The ultimate vacation destination, you can count on Hawaii as a top tourist magnet for the best climate, the best beaches, and the best tropical atmosphere in the United States. While the abundant sunshine in Hawaii is a great draw for tourists, residents and business owners of the Aloha State also enjoy the abundant sunshine. Not just for the mild climate, but for the financial benefits they can capture from the sun. It’s no secret that Hawaii residents have taken note of the potential monetary benefits of harvesting solar energy, but even better, the state has realized the tremendous benefits to the earth for using an alternate energy source for power generation. This is witnessed through the various state incentives and tax breaks written into legislation in recent years for the use of solar energy.
Hawaii’s Sun Climate
As one of the sunniest spots in the United States, Hawaii boasts an average of 6.02 peak sun hours per day, with 270 out of 365 days a year with full and/or partial sun. That’s a total of 1,625 hours of high sun you can capture to generate solar energy.
And, since Hawaii is located so close to the equator, these sun hours don’t vary much throughout the year. What’s this mean if you are looking to install solar panels in your home or business? You have the potential to save a lot more money than the average citizen in the lower 48 states, merely from Hawaii’s geographic positioning alone.
Hawaii’s Solar Energy Pricing
If you’re like most people, you want to know how much something is going to cost you before you even go any further to understand the basics of the product itself. The cost to install a solar energy system has dropped drastically in the past 5-10 years and is on track to become competitive with standard energy sources moving forward.
The average size solar system to power the standard home is about 5kW. And even though your solar system will produce the majority of the electricity needed to power your home, most customers continue to plug into the grid to enjoy uninterrupted service when the sun goes down or during more cloudy days.
In Hawaii, the average cost to install a 5kW solar energy system at your residence is about $25,000. Seems like a hefty price at first glance, until you consider what you’ll save over the life of your solar energy system and the significant cost savings once you factor in all of the available federal, state, and local tax breaks and solar incentives. Estimates show that after these incentives are included, the average price to install a solar system in Hawaii is only $11,500, where the system will pay for itself within 4-5 years. After that, you’re looking at straight profit. A solar energy system will yield you $2,686 in yearly savings and you’ll earn $116,000 or more over the life of your system (about 25 years).
Hawaii’s Solar Benefits & Legislation
In an effort to promote alternative energy sources, federal, state, and local governments are providing a variety of solar incentives for installing solar panels in your home or business. At the federal level is one of the greatest tax breaks of all: a 30% off special on the entire cost of your solar energy system, installation included. Originally set to expire on December 31, 2016, the tax credit was extended until 2019. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this huge money saver, act quickly – all systems must be installed and operational by December 31, 2019 to reap the benefits of this great tax incentive.
At the state level, Hawaii offers the Hawaii Energy Tax Credit of 35% to cover the cost of solar equipment and installation of your solar energy system, though, the credit is capped at $5,000 and must be taken the year the system is installed.
For a list of local incentives for the different islands and cities of Hawaii, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, where you’ll find 29 different financial incentives and state policies promoting the use of renewable energy in the state of Hawaii.
Solar Installers in Hawaii
Alternate Energy – With a focus on technology, reliability, and quality, Alternate Energy is a top producer in a variety of types of alternate energy sources. This third generation family owned business and one of Hawaii’s oldest residential and commercial solar companies, understands the crucial benefits of alternate energy to the environment. They stand behind their work and have zero subcontractors – everyone you work with at Alternate Energy is an employee specialized in designing and installing photovoltaic systems, HVAC systems, solar water heating systems, and solar attic fans.
Island Pacific Energy – With a deep respect for the customer and for the environment, Island Pacific Energy understands that renewable energy is about more than lower energy costs and stable electric rates. They also factor in customer needs and constraints, designing an environmentally-friendly solar energy system within the customer’s financial comfort zone. Island Pacific Energy offers creative financing options and some of the industry’s best warranties on products and service.
Island Solar Service – Locally owned and operated, Island Solar Service offers the very best in solar installation, service, and repair. Known as Honolulu’s premier solar installer, the company offers extended warranties on their solar products and services and will show you first-hand the personal and environmental benefits of going solar.
Haleakala Solar – In business for over 40 years, Haleakala Solar has installed over 14,000 solar energy systems across the entire state of Hawaii. One of the few solar companies in the state to offer 25-year warranties on their product and services, Haleakala Solar believes the upkeep and maintenance of your solar energy system is just as important as the initial installation. They’re a one-stop shop for all things solar.