Solar panel cost in Hawaii

The average cost for an installed residential solar system in Hawaii is currently $11,837 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit. This is $2.67 per watt.

Showing data for:

Utility provider: Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc
Utility bill: $ 262

Prices based on a 5.9kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$10,958-$13,393

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$36,904-$45,105

Payback period

4.4-5.4 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

5.9kW

Chart 1: Distribution curve of HI residential solar cost 2020
$12K
SolarReviews average

Note: Prices after 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit

HI solar panel cost calculator

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5.9kW system

Hawaii solar power overview

Hawaii is an ideal place for home solar in the United States. The high cost of electricity, lots of sunshine, a state tax credit, and the federal tax credit means that homeowners can get an excellent return on investment by installing residential solar panels in The Aloha State.

Are solar panels worth it in Hawaii

Solar panels have fallen in price by more than 80% in the last ten years. In 2020 they also remain subsidized by the 26% federal tax credit and the net metering law, making them an excellent investment. They offer a return well above the long term average return from both the share market and also property investment.

Another way to look at this question is the levelized amount you will pay for each kWh of power you will use over the next 25 years with and without solar panels. As you can see below the savings are significant.

Levelized cost of solar energy
?
Levelized cost per kWh is the cost of the solar system divided by the total number of kWh produced by a solar system over it’s lifetime

5¢ /kWh

If you don't get solar

81¢ /kWh

(forecast avg Hawaii electric rates over the next 25 years)

Hawaii solar incentives & tax credits

Federal solar tax credit

The most significant incentive to install solar panels for homes and businesses is the federal tax credit. Right now, the federal tax credit is equal to 26% of the total installed costs of installing a solar system. At the end of 2020, the amount of the credit will fall to 22%. This means that in order to maximize your savings potential, the best time to go solar in Hawaii is now.

Hawaii state tax credit

The Hawaii solar tax credit is equal to 35% of the actual system costs, up to $2,250. This combined with the federal tax credit allows Hawaii solar homeowners to save big when installing solar.

Net metering

Hawaii does not offer full retail net metering. Instead, they offer two alternative solar tariff options: the customer grid-supply plus tariff and the customer self-supply tariff. 

Through the customer grid-supply plus tariff, customers export all energy their solar system produces to the grid for a rate that is less than the retail value of electricity.

Customers who choose the self-supply tariff cannot export any power to the grid. Instead, they must use all of the power their solar panels produce. Homeowners can pair the solar panels with solar battery storage to save any excess energy their solar panels produce. 

Table 2: Available incentive programs
Eligibility: Federal incentive
Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligibility: Local incentive
Type: Performance-Based Incentive

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Top 10 solar panel brands installed in Hawaii in 2020

Average cost of solar panel installation in Hawaii by system size

System size*
Cash purchase

(After tax credit)

Financed purchase

(After tax credit)

4kW $11,636 $12,451
5kW $13,960 $14,937
6kW $15,996 $17,116
7kW $18,473 $19,766
8kW $21,440 $22,941
9kW $23,265 $24,894
10kW $25,580 $27,371

Best solar companies in the main cities of Hawaii

Different types of solar companies

Solar company reviews

Home solar basics

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Hawaii

You will save most money by buying your solar system rather than leasing it. Read more about the pros and cons of leasing vs buying solar.

How long do solar panels last?

Minimum of 25 years but generally 30 or more

How do solar panels work on a home?

Solar panels power your house when they can but your home uses the utility company for power at other times. In 2020 "solar systems with battery storage" are becoming more popular. These are known as hybrid systems.

How do solar panels work?

Grid-tied solar system

Solar panels are mounted on your roof and wired together in groups called solar arrays. The power they generate flows into a solar inverter where the direct current (DC) electricity is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used by your home or exported to the electric grid.

Off-grid solar system

Off-grid solar power involves meeting all your energy needs from the power of the sun. There’s no utility to fall back on. This means the solar installation needs to power the home not just during the day, when the sun is shining, but after dark as well.

Read more about types of home solar systems.

Do solar panels require regular maintenance?

No, but cleaning them can improve power generation if they are dirty.

Will residential solar power system cost fall in Hawaii in 2020?

Given this environment, and the effect of import tariffs placed on solar panels by the Trump administration during 2018, it is hard to see that solar power system prices in Hawaii will fall during 2020.

Can you buy DIY Solar Panel Kits and install them yourself in Hawaii?

Yes you can! In some cases, you can save $3,000 or more when you install solar yourself, even after receiving the federal tax credit. Despite the potential for savings, data from Lawrence Berkeley Labs shows that only about 3% of homeowners choose DIY solar. 

Reasons for this include:

  • The permitting and inspection process for the utility, the state, and municipalities can be quite complex.
  • The installation work is both dangerous and difficult, with electrical work having to be performed at heights.
  • Often times, solar electricity customers will be charged a premium for DIY installations, which can limit savings.
  • In some states, a solar system needs to be installed by a qualified solar contractor in order to take advantage of incentives. In Hawaii, a contractor must hold a C-60 license and a C-13 license in order to be considered qualified. They must also complete the electrical work associated with the installation. Utilities and incentive programs may have additional requirements.

 

SolarReviews does not recommend DIY solar installations unless you have suitable skills. However, for those who do, SolarReviews published a comparison table displaying solar panel kit prices from the top 10 leading solar kit websites in the US.

Buy DIY solar panel kits online

Prices don’t include installation, permits or inspections

How much electricity do solar panel systems generate in Hawaii?

Depending on the location, solar panels will generate different amounts of electricity.

A solar system that is installed on a south-facing 11-degree pitch roof Hawaii will generate 1,475kWh of peak DC (direct current) capacity per year per 1kW in Hawaii.

Enter your details into the solar panel calculator to see how your location, roof tilt, and roof direction impacts solar panel production.

What are the pros and cons of installing solar panels in Hawaii?

The advantage of installing solar panels in Hawaii is that there is a state-based tax credit and the federal tax credit. Hawaii also has some of the highest electricity rates in the country, which makes for a great return on investment.

The main disadvantage to installing solar panels in Hawaii is that there is no net metering offered. However, the state does have a solar tariff in place that outlines options utilities must make available for customers who install solar.

Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.

What you can learn from our state solar panel calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - it tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Hawaii solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.

Note: Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.

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