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 10/12/2017.

  • Customer Grid Supply: Customers who take advantage of the grid supply program will send the extra energy produced by their PV panels to Hawaiian Electric in return for energy credits (15 cents per kilowatt-hour on Oahu and 17 cents per kilowatt-hour on Maui) on their electric bills over a 12-month period.²
  • Customer Self Supply: Customers utilizing the self supply program can connect their rooftop PV panels to personal energy storage systems, such as the Home Energy Storage Site (HESS), to capture excess solar power for their home or business, and do not need to export excess energy to the grid.
  • Smart-Export: Customers who opt to apply under the smart-export program a solar storage system alongside their PV system that charges and receives credit from HECO's grid during designated hours of the day.

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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