Hawaiian Electric recently announced another rate increase throughout the islands, and state solar tax credits are in jeopardy of being discontinued. With the electrical grid near capacity in certain areas, there’s no better time than now to invest in a photo-voltaic or solar water heating system.

A few weeks ago, we reported on some of the most important things homeowners should ask before investing in a solar PV system. The response was so great we put together another round of insider tips from the pros at Alternate Energy, Hawaii’s locally owned, family-operated solar energy provider since 1993.


Here’s our advice:

• Be akamai and do your research. Look for companies with a long history in Hawaii’s unique solar industry.

• Here in Hawaii, we’re exposed to tradewinds carrying ocean breezes. This can be a catalyst to shorten your solar installation’s lifespan. Ask to see the manufacturer’s warranty, and if it covers corrosion for coastal use. Beware if there are any mileage exclusions, which could void your warranty.


• Look for the proper licensing and accreditations. At minimum, solar contractors should have a C-60 state license and NABCEP certification. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is the “gold standard” for PV and solar thermal installation certification.

• There are pros and cons to centralized inverters or microinverters. Be wary of solar contractors marketing only one type of inverter. Every property has its own unique needs.

• Impulse buying could potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars. With some understanding on how solar PV works before making your purchase, you’re protecting your household from further electrical rate hikes for years to come.

Address: 1111 Dillingham Blvd. Ste. H3, Box 112
Contact: 842-5853
Website: AlternateEnergyHawaii.com



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