How it Works

Individual solar cells, made of thin layers of silicon, are grouped together to form photovoltaic (PV) solar modules which, when installed as a component of a complete solar system, generate electricity.¹

When sunlight strikes the PV solar module cells installed on the roof of your home, a chemical reaction releases electrons that generate an electric current.

Photovoltaic solar electricity benefits:¹

  • Lower your monthly electric bill.
  • Enjoy energy independence by becoming your own power producer.
  • Protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint by using clean, renewable energy.
  • Use State of Hawaii and federal tax credits to save more than half of your total system cost.
  • Utilize free energy from the sun to reduce the effect of utility rate increases.
  • Lessen Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil and aid in the State's 100% renewable energy by goal by 2045.²

For up-to-date information on federal, state, and local incentives, consult the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Solar Power and DER Programs Reduce Your Utility Bills

In 2014, average U.S. residential electricity prices increased to be the highest rate since 2008. By generating your own electricity and taking advantage of HECO's grid supply and self supply programs on Oahu and Maui, you can hedge against future rate hikes and increase your utility savings. HECO's Customer Grid-Supply, Customer Self-Supply, and Smart Export programs are the current Distributed Energy Resources (DER) rooftop PV programs in Hawaii as of 08/04/2018.

  • Customer Grid-Supply Plus (CGS Plus) systems must include grid support technology to manage grid reliability and allow the utility to remotely monitor system performance, technical compliance and, if necessary, control for grid stability.
  • Smart Export customers with a renewable system and battery energy storage system have the option to export energy to the grid from 4 p.m. – 9 a.m. Systems must include grid support technology to manage grid reliability and system performance.
  • Customer Self-Supply (CSS) is intended only for private rooftop solar installations that are designed to not export any electricity to the grid. Customers are not compensated for any export of energy.
  • Customer Grid-Supply (CGS) participants receive a PUC-approved credit for electricity sent to the grid and are billed at the retail rate for electricity they use from the grid. The program remains open until the installed capacity has been reached.
  • Net Energy Metering (NEM) is closed to new applicants.
  • Standard Interconnection Agreement (SIA) is designed for larger customers who wish to offset their electricity bill with on-site generation.

The Net Energy Metering (NEM) program that was offered to previous PV customers is also under the DER program. Learn more about the recent changes to Hawaii's rooftop solar market.

Alternate Energy has helped Hawaii residents offset their utility bills by approximately $118,000,000 annually. Read our customer success stories to learn more and see how much you can save.

PV Solar

Enjoy the benefits of photovoltaic solar electricity, like lower electric bills, state tax incentives, and energy independence.

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