By now, there have been dozens upon dozens of articles discussing photovoltaic systems and their associated benefits. Hands down, installing a system is one of the best investments that any head of household could make. Even if there is insufficient roof space to fit a system that will bring a HECO bill down to the minimum payment, any savings now become more savings in the future as the rates continue to rise.

That being said, there are still many questions surrounding the topic that Hawaii Home Expo can answer for you:

Does HECO pay for excess power?


There are programs for which HECO does purchase power generated by PV systems; however, these programs are typically not for residential systems.

Nearly all residential PV falls under a Net Metering Agreement. In any 12-month period, if the generated power exceeds the usage, HECO will give credit for that excess during a later month when the usage is higher than what the PV generates.

Will the electric bill be free?

Unfortunately, the electric bill will never be free. There is a minimum fee that HECO charges to be connected to the grid. That minimum fee ranges from $16 to $18 per month.

Will this require a new roof?


The PV panels (and in some cases, the inverters as well) are warranted for 25 years. The install team always will take into consideration the condition of the roof, but in general terms, if the roof has been in place for 15 to 20 years, it’s likely that it should be changed before installing a PV system.

What are the tax benefits for PV systems?

Currently, the federal tax credits are 30 percent of the total cost of the system. These are in place until 2016, barring any changes in legislation. The state tax credits are currently 35 percent of the total cost or $5,000 per system, whichever number is lower. There is currently a bill in the legislature called HB 2417 that, if passed, will change the $5,000 cap to per property instead of per system. If passed, this would go into effect in 2013 and greatly reduce the incentives for installing residential PV.

No single article will answer every question, but the staff at Hawaii Home Expo is more than happy to help. Hawaii Home Expo is donating 2 percent of material costs for all PV systems to Central Union Pre-school’s Capital Campaign for its campus renovation.

CONTACT: 695-3976