundreds or thousands over the life of your system.
GEMS Hawaii The Green Energy Money Saver (GEMS) program helps make solar accessible and affordable to low-income solar customers. It brings down upfront costs and lets you pay off the system via charges to your electricity bills.
GreenSun Hawaii This is a financing program in Hawaii that helps keep solar accessible to more individuals. The program keeps interest rates and down payment requirements for solar loans as low as possible.
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) Battery Bonus This perk is a rebate over time for installing a solar battery with your panels. It provides cashback amounts of up to $850 per kW of battery storage installed.6 This is only available to customers of HECO.

Consider Installing Solar Batteries

Hawaii residents can benefit greatly from installing solar batteries.

Not only can many Hawaii residents take advantage of the battery cashback program to keep costs down, but batteries can also offer an alternative to net metering. Net energy metering (NEM) is a billing policy mandated by many states that lets you overproduce energy with your panels and use the credits earned to pay down future electric bills.

Unfortunately, NEM is no longer mandated in Hawaii, so many utility companies don’t offer it. However, if you install a solar battery, you can store your excess energy for later use. This is especially useful in Hawaii, where energy rates are nearly triple the national average and the highest of any state in the country.7

In case that’s not enough to convince you, Hawaii experiences a high occurrence of power outages due to the demand on the aging electric grid. Solar batteries can help you maintain electricity even through blackout conditions.

Install a High-Efficiency Panel Brand

There are a wide variety of panel brands available for residential solar systems. One of the most significant differences between these brands is the efficiency rating, which tells you how much of the sunlight hitting the panel will be converted into electricity.

In Hawaii, it’s usually most cost-effective to install a high-efficiency solar panel brand, like Maxeon panels from SunPower. There are two reasons for this:

  • Hawaii homes are some of the smallest in the country, which means roof space is naturally limited. High-efficiency panels allow you to get more energy production for the square footage you have available. While they might be more expensive upfront, they will usually pay for themselves over time.
  • Hawaii residents pay more for energy than residents in any other state, with a cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of over 33 cents, and see the highest energy bills in the country.7 Panels with a high efficiency rating help offset utility bills, maximizing your savings over time and helping to pay back your system more quickly.

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value in Hawaii?

Yes! Fitting your home with PV panels is a great way to boost its value, as estimates from Zillow suggest that the typical solar system will raise your property value by around 4.1%.8 Given the average home value of $825,000, that’s an increase of $33,000.5

Some reports suggest that home values in Hawaii have gone up over 20% in the past few years, which means the impact solar has on your value is also growing.9 Larger cities like Oahu and Honolulu have seen the greatest growth rate of the return on investment (ROI) for solar, but other areas are also benefiting.

Below are some of the most costly cities in Hawaii, which naturally see the greatest ROI in terms of the boosted property value:

  • Wailea
  • Haiku-Pauwela
  • Honolulu
  • Kailua
  • Kula
  • Laie
  • Mililani
  • Pearl City
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Should Hawaii Residents Hire a Professional Solar Installer or DIY?

If you’ve done any research on DIY solar panel installations, the relatively low cost compared to professional installation has probably caught your attention. But DIY solar installations in Hawaii aren’t as appealing as they may seem.

top solar companies hawaii
Credit: Raze Solar / Unsplash

Below are a few reasons why we recommend having a professional complete your solar installation, rather than doing it yourself.

  • Professionally installed panels are more efficient.
  • Sizing your system appropriately is crucial, given the high local energy costs.
  • Some areas in Hawaii are exposed to roof leaks, which are more common with DIY installations.

Professional Panels Are Better Suited for Hawaii

We mentioned above that high-efficiency panels are best for use in Hawaii. This is because the average roof size in the Aloha State is smaller than in every other state, so the available space for PV panels can be limited.

Given that Hawaii residents also have the highest energy bills in the country, taking full advantage of the roof space you do have is essential for maximizing long-term solar savings. DIY panel brands almost always have a lower efficiency than professionally installed options, like Maxeon, Panasonic and Tesla, which can negatively impact the price.

While installing solar yourself will usually save you money upfront, you might end up with lower savings in the long run due to lower efficiency.

Getting the System Size Wrong Can Be Costly

Since the electricity in Hawaii is so expensive, it’s crucial the PV system on your home is sized appropriately for your energy needs. Failing to get the size right can lead to reduced energy savings, longer panel payback periods and other significant downsides.

Having a professional install your system will cost more than a DIY solar installation, but the technician will consider a variety of factors to get the system size right. These include:

  • The direction your roof faces
  • Where in Hawaii your home is located, as heavy cloud coverage is common on the windward sides of the mountains
  • The size of your roof and the number of panels it can hold
  • Your average monthly energy consumption
  • And more

You’re much more likely to get a system size that isn’t suitable for your home if you install panels yourself, which could lead to reduced savings over time.

Roof Leaks Are More Common With DIY Solar Projects

Some areas in Hawaii experience rainfall that is well above average for the U.S.10 One of the most common issues solar customers experience is leaking where roof penetrations occur during panel installation.

While professional installers can often install panels in a way that minimizes this risk, you’re more likely to make a critical mistake if you install the panels yourself. Any error could lead to significant leaking and water damage, especially during Hawaii’s rainy seasons. Ultimately, the repair costs could outweigh the money you saved by doing a DIY installation in the first place.

Plus, professional companies often include workmanship warranties to cover issues that arise from an improper installation. This is something you won’t get if you do the work yourself.

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What Should Hawaii Homeowners Look For in a Solar Installer?

There are a few things we recommend you look for in a solar installation company in Hawaii that will help ensure you have a positive experience and save the most money possible. We’ll list a few of the most important factors below and explain why each is so important.

  • Efficient panel brands
  • Solar services offered
  • Years in business

Efficiency of the Panel Brands Offered

First, we recommend narrowing down solar installers by the panel brands they offer. Hawaii residents have the highest electricity rates and energy bills in the country. With the smallest average home sizes in the nation, many residents need to make sure the square footage of their roofs is used optimally.

In most cases, that means installing high-efficiency panel brands. These produce more energy per square foot, and while they might be more costly, they can also lead to greater savings in the long run. Brands like Maxeon, Panasonic, Tesla, Q-Cells, REC, Silfab, Canadian Solar and Trina Solar should all serve you well.

Services Provided

As mentioned above, we often recommend installing solar batteries in Hawaii. Since there is no statewide net energy metering policy, any excess energy your system generates will just go to your utility company with no benefit to you. Plus, you’ll still have to pay high electricity rates to pull energy from the grid when your panels aren’t producing, like at night or on especially cloudy days.

Installing a battery lets you make use of overproduction and is more likely to move your utility bills closer to $0 per month.

As such, we recommend choosing an installer that can tackle panels and batteries. Most companies in Hawaii do, but some only provide access to PV panels.

Years of Experience

Finally, we suggest looking for a company with at least five years of experience or more. Solar has increased in popularity in Hawaii over the last few years so more and more companies are popping up to keep up with demand.

Unfortunately, younger companies may be more likely to go out of business and void your warranties in the process. They also tend to have technicians with less experience, which can lead to issues with the installation in some cases.

Methodology: How We Ranked Hawaii’s Solar Installers

best hawaii solar companies

To rank the top solar providers in your area, we first assessed local, regional and national companies that are based in or operate in Hawaii. We looked at panel brands offered, services provided, overall cost, years of experience and more. Then, we weighted each of these factors based on which are the most important in Hawaii.

  • Solar Services (20%)
  • Qualifications, Reputation & Certifications (20%)
  • Solar Warranty & Customer Support (15%)
  • Solar Financing Options (15%)
  • Experience (10%)
  • Availability (10%)
  • Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Factors (10%)

Below, we’ll explain the factors that we believe are the most crucial for Hawaii residents to have a positive solar experience.

Our goal is to deliver unbiased reports and honest reviews, thus, our methodology is not affected by commercial partnerships and is specifically tailored to Hawaii homes.

Years of Local Experience

First, we looked at the age of each solar provider in Hawaii and ruled out most younger companies. Solar in Hawaii only recently began taking off, jumping from 32nd in the nation for adoption in 2021 to 18th in 2022. With the surge in demand, many companies opened their doors to capitalize.

Young solar companies can be just as good as experienced companies, but be careful of those only in the industry to make a profit. These installers are less likely to provide good customer service and are more likely to void your warranty if they shut down.

Plus, companies with many years of experience are more likely to be familiar with the local benefit programs available, including those offered by individual utility companies. Having an installer with that knowledge can save you money over time.

Equipment Brands and Services Offered

Next, we reviewed the equipment brands and breadth of services offered. We prioritize companies that carry panels with industry-leading efficiency ratings, like Maxeon. We then give precedence to high-efficiency options. These are the best option in Hawaii, where roof space is limited and offsetting high energy bills is crucial for maximizing savings.

It’s also important to consider the services offered by each company. Panels and batteries are a good option in Hawaii, so we prioritize companies that offer both. We also tend to give precedence to companies that provide other energy efficiency upgrades. This helps ensure you get a company that is looking to help both the environment and your wallet, and not just turn a profit.

Warranty Coverage

Another crucial factor we consider is warranty coverage. In other states, it’s not uncommon to see 25-year coverage for equipment, workmanship and efficiency. In Hawaii, though, workmanship warranties tend to average around 10 years, which is less appealing.

We highlight companies that provide better warranty coverage whenever possible. Not only will the added protection provide you with peace of mind, but it can also save you money on necessary repairs, maintenance or replacements as your system ages.

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Read More About Going Solar in Hawaii

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in Hawaii

Consumers trust the EcoWatch brand when it comes to solar companies, so we get a lot of questions about the best installers. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

Blog author image
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.
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Expert reviewer
Tori is an editor, writer, rock climber and travel enthusiast. A native New Yorker, she graduated from the College of Saint Rose with a degree in communications and journalism. Before joining EcoWatch, Tori helped to oversee communication strategies for the City of Philadelphia. Her experience also includes communications work in the nonprofit and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering political, environmental and social issues in New York's Hudson Valley. In her spare time, Tori can be found in the mountains climbing boulders, traveling to new cities or at one of Philadelphia's many music venues.

Comparing authorized solar partners

EcoWatch rating
Average cost
Pros
Cons
BBB Rating
Year founded
Service Area
Brands of Solar Equipment Offered
Warranty Coverage
  • 4.5
    • Many years of experience
    • Competitive pricing
    • Locally owned and operated
    • Relatively short workmanship warranty
    A+
    Solar Veteran

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