Hawaii's electricity prices average $0.33/kWh, the second-highest power costs in the United States.
Solar power accounted for about 60% of Hawaii's renewable generation in 2019. Rooftop solar power generating capacity more than doubled from 2015 to 2019. The state does have a net metering program, but due to the small-scale generation cap having been reached the program is currently closed to any new applicants. In its place are two programs. With Customer Self Supply, homeowners have to consume all of the solar energy they produce, which often involves a solar battery bank. With Customer Grid Supply, all solar energy produced is sold to the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) for less than standard retail price.
The average cost of a 5kW (equivalent to saving almost 100 trees a year) solar power system starts around $9,000 in Hawaii. That system would pay for itself through energy savings within 4-5 years. System life can span well over 25 years, and savings will improve with inflation. Remember you have to factor in not only the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), but also the state Solar Tax Credit for up to 35% of the cost or up to $2,250.
Governor David Ige signed the country's first 100% renewable energy requirement into law in June 2015, affirming Hawaii's position as a global leader in renewable energy policy. Currently the state is exceeding its incremental target goals.
Hawaii has a long history as an energy policy leader. Near the end of its hundred years as a sovereign nation King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Lili’uokalani, oversaw the installation of electrical lighting and a telephone system in the royal palace. Installation was completed in 1887, four years before the White House would receive similar upgrades.
The whole city of Honolulu got electrical power just fourteen months later. King Kalakaua built a hydroelectric dam with his own money, meaning that for a time the grid used 100% renewable energy.
In 2009 the Honolulu City Council unanimously passed a 25-year property tax exemption for alternative energy improvements, further incentivizing 70% of Hawaii's population to go solar!
Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/
|Name||Implementing Sector||Program Type||Administrator||DSIRE ID|
|Solar Rights||State||Solar/Wind Access Policy||343|
|Kauai Electric - Residential Solar Water Heating Program||Utility||Rebate Program||Kauai Island Utility Coop||594|
|Capital Goods Excise Tax Credit||State||Corporate Tax Credit||Hawaii Department of Taxation||714|
|Priority Permit Processing for Green Buildings||State||Green Building Incentive||2287|
|Public Benefits Fee for Energy Efficiency||State||Public Benefits Fund||2960|
|Solar Water Heating Requirement for New Residential Construction||State||Building Energy Code||2987|
|Local Option - Special Improvement Districts||State||PACE Financing||Programs administered locally||3870|
|Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard||State||Energy Efficiency Resource Standard||4511|
|Fuel Mix Disclosure||State||Generation Disclosure||4678|
|Residential Energy Disclosure||State||Other Policy||5325|
|Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||State||Rebate Program||Hawaii Energy||5355|
|Green Infrastructure Bonds||State||Bond Program||Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority||5437|
|On-Bill Financing||State||Loan Program||Hawaii Energy||5438|
|Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism - Green Business Program||State||Energy Analysis||Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism||16098|