Top 5 Best Solar Companies in Hawaii (2023 Reviews)
By Dan Simms /
In this EcoWatch guide on the cost of solar panels in Hawaii, you’ll learn:
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!
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
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $2,863.|
The brand of solar panel you choose to install will affect your power production, your overall experience, your energy savings and, most importantly, the price you pay for solar panel installation.
You can consult the table below to see which brands are most likely to fit within your budget and which are more likely to be a stretch financially.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most Hawaiians need a residential solar system that is around 5.5 kW to offset the average monthly energy bill of $163.4 At an average per-watt price of $2.67, that’s a typical system total of $14,685, or $6,681 after both the state and federal tax credits are accounted for.
However, your cost can fall significantly below or above this average, as several cost factors — including the size of your home, your average monthly energy consumption in kilowatt-hours, shading on your property and much more — can influence your total. The only way to get an accurate estimate for your home is to have a reputable solar installer assess your property and provide a customized solar quote.
Yes, solar panels boost property value in Hawaii, as long as you acquire them via a cash purchase or solar loan. Entering into a lease or power purchase agreement will not provide any increase to your home value.
If you do buy or finance your panels, estimates from Zillow suggest that your home value will increase by around 4.1%5. In Hawaii, where the average home price is $842,487 at the time of publication, that’s a massive value bump.6 This increase in value makes going solar in Hawaii a worthy investment for most homeowners.
In most cases, it’s better to purchase your solar panel system than lease it in Hawaii. Solar leases can be beneficial for homeowners who cannot afford a cash purchase or secure financing due to their credit score, but they prevent you from enjoying many of the benefits that come along with cash purchases and solar financing.
Namely, you won’t enjoy the bump in property value or the state or federal tax credits. Leases also save most homeowners far less money over the lifetime of the equipment than other financing options.
Solar panels are not free in Hawaii, and any company that advertises “free panels” is likely trying to entice you to sign a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA), neither of which is advisable if you can secure a solar loan or pay in cash.
However, going solar is a worthwhile investment for most homeowners in Hawaii because of the solar incentives available and the property value increase that typically more than pays for the cost of the system you install.
Yes, it’s certainly possible to get rid of your electricity bills by installing solar panels. However, because Hawaii doesn’t mandate net metering, you’ll likely need to add on a solar battery to offset energy consumption 100%.
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