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It’s easy to imagine that a tropical island would lead in solar energy production. Not so with the Aloha State. Electricity production from solar panels in Hawaii ranked 30th in the country in 2022. What does this mean for homeowners? With aggressive renewable standards, Hawaiians could see incredible returns by switching to solar.

So, how much would an array cost in Aloha State? Join us as we explore the average rate for panels and the breakdown factors determining the overall cost. We also give an idea of potential savings. Read on to learn more about solar prices in Hawaii.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Hawaii

The cost of solar in Hawaii is on the higher end up front, but totally worth it. At an average price of $2.67/W, homeowners in Aloha State can expect to pay around $16,020 for a 6kW array. While this might seem high for some, the offset in electric payments more than justifies the purchase.

Although Hawaiians use the least amount of power in the United States, the electricity rate is the highest in the country. It’s nearly 33% more than California, which has the second-highest rate. Because of this, homeowners in the Aloha State pay $184.19 a month. With bills like this, Hawaiians have an opportunity to see incredible net gains with a solar panel system.

In order to lower the cost of an array in Hawaii, qualifying homeowners should apply for the federal solar tax credit. This incentive comes in the form of a 30% return on federal taxes for all residential solar purchases. For a typical, 6kW system, Hawaiians could see the price drop from $16,020 to $11,214.

How Much Solar Do Hawaiians Need?

The above example overviews the cost of a 6kW solar panel array, which is the average size in the United States. However, this might not accurately represent the amount of wattage Hawaiians need for their own homes.

To determine the right size of a solar array in Hawaii, you’ll need to divide your average daily power usage by the peak sun for your home. Let’s use the Aloha State’s averages here as an example.

solar panels in hawaii
Hawaii had almost 200 MW of grid-connected photovoltaics in 2012.

©Kelly Headrick/Shutterstock.com

Hawaiians use about 17.9kWh per day (or 537kWh per month). If we divide that by the state’s average peak sun (the amount of time when the sun is at its most direct) of 6.02 hours, we discover that homeowners in Hawaii need on average 3.0kW of solar energy an hour.

Using the state’s average price for panels, this system would cost around $8,010. It’s hard to find arrays this affordable anywhere else.

Now that you know how to determine your wattage requirements for solar panels in Hawaii, you can accurately budget a system for your own home. You can use this Hawaii sun chart to discover peak sun hours for your nearest city.

Hawaii Solar Cost Factors

As we’ve covered in the example above, peak sun hours have one of the biggest influences on the cost of solar panels. Even in Hawaii, this aspect can fluctuate depending on where you live.

While, on average, Hawaiians receive 6.02 hours of direct sunlight, homeowners in Hilo can receive as little as 4.8. To compare how geographic location can affect the price even further, check out the solar panel rates in California.

Additionally, peak sun hours can influence the type of solar panels you should consider. While monocrystalline panels are more efficient, they’re also more expensive.

And considering that Hawaii receives plenty of sunlight, it’s not so critical to have the best equipment. Therefore, Hawaiians can save good money with polycrystalline panels, which come at a lower price.

Finally, Hawaiians should carefully choose their solar installer. While some might choose a company based on its affordability, having a quality installation can make or break the array. Because of Hawaii’s size and distribution, homeowners have limited options to choose from. This makes the choice even more crucial.

Best Solar Installers in Hawaii

When choosing from a list of installers, you might not know what to look for. The right companies have a wide range of aspects worth considering, which include:

  • Industry experience,
  • Contractor transparency,
  • Certifications and licenses,
  • Quality equipment and warranties.

Here are two Hawaiian solar installers that best meet these qualifications.

As one of the oldest installation companies in Hawaii, Rising Sun Solar has a strong reputation. With its headquarters in Kahului, this company provides homeowners with local service on the Big Island, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.

solar panels in hawaii
According to SolarReviews, in 2012, a typical solar system in Hawaii paid for itself in only 4 years.

©Mana Photo/Shutterstock.com

They use top panel brands and even offer an affordable rate on labor. However, Rising Sun Solar only offers a 5-year warranty on installation, which is lower than the standard across the industry.

If you’re looking for a company that will cover your solar panel system for its entire lifetime, RevoluSun has you covered. The installer has 13 years of experience in the industry and has accreditations with the SEIA and the BBB.

Not only does the company use top-tier equipment, but it also offers 25-year guarantees on the product and installation. You may pay more than other installers in Hawaii, but the service might pay for itself over time.

Can Solar Energy Save Hawaiians Money?

If you’ve made it this far, you might be wondering if solar panels in Hawaii result in financial savings. With the highest energy rates in the country and ideal sunlight, homeowners in the Aloha State have an opportunity to see the biggest return anywhere.

To find out how much you can earn back in offsetting your electrical bill, you first need to know how long it will take to cover the cost of the solar panel system. With homeowners in Hawaii paying, on average, $2,210.28 a year on electricity ($184.19/mo), a 6kW system would take 7.2 years to pay off. This is nearly two years faster than most states in the country.

After covering the cost of a solar panel system, Hawaiians begin to see net returns on utilities. With arrays having an average lifespan of 20-25 years, total savings could range from $28,292 to $39,343. These returns are nearly $10,000 more than the next best state. Savings increase even more with smaller systems and incentives.

Solar Panels in Hawaii: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives

In addition to having great rates and savings on solar panels, the Aloha State offers decent support for renewable energy. Hawaii mandates strong renewable standards, which motivate municipalities to help residents access solar energy. This means you can receive discounts on installation, and even money, in return for making the switch.

One of the first opportunities Hawaiians should take advantage of is the federal solar tax return. With 30% off any purchases toward an array, homeowners can save nearly $5,000 in some cases. For more chances to save money on solar panels in Hawaii, read through this detailed list of incentives.

Solar Panels in Hawaii: Further Reading

With decent rates on solar energy and ideal sunlight, Hawaiians can offset some of the highest electricity bills in the country. Because of this, homeowners could pay off their system quickly and start earning money back on utilities. For more on solar panels in Hawaii and its other technology incentives, check out the articles below.

Solar Panels in Hawaii: Cost, Savings, and Rebates FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is solar worth it in Hawaii?

Hawaii has decent rates on solar energy and some of the best sunlight in the country. Offsetting the highest electricity bills in the United States, homeowners could see returns of nearly $40,000 or more by making the switch.

How much does solar cost in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, the average price of solar runs about $2.67 per watt. This means an average 6kW system would cost $16,020 before incentives. It’s essential to consider your required wattage, equipment type, and installation company cost when budgeting for a solar array.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay back in Hawaii?

With Hawaiians offsetting an average annual electric bill of $2,210.28, a solar panel system could be paid off in 7.2 years.

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