There’s exciting news in the local solar industry. Photovoltaic (PV) options keep expanding in Hawaii, and the newest programs from Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO), which may roll out as early as January 2018, promise some great opportunities for homeowners. Ross Kutsunai, one of the solar experts at Alternate Energy Inc., gives us the scoop:

Customer generated supply plus

“We were getting a lot of calls from customers considering PV who were dismayed to hear that HECO’s Customer Grid Supply (CGS) program had reached capacity, leaving them without an option unless they purchased a battery system,” Kutsunai said.


However, while the original CGS program is no longer available, HECO is creating a “CGS Plus” program, which brings a new version of the benefit back to the community. CGS Plus means you can still get a PV system up and running, and receive a $0.10/kwh credit for any excess PV-generated electricity your system exports back to HECO.

“This lets customers delay the installation of a battery if they choose, or include one now to optimize the performance of their system,” Kutsunai added.

Good news for net energy metering customers

“Previously, customers who had a Net Energy Metering (NEM) agreement with HECO were simply not allowed to expand their system — case closed,” Kutsunai explained.


Now, thanks to a recent ruling from the Public Utilities Commission, NEM customers will finally have a pathway to add on more PV modules and/or battery storage while keeping their existing PV installation on their original NEM agreement.

Kutsunai sums it up: “Options for both customer-generated and self-supply solar energy are still here. NEM customers now have the fl exibility to add on to their existing PV systems.

State and federal tax credits remain in place and are very generous. There will never be a better time to switch to solar.”


Founded in Honolulu in 1993, the family-owned Alternate Energy Inc. is a kamaaina favorite. Alternate Energy Inc. is Hawaii’s one-stop source for the ultimate energy-efficient, self-sufficient home, offering home energy storage, PV, solar water heating, electric vehicle (EV) charging, solar attic fans, electrical contracting, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) — all coupled with expert, friendly service before, during and after any installation.

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