Calculate how much you can save on your HECO bill with solar panels

Average 25 year solar savings for a HECO customer: $64,043

Average solar panel cost: $17,526 - $21,420*

Estimate solar panel cost and savings based on your location, roof and power use.

*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.

Adding solar panels and switching rate plans can lower your Hawaiian Electric electric bill

Updated: October 22, 2020

There are three ways you can reduce your HECO bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.

You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.

The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. HECO offers time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, and there may be other options for you as well.

Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.

Solar panel cost calculator

How much can I reduce my Hawaiian Electric bill by switching to a different rate plan

For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Hawaiian Electric each year for no reason.

Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Hawaiian Electric. Even a small savings can be worth it.

Are solar panels worth it for Hawaiian Electric customers?

Yes. With the state’s hefty $2,250 solar tax credit, property tax exemption, and low income on-bill repayment solar loan availability, home solar panels make a lot of sense for Hawaiian Electric customers. HECO also allows you to at least get some credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you can’t use onsite. Your credits, while accrued at a lower rate than you pay for electricity, roll over to the next month’s bill.

Does Hawaiian Electric offer full 1 for 1 net metering credits for exported solar power

No, Hawaiian Electric does not offer full 1 for 1 net metering. This means that when you export surplus power from your solar panels, you will be paid less by the utility than what you are charged to buy the equivalent amount of power from the grid.

What incentives, tax credits and rebates are available to HECO customers for installing solar?

The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2020 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.

Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.

Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a HECO customer:

Table 1: Incentives
Upfront Incentives Value*
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal) -$6,257
Customer Grid-Supply Plus - Hawaii Island (State)

The export credit is fixed through October 20, 2022

Varies
Hawaiian Electric Companies - Customer Self-Supply (State)

Customers don't export any power to the grid but they can incorporate battery storage. All electricity produced must be used or stored.

Varies
Solar and Wind Energy State Income Tax Credit (Personal) (State) -$2,250
TOTAL -$8,507

*Based on 9.12 kW system, average installation cost $26,315

How much does installing solar panels save the average Hawaiian Electric residential customer?

If you input the details for a HECO customer with a power bill of $320 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 9.12 kW solar system that will produce 13,203 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $64,043 profit after repaying the cost of the system.

The solar savings possible for you as a HECO customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.

Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical HECO customer with a $320 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 9.12 kW solar system.

How much do residential solar panels cost for HECO customers?

Showing data for:

Utility provider: Hawaiian Electric
Utility bill: $ 423

Prices based on a 8.0kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$15,784-$19,291

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$49,532-$60,539

Payback period

5.5-6.7 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

8.0kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Detailed information about your estimate

Table 2: Estimate details

System Size (for 100% usage offset)

9.12 kW

Annual Power Generation

13,203 kWh

Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)

6.3 Years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment

13.6%

Gross cost

$26,315

Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates

-$11,842

Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives

$14,475

Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years

$78,518

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value.

What are the environmental impacts of Hawaiian Electric customers installing solar panels?

While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Hawaiian Electric customer installing a 9.12 kW solar system on their property:

A solar system generating 13,203 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place

Saves you

$2,562

on average per year

Reduces CO2 emissions

6.54

tons per year

Equivalent to planting

46 trees

per year

Equivalent to driving

14,458 mi

less per year

CO2 emissions calculation based on the electricity generation and emissions data for your state in 2015 as published by the US Government Energy Information Administration.

What factors affect the price of solar panels for Hawaiian Electric customers?

The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.

It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.89 per watt or $14,475 for a standard 9.12 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.

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