Solar Panel Cost in Hawaii (2022 Local Savings Guide)

In this EcoWatch guide on the cost of solar panels in Hawaii, you’ll learn:

  • What the average cost of going solar in Hawaii is
  • How solar system sizes affect installation costs in Hawaii
  • How Hawaiians can save money when going solar

This guide has helped thousands of Hawaii homeowners save time and money when going solar by teaching them exactly what affects installation costs in the Aloha State. Let’s get started!

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/19/2022

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Rising Sun Solar

  • Pros icon Many years of experience
  • Pros icon Competitive pricing
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  • Con icon Relatively short workmanship warranty

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RevoluSun Hawaii

  • Pros icon Great warranty coverage
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  • Con icon Limited brands of solar equipment available
  • Con icon Slightly expensive

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SunPower by Eco Solar

  • Pros icon Excellent reputation
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  • Pros icon Full-service home energy solutions
  • Con icon Expensive
  • Con icon Limited service area
  • Con icon Limited brands of solar equipment available

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, the average cost of solar panels is around $2.67 per watt. In order for to offset the average Hawaii energy costs, homeowners will need a system that is around 5.5 kilowatts, which costs around $6,681 after applying the applicable solar tax incentives.1

Using our solar calculator, we can estimate that the standard solar panel system totals $14,685, which is reduced to $9,545 after factoring in the 35% state tax credit, and further drops to $6,681 after the 30% federal solar tax credit.

While the per-watt price of solar is just a hair above the national average of $2.66, the total installation price is well below the national average, given that Hawaii homeowners require a far smaller system than most and have an excellent state tax credit.

Hawaii also has the highest electricity rates in the country, and (possibly to avoid high bills) residents use fewer kilowatt-hours of power per month than in any other state.2 This, coupled with a high solar irradiance in the state, makes it especially worthwhile to consider going solar in Hawaii.3

Watch Below: HECO Expects Electricity Rates to Jump in Hawaii

How Do Hawaii’s Solar Installation Costs Vary By System Size?

Solar energy systems are typically priced on a per-watt basis, which means the size of the system you need will be the primary driving force behind the total price you’ll pay. Every additional kilowatt you need to offset your electricity costs will add approximately $2,670 to your total. The table below provides some typical residential solar panel system sizes in Hawaii, along with the average cost before and after the federal tax credit is considered.

Size of Solar Panel System Hawaii Solar Panel Cost Cost After 30% Federal Tax Credit
3 kW $8,010 $5,607
4 kW $10,680 $7,476
5 kW $13,350 $9,345
6 kW $16,020 $11,214
7 kW $18,690 $13,083
8 kW $21,360 $14,952
9 kW $24,030 $16,821

Wondering which solar panel installation companies in Hawaii are the most reputable and reliable? Click here to see a list of the best solar installers in your area.

See also: Calculate the costs and savings you can get from installing solar panels

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Hawaii?

Solar energy systems in Hawaii are some of the most affordable in the country, averaging around $14,685, or just $6,681 after applying the state and federal solar tax credits. Most homeowners pay between $5,607 and $16,821 for their solar equipment. 

The range is so wide because prices fluctuate based on several factors. We’ll explain these factors below and offer some insight on how each can affect your total.

Solar Equipment

The solar equipment you install in your home can cause the most significant differences in pricing for two reasons: the quality and brand matters, as do the number of panels and type of equipment installed.

Hawaii is well known for its abundant sunlight, with residents enjoying an average of 240 sunny days per year. Hawaii receives much more sun than the U.S. average, which is 205 sunny days annually. 

High-efficiency equipment is sometimes required to offset energy costs in low-sun areas, and these higher-quality panels usually cost more. Luckily, the abundant sun in Hawaii means most major panel brands — regardless of efficiency — are suitable, so you can choose based on your budget.

Hawaii is also not a hotspot for severe weather events, but power outages are relatively common due to issues with energy infrastructure on the individual islands so many Hawaii homeowners opt for add-on products like solar batteries. These power banks will maintain electricity for you through outages, but they also drive up your total system cost considerably.

price of hawaii solar panels

Solar Financing in Hawaii

Despite Hawaii’s solar panel systems being more affordable than those in most other states, the average resident will still spend between $5,000 and $20,000 installing solar. 

The way you pay for your panels can bring your total cost up or down. A cash purchase, for example, is expensive up front, but you’ll end up paying the minimum amount for your panels over time. Solar loans are great for those who can’t lay out that much money at once, but they also raise your system cost because of the interest.

The State of Hawaii provides Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to solar customers to help keep the ongoing costs of financing solar down. These programs are available for residential and commercial customers, and they aim to keep interest rates and financing terms to a minimum to reduce long-term finance charges. 

The Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA) also makes solar affordable and accessible to low- and moderate-income households by offering payment plans for solar with no money down.

solar panel cost in hawaii

Hawaii Solar Installation Company

Just as with the company you hire for any home improvement project, the company you go with to install your solar system will affect your pricing. Every solar installer in HI charges different fees and prices its equipment uniquely. Identical panels from two companies can cost different amounts sometimes accounting for thousands of dollars.

When you’re choosing a solar installation company, it’s important that you consider both the price and the quality of the equipment the company will install. 

For example, Rising Sun Solar, one of the best solar companies in Hawaii and a local provider, installs equipment from Tesla, SunPower, Span and Swell. Some of these options are high-end brands, while others are more affordable and will fit into most budgets.

On the other hand, Eco Solar, another Hawaii solar company, only installs Maxeon panels (formerly SunPower panels). SunPower panels are quite costly, so services from Eco Solar will almost always be more expensive than those from Rising Sun Solar. 

However, Maxeon panels are the best in the industry and have the highest efficiency ratings and the top warranty in the industry. Comparing by price alone would lead you to Rising Sun, but if you want quality at any cost, Eco Solar would be a better option for most homeowners.

Additional Considerations and Costs in Hawaii

The cost factors mentioned above are crucial to think about before choosing a solar installer, but there are some less critical considerations you should think about as well. We’ll discuss these below.

  • Permits: Hawaii building departments all require that a building permit be filed for any solar panel system installation. Your installer will usually handle filing and closing out the permit, but you should confirm this before signing anything.
  • Licenses: The State of Hawaii requires that all solar installers acquire and maintain a C-61 license, which is a dedicated license for solar equipment installations. You should always make sure that your chosen installer carries this license before committing to services.
  • Warranties: Solar warranties are essential because they protect what will probably be up to a $20,000 investment. Warranties cover panel performance, installation and equipment. Great warranties include coverage for all three, and the best warranties add in roof leak coverage as well.
  • HOAs: Hawaii has laws that maintain homeowners’ rights to install solar panels on their homes. No homeowners’ association or other entity can prohibit solar installation, which is great news for Hawaiians.
  • Environmental zoning: In most cases, environmental zoning laws will not prevent you from installing solar panels in Hawaii. Ground-mounted panels could be an issue, but this is rare.

Read Also: Hit Hard by High Energy Costs, Hawaii Looks to the Sun

Hawaii Solar Panel Incentives

The average cost of $14,685 to go solar in Hawaii is prohibitively expensive for many homeowners. Thankfully, the state and federal governments provide a number of solar tax incentives and benefits to entice homeowners to make the switch and to ease the financial burden involved. The table below provides some information on the most appealing solar incentives available to Hawaii homeowners.

Hawaii Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Hawaii
Solar & Wind Energy Credit The Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC) is a state tax credit that provides Hawaiians with a massive credit against their personal income tax — 35% of the total cost of going solar. In Hawaii, where the average system cost is $14,685, that amounts to an average credit of $5,140.
City of Honolulu Real Property Tax Exemption If you live in the City of Honolulu, you can take advantage of the city’s property tax exemption. Normally, home improvements that increase the value of your home also bump up your property taxes. This tax exemption guarantees that your property taxes won’t increase from going solar, even though solar panels increase your home value.
Low-Income Solar Programs Hawaii has a Green Energy Money Saver (GEMS) plan that provides more accessibility to solar energy solutions for low-income homeowners, renters and small businesses. Participants can pay back the cost of going solar via their standard monthly energy bill payments.
Net Metering Although net metering (NEM) is no longer available in Hawaii, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved new rooftop photovoltaic (PV) programs that allow customers of Hawaiian Electric to take advantage of new energy storage technology.
Local Solar Rebates & Incentives Due to net metering not being available in Hawaii, energy storage is a huge factor in solar adoption. The solar and wind credit mentioned above is helpful, but more is often needed. You can check for local incentives from your utility company — like Hawaiian Electric’s battery bonus program — on the DSIRE database.
Federal Solar Tax Credit The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is available to homeowners nationwide, including those in Hawaii. It provides a credit of 30% of your cost of going solar to your federal income taxes owed. In Hawaii, where the average cost to go solar is $14,685, that’s a typical credit of $4,405. If you also claim the state tax credit, you’ll receive 30% of the reduced rate, or about $2,863.

Read Also: Hawaiian Electric expands its incentive program for solar power

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Hawaii

The brand of solar panel you choose to install will affect your power production, your overall experience, your energy savings and, most importantly, the price you pay for solar panel installation. 

You can consult the table below to see which brands are most likely to fit within your budget and which are more likely to be a stretch financially.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

Ready to see what your solar system will cost and the size you need to eliminate your energy bills? Select one of our top solar providers below, and we’ll have a professional installer in your area provide you with a free quote.

Read More About Going Solar

FAQs: Hawaii Solar Panel Cost

The EcoWatch team gets questions on a daily basis from Hawaii homeowners about the process and costs associated with going solar. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.

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