Hawaii Residential Solar Energy Incentives

The U.S. government grants a 30-percent renewable energy tax credit for homeowners who install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or a solar water heating (solar thermal) system. This solar tax credit, on its own, will cut your out-of-pocket costs by about a third. Beyond this, many state governments offer incentives, like rebates and tax credits, to invdividuals and businesses who go solar. Hawaii is no exception. Under the Hawaii Global Warming Solutions Act, for example, Hawaii aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. To achieve this goal, the state has developed a strong set of financial incentives for solar and other forms renewable energy.

As you'll see, HI provides rebates for solar water heating (solar thermal) systems and generous tax credits for PV -- a $1,000 rebate to individuals for a solar water heater, and up to $500,000 in corporate tax incentives for solar PV systems. Read on for details...

When you're ready to move forward with your project, you may want to consider filling out our solar energy information form. It's free and requires just a few minutes to complete. After learning about your household electricity needs, we'll work with our solar panel installation partners serving Hawaii to get you a free site visit and competitive quotes. We're here to make sure that you quality service and a great price on your solar energy system. 

Are you a Hawaii business owner? See our HI commercial solar incentive page.


Hawaii solar energy tax credits

As far as granting renewable energy tax breaks go, Hawaii has really taken the initiative. Since 1990, the state has offered energy tax credits to residents (and companies) who install a solar energy (or wind) system. Here's a quick overview of the details:

  • Solar PV panel systems: 35% of project costs, or $5,000, whichever is less

  • Solar thermal (solar hot water) systems: 35% of project cots for solar, or $2,250, whichever is less

Remember: this HI state tax credit may be used in conjunction with the federal renewable tax credit, which reduces the buyer's federal tax liability. For full details on the credit, see the Hawaii Dept of Business, Economic Development & Tourism website

Hawaii also offers a property tax exemption as well, preventing investments in renewable energy systems from increasing property tax liability for residentes or businesses.   

Hawaii rebates: solar water heating systems

Using the thermal energy to heat your household water is one of the most cost-effective applications of solar energy technology. Accordingly, across Hawaii there are a number of solar water heat rebate programs available to homeowners:

  • The Hawaii Energy Efficiency Fund, a public benefit fund, offers residential rebates of $750 for solar water heaters.
  • Residents who install a solar water heat system can receive a one-time, $1,000 rebate from the Hawaii Electric Company (HECO) Energy $olutions ProgramTo be eligible, the buyer must be a customer of HECO or its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company (MECO) and Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO). Also, the solar water heating system must meet several technical standards and warranty requirements. 

  • Kaua'i residents may be eligible to receive an $800 rebate when they install a qualifying solar water heating system. The rebate is available through the Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative's Energy Wise Program

HI energy efficiency rebates

Taking steps to reduce the amount of electricity you consume can improve the performance of your solar PV system. So if you're thinking about installing some solar panels, you may want to consider buying new energy-efficient appliances. As it turns out, a few Hawaii utilities and cooperatives -- like HECO and KIUC -- offer small but helpful rebates to customers who buy energy-efficient clothes dryers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website is a great resource for learning about the specific energy efficiency programs on offer.   


Updated 8/12/10

Hawaii: Residential Solar Incentives