Solar Panels in Hawaii | 2022 Cost and Incentives | SaveOnEnergy®

Hawaii Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

home with solar panels on the roof

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Hawaii is one of the leading states for solar energy in the country, thanks to its abundance of sunshine. Plus, electricity rates in the state are among the highest in the US. Investing in solar is a great way for Hawaiian homeowners to reduce their energy bills. 

The Aloha State has invested $3.8 billion in solar projects, with just over 17% of the state’s electricity coming from solar sources. Solar adoption continues to increase across the state as more homeowners look to spend less on energy and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. 

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Hawaii solar energy, including benefits, costs, and factors to consider before making the switch to green energy.

Hawaii solar panel cost

If you’re thinking about using Hawaii solar energy for your home or business, you’ll want to understand the costs involved. 

For reference, the cost of solar panels is measured in dollars per watt, with a typical residential solar system averaging $3 to $5 per watt. This equates to $15,000 to $25,000 for an average-sized home solar system. 

However, there are several ways to reduce your system costs, including tax credits and rebate programs (which we’ll discuss in the next section). For most homeowners, a home solar system pays for itself within six to nine years after installation.

Why choose Hawaii solar power?

Lower energy costs

With the price of energy on the rise, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their monthly utility costs. Switching to solar can be an excellent solution. By installing solar panels at home, you can produce your own power, rather than having to buy it from an electric company.

On top of these savings, adding solar panels to your home can increase the long-term value of your property. In fact, studies have found that having a solar system adds $15,000 to the value of your home.

Establish energy independence

When you have the equipment to generate your own power, you’ll no longer need to rely soley on a utility company or energy provider for your electricity. As a result, you won’t rely on receiving all of your energy from the public grid. 

Go green

Going solar is also a fantastic way to protect the planet. Solar power is a renewable resource and doesn’t emit carbon dioxide, which makes it far more environmentally friendly. It’s an excellent way to live more sustainably and make a positive impact on the earth.

Hawaii solar incentives or rebates

Solar panels are a big investment for many families. Luckily, you can reduce the upfront costs of your solar system by taking advantage of various rebates and incentives.

First, the US government offers a 26 percent tax credit to all homeowners that purchase and install a solar system for their primary or secondary residence (with no maximum limit). The solar tax credit decreases to 22 percent in 2023 and expires in 2024, so it’s best to complete your solar installation as soon as possible to get the largest credit. However, you won’t be eligible for the credit if you are leasing or have a power purchase agreement (PPA).

At the state level, Hawaiians can save money on their solar installations by taking advantage of the Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC). This credit gives Hawaii residents an income tax break of 35 percent on their residential solar installations (with a maximum of $5,000). The Aloha State also offers the Green Energy Money $aver (GEM$) On-Bill Program for low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters who want to finance a solar system. 

Finally, there are also some local incentives for investing in Hawaii solar energy. For example, Honolulu residents can receive property tax exemptions for going solar, and Oahu locals can earn a cash payment for adding a solar battery to their system.

Should I buy or lease my solar panels?

As a homeowner, you’ll need to decide whether you want to buy or lease your solar panels. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each option below. In short, purchasing your solar panels upfront will offer more long-term financial benefits than leasing them.

First, let’s dive into the advantages of buying your solar panels. One of the biggest perks of owning your system is that you can take advantage of the federal tax credit, as well as state and local solar incentives. If you ever decide to sell your home, having a residential solar system could boost its resale value by as much as $15,000.

On the other hand, leasing is an option if you can’t afford the upfront costs of solar panels but want to enjoy the benefits of green energy. You can sign a solar lease or PPA for your home, but you won’t own the solar panels that are installed. You might also be eligible to participate in a community solar project, which allows you to share solar energy with multiple households in your community.

The history of solar power in Hawaii

Hawaii currently ranks 16th in the nation for solar power production, with more than 1,441 megawatts (MW) of solar installations around the state. There are quite a few Hawaii solar energy projects operating across the islands, including the Waiawa Solar Project (50 MW). Several more are under operation and scheduled to be completed in the next few years.

Important solar installation factors to consider

Solar is a smart and eco-friendly investment, but there are some factors to consider before buying a system for your home, including: 

  • The state and condition of your roof: To generate the most power, your solar panels should be set up at a 15-40 degree angle on a south-facing roof that’s in good condition. There should be minimal tree cover or shade from other buildings that could interfere with the sun getting to your panels.
  • How much sunshine you receive: Solar panels are best suited for sunny climates – which makes Hawaii an ideal place for solar installations.
  • Any relevant neighborhood or HOA rules: Depending on where you live, you may have a neighborhood association that prevents you from modifying your home (including adding solar panels). Make sure that solar installations are permitted before signing any contracts with solar companies.

Solar power FAQs

How much would solar cost in Hawaii? Expand / Collapse Toggle

The price of a home solar system is dependent on several factors, including the size of your system, the types of solar panels, and local installation costs and taxes. On average, home solar costs $3 to $5 per watt, which comes out to $15,000 to $25,000 for an average-sized home (before the federal tax credit or state tax incentives are applied).

Is solar power a good investment in Hawaii? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Solar panels operate best in areas that receive a lot of sunshine, which makes Hawaii an excellent location for solar installations. The state also offers a variety of incentives that can make your solar system more affordable.

How much could I save by investing in solar? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Your potential savings will vary depending on how well-suited your home is for solar panels and how much you pay for electricity now. However, considering Hawaiians have the highest monthly electricity bills in the country ($184.19 per month), going solar may decrease  your energy costs.

Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Hawaii? Expand / Collapse Toggle

SaveOnEnergy is your trusted source for all things solar. Submit the form above to get connected with a reputable solar installer in your area. You can also visit our solar energy hub to learn more about how solar works, the benefits of switching to solar, and the cost of solar panels.

How does solar power help the environment? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Unlike traditional energy sources, solar power is renewable and doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it’s generated. As a result, producing and using solar power lets you lower your carbon footprint and helps protect the environment.