The Cost of Solar in Maui

Since the ending of the Net Metering and the Customer Grid Supply (CGS) programs, many people are asking if it is still worth it to install Solar in Hawaii? The short answer is an absolute, yes.

Hawaii has some of the highest solar irradiance in the nation coupled with the highest electricity rates. These two facts have not changed.

The Customer Self Supply (CSS) is still open and the added cost, with installation, of two batteries for the majority of home owners is only $10,000 on average.

If you account for the maximum tax incentives, it’s only about $4,000 additional.

Meanwhile, the price of solar equipment continues to steadily decline. Because of this, the cost of Solar in Maui today is very similar to what the price of solar was 4-5 years ago. It was financially savvy then, just as it is now. The only difference is that now you can get the added benefit of backing up your critical power circuits in the event of a power outage.

In addition, there are some circumstances where a battery will not be needed In which case, your payback period will be reduced even further.

Right now the average price of a Maui Solar PV system, with batteries, from Pacific Energy, is usually about $5,000 per kilowatt (as of January 2019). For larger systems, the price is lower.

Using a 4% national average increase in rates per year, a 10kw Solar PV system would save about $230,000 over 30 years.

Since we know the price of energy is at a historic low and the rate of increase for Hawaii has actually been closer to 7%, that 30 year savings number could actually be closer to $500,000. Even if you finance your Solar System, it changes the numbers very little.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

Solar Panel System MauiThe prices vary depending on the quality of the modules and where they are manufactured and by whom.

Pacific Energy tends to use the higher quality, 60 cell mono-crystalline  and 96 cell modules, from companies such as Hyundai, Panasonic HIT (Sanyo) & LG. However, the Solar panels are just one small part of the system, but it is the part that everyone sees.

Of course, there is markup, labor & taxes, plus a whole lot of other equipment, such as mounts, racking, inverters, optimizers, the battery and small miscellaneous items.

Unveiling the Cost of Solar Panels in Hawaii: A Breakdown

The cost of a solar panel system in Hawaii varies depending on several key factors:

  • System Size: The most significant cost factor is the size of the system you need. This is measured in kilowatts (kW) and directly reflects your energy consumption. Larger systems generate more electricity but come with a higher upfront cost.
  • Equipment Quality: Solar panels, inverters, and batteries come in various efficiency and warranty tiers. Higher efficiency panels and extended warranties tend to cost more but offer better long-term performance and peace of mind.
  • Installation Complexity: Factors like roof type, accessibility, and any necessary electrical upgrades can impact installation difficulty. Complex installations with extensive modifications may require additional labor, increasing the cost.
  • Location: Permitting requirements and local labor costs can vary slightly across the Hawaiian islands.

Understanding the Typical Range: A Cost Snapshot

Average Cost Before Rebates: While the exact price depends on your specific needs, the average cost of a solar panel system in Hawaii typically falls between $2.50 and $3.50 per watt before factoring in rebates and incentives. So, for a typical 6kW system, the upfront cost could range from $15,000 to $21,000.

Additional Considerations:

  • Financing Options: Many solar companies offer financing solutions, including loans and leases, to make solar power more accessible.
  • Rebates and Incentives: Hawaii offers attractive solar incentives, including the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and state tax credits. These incentives significantly reduce the net cost of your system.

Beyond the Upfront Cost: A Look at Long-Term Savings

While the initial investment might seem substantial, consider the long-term savings solar power offers. Here’s what to factor in:

  • Reduced Electricity Bills: Solar panels significantly reduce your reliance on grid-supplied electricity, leading to substantial savings on your monthly bills.
  • Increased Property Value: Homes with solar panels often attract higher market value due to the energy savings and environmental benefits.
  • Reduced Reliance on Fossil Fuels: Switching to solar power helps minimize your environmental footprint and contribute to a cleaner future.

Estimating Your Solar Panel Costs: Taking the First Step

While the upfront cost of solar panels in Hawaii might seem substantial, remember it’s an investment with long-term benefits. The exact system cost depends on your specific needs and chosen equipment quality. Don’t be discouraged by initial figures – factor in potential savings from reduced electricity bills and attractive government incentives like the Federal Investment Tax Credit. Consider scheduling consultations with Pacific Energy. We can provide a customized quote that factors in all cost variables, including installation costs, allowing you to make an informed decision.

With careful planning and a reputable solar provider, harnessing the power of the Hawaiian sun can be a bright and financially rewarding choice. Embrace a solar future and join the community of eco-conscious homeowners in paradise!