Honolulu Solar Panel Installation

See what you could save when you go solar in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Enter your address and see how much you can save when you go solar.

How to Use the Solar Calculator

The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.

Solar Panels in Honolulu, HI

If you live in Hawaii, investing in solar power just makes good sense. The high cost of importing traditional fossil fuel based energy, makes Hawaii the most expensive state in the nation for energy costs. In response, Hawaii has partnered with the Department of Energy to create the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Through this initiative, the state will receive 100% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030.

In an effort to reach this ambitious goal, the federal government, state, and local municipalities have created incentives to make adopting a residential solar system simple and cost effective. Homeowners who make the investment in solar power can see an almost instantaneous and dramatic drop in their monthly energy bills–sometimes up to 50%, while doing their part to decrease their carbon footprint and support the local environment.

Are There Financial Incentives to Adopt Residential Solar Power in Honolulu?

Yes. The deadline has recently been extended for federal tax credits for installing a solar electric or solar water heating system through December 31, 2019. There are still tax credits available after 2019, but they diminish significantly each year after. As it stands, you may claim a credit for  30% of qualified expenditures for a solar system that serves a home located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Qualifying expenditures include: labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the 30% federal tax credit exceeds your tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the following tax year. In addition to the federal tax credit, there are also incentives available at the state and local level:

Hawaii Energy Tax Credits (Personal): Originally enacted in 1976, the Hawaii Energy Tax Credits allow individuals to claim an income tax credit of 35% of the cost of equipment and installation of a solar thermal or photovoltaic (PV) system.

For solar thermal water heating systems, the maximum allowable credits are as follows:

    • Single family residential property is eligible for a credit of 35% of the actual cost or $2,250, whichever is less.
    • Multi-family residential property is eligible for a credit of 35% of the actual cost or $350 per unit, whichever is less.

For photovoltaic and solar space heating systems, the maximum allowable credits are as follows:

    • Single family residential property is eligible for a credit of 35% of the actual cost or $5,000, whichever is less; if all or part of the system is used as a substitute renewable energy technology for the solar water heating requirement for new residential construction, the credit shall be reduced by thirty-five per cent of the actual system cost or $2,250, whichever is less.
    • Multi-family residential property is eligible for a credit of 35% of the actual cost or $350 per unit, whichever is less.

honolulu HI solar

Net Metering: While Hawaii offers net-metering, the system is transitioning to a state-wide feed-in tariff performance-based incentive system for grid-tied solar and renewable generators. If net metering is still available through your utility, here’s how it works: a customer whose system produces more electricity than they consume within a month (net-excess generation or NEG) is carried forward in the form of a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit applied to the customer’s next bill. The NEG may be carried over for a maximum of 12 months. At the end of the 12 month period, any remaining customer NEG credits are surrendered to the utility without compensation (unless the customer enters into a purchase agreement with the utility).

Property Tax Exemption: In September 2009, the Honolulu City Council unanimously passed Bill 58 to create a property tax exemption for renewable energy improvements in Honolulu. This is important because more often than not, installing a solar power system on your home will increase your home’s overall value. With this exemption, your property taxes won’t be impacted by any increased home value (as a direct result of the solar power system) for 25 years. Check with your tax professional on the specifics of your project regarding this incentive.

Hawaii Solar Hot Water Rebate: This incentive, offered through Hawaii Energy, is a one-time $750 rebate for residents that install a solar water heating system on their building. It is offered on the island of Oahu, so available to Honolulu residents. The rebate itself is applied by a participating contractor at time of sale. The program maintains a list of participating providers at its website. If the cost of installing a solar power system is beyond your budget, you can choose to forgo this rebate and instead participate in the interest rate buy-down program instead of receiving the rebate. Through this program, Hawaii Energy pays $1,000 to participating financial institutions, reducing the cost of financing to the homeowner. Note: This rebate is not available to you if your home was constructed after January 1, 2010.

City of Honolulu Solar Loan Program: Offered by the City and County of Honolulu, this  program offers zero-interest loans to income-eligible homeowners for the installation of solar water heating and photovoltaic systems through the City’s Rehabilitation Loan Program. The zero-interest loans are available for single-family homes and individual condominiums with home owners association approval. For loans over $10,000, a mortgage lien will be secured on the property. Additional repairs such as re-roofing work, etc. may be included in the installation work depending on the City inspection. Qualification is dependent on income level (guidelines available on program website). The program is designed to assist low and moderate income owner-occupant homeowners.

Share this article