Summer is here, and air conditioning is beginning to sound downright heavenly. Meanwhile, as solar PV has become a household name in Hawaii, the utility has put the brakes on PV installation in some high-penetration areas.

As a result, we’re seeing a handful of new companies offering so-called “solar AC,” or hybrid PV/air-conditioning systems, that claim to bypass the need for approval from the utility. But as we all know, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. How does the solar AC fad measure up to the industry’s finest traditional heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems?


Solar AC is a new technology that employs complicated circuitry and a lot of complex parts. Manufacturers are new, unproven outfits, mostly based in China, with no track record in the industry. Most disturbing, there is confusion as to whether the system requires a Net Energy Metering (NEM) agreement. Some providers claim it does not, while the utility insists that it does. Tax credits are also questionable.


Compare that to the peace of mind that comes with simple, tried-and-true technology. “With today’s extraordinary improvements in HVAC technology, air conditioning systems are more efficient than ever,” said Craig Kawamura, director of sales at Alternate Energy Inc. (AEI). AEI installs Mitsubishi Electric’s inverter-driven, ductless HVAC system, a system up to 40 percent more efficient than standard systems.

Combined with Mitsubishi‘s premium-quality solar PV panels and guaranteed tax credits, you’ve got a quick return on investment on a system that will serve your family for decades. And by keeping the systems simple and separate, you have ultimate flexibility with rooftop PV module location and HVAC condenser units, enjoying maximum power production and performance.


Founded in 1993, as one of Hawaii’s oldest kamaaina solar companies, Alternate Energy has become Hawaii’s one-stop source for the ultimate energy-efficient home. One call puts the finest PV, HVAC, solar water heating, electric vehicle (EV) charging, solar attic fans and electrical contracting to work for you today.

contact // 842-5853 (Oahu) • 872-9592 (Maui)
address // 803 Ahua St.
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