Kamaaina all over the state are cheering for Randy Iwase, chair of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), who recently stood up to the utility in favor of the public’s right to install solar PV.

Craig Kawamura, sales manager at Alternate Energy, explained, “Basically, in a letter of agreement, dated Feb. 27, 2015, and signed by both Iwase and Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO), the PUC determined that the utility may not use individual circuit penetration levels to delay or deny a potential rooftop solar PV customer’s connection to the grid, but instead must look at the system-level reliability, curtailment and operational challenges for the entire island’s grid.”


The letter said, “Stated simply, the policy is that the HECO companies have an affirmative duty to interconnect a potential customer.”


Furthermore, HECO’s request to change the Net Energy Metering (NEM) program, cutting the rate it pays solar customers on Oahu who feed excess solar-generated power back into the grid, to about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour from 29 cents, has been deferred. Kawamura added, “The PUC wisely determined that any changes to the existing NEM program call for a great deal of debate among all interested parties.”

What does this mean for you? “This is tremendous news for the thousands of homeowners who want to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and cut their utility bills by installing PV,” said Kawamura. “It means that now is a great time to move forward with the solar PV plans you’ve been dreaming about for your family.”


Kawamura reminds locals that the generous State and Federal tax credits are still in place (though Federal tax credits are set to expire Dec. 31, 2016). Combined, they can cover 65 percent of the cost of your system.

Founded in 1993 as one of Hawaii’s oldest kamaaina solar companies, Alternate Energy is located in Mapunapuna.

contact // 842-5853 (Oahu) and 872-9592 (Maui)
address // 803 Ahua St.
web // www.alternateenergyhawaii.com