When choosing a solar energy provider, a long track record and a valid solar contractor’s license are the hallmarks of any reputable company.

Enter Bruce Ekimura, Alternate Energy Inc.’s owner and founder, who has a journeyman plumber license and a Hawaii solar power systems contractor license, which cover both solar water heating and photovoltaic systems. The latter license is relatively rare in the business as many solar contractors hold only a solar water heating license. Ekimura and his team have been solar energy experts in Hawaii since the 1970s.


Now, Alternate Energy has garnered another badge of excellence. Darren Furumoto, operations manager and lead installer, has earned the industry’s leading recognition of expertise as a certified installer of solar electric systems (photovoltaic or PV systems) from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Designation as a NABCEP certified solar PV installer is widely recognized to be the gold standard in certification in the renewable energy industry.

“Receiving NABCEP’s Certified Installer status is personally very satisfying,” said Furumoto. “It also means we can offer our customers the added confidence of knowing their installation will be performed to the highest standards in the solar industry.”

To earn the certification, Furumoto passed a rigorous exam that covers the multi-craft aspects of being a professional PV installer, demonstrating knowledge on subjects as diverse as system design, electrical and job safety, the National Electric Code, roofing and construction techniques, system commissioning, and troubleshooting.


All certified NABCEP installers also must have real-world experience as a senior person on the installation crew as well as a minimum number of hours of advanced training.

“One thing you can be assured of with NABCEP’s Certified Installer is that your job won’t be their first,” said Ezra Auerbach, executive director of NABCEP. “We are delighted to welcome Darren Furumoto of Alternate Energy to the ranks of the industry’s leading solar installers.”

Furumoto has been with Alternate Energy Inc. for more than 15 years. He is a member of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association.


Alternate Energy Inc. was founded in 1993 and is one of Hawaii’s oldest solar energy companies, specializing in the design and installation of photo-voltaic systems, solar water heating systems and solar attic fans. It is locally owned and operated, with offices on Oahu and Maui. The company has been a HECO Approved Contractor (Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program) since 1999.

Address: 1111 Dillingham Blvd.
Contact: 237-9428
Website: AlternateEnergyHawaii.com