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Aerial view of Oceanfront homes on the north shore of Oahu Hawaii with houses with solar panels on the roof

5 Best Solar Companies in Hawaii (2024 Guide)

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Default Author Icon Written by Tamara Jude + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Roger Horowitz Updated 04/17/2024

Hawaii had the nation’s highest electricity rate at $44.24 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in February 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s nearly three times higher than the $15.96-kWh national average. Moving to solar would not only help Hawaii homeowners reduce their energy costs, but it would support the state’s ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 100% clean energy use by 2045. 

We spent 80 hours researching the nation’s best solar installers to help homeowners prepare for their switch to renewable energy. Check out our list of top Aloha State installers below.


Compare Solar Companies Across HI

Company Star Rating Warranties Payment Options Link
4.5
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.0
10-25 years Full purchase, loan GET QUOTE
4.0
25 year manufacturer, 20 year labor Full purchase, loan, lease GET QUOTE
4.2
N/A N/A GET QUOTE
No results were found.

Hawaii’s Top Solar Energy Companies


Our Top Picks for Solar Installers in Hawaii

SunPower

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8

Pros and Cons

Pros Builds customized, high-efficiency solar systems to suit each home Offers an extensive coverage area throughout the country Sells energy storage and EV charger add-ons Cons Limits solar equipment options due to in-house product exclusivity More expensive than other companies, according to some customer reviews

Why We Chose SunPower

SunPower offers high-quality solar systems custom-designed to provide homeowners with the highest efficiency possible. The company combines high-efficiency Maxeon solar panels with in-house components to create a streamlined solar system. Its product catalog includes various electric vehicle (EV) chargers to customize your system.

SunPower offers its exclusive SunVault energy storage system that stores your excess energy for use overnight or during power outages. The mySunPower monitoring app allows customers to monitor their system performance, track energy consumption, and control stored energy usage.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty

SunPower backs its solar products with an all-inclusive 25-year warranty covering all solar system components, additional equipment add-ons, workmanship, and a production guarantee of 92% power output.

 

Financing options

✔ Full purchase

✔ Loan

✔ Lease

Reputation and Awards

Since 1985, SunPower has committed itself to developing innovative solar technology, including its high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels. In 2020, the company moved the panel manufacturing division into a separate company called Maxeon Solar Technologies.

SunPower continued to develop its own solar products, including mounts, microinverters, batteries, and software. The company received PV Magazine’s 2019 Sustainability Award for “outstanding sustainability leadership in the solar industry.” In 2022, SunPower received the Good Housekeeping’s 2022 Home Renovation Award in the Biggest Energy Savers category. The company was recognized for its innovative SunVault energy storage system.

SunPower currently holds an A+ rating and is accredited with the BBB. Based on our team’s review analysis, we discovered that customers were pleased with their SunPower system performance. However, we noticed a pattern of complaints about higher-than-average installation costs and communication issues with third-party installers.

States Available

All 50 states, but varies by ZIP code

Sunrun Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.5
  • Why we chose it: Sunrun offers two leasing options for homeowners uninterested in system ownership. Both options include 25-year comprehensive coverage and little to no money down.
  • Payment Options: Full purchase, loan, lease, power purchase agreement (PPA)

Learn more: Sunrun review

Pros and Cons
Pros Added insurance protections for theft or damage EV chargers and battery add-ons Multiple financing options, such as two lease types Cons 25-year warranty limited to lease and prepaid customers Online reviews call out delayed repairs
Warranty and Financing

Sunrun offers a 10-year comprehensive warranty that includes product, roof penetration, and workmanship coverage. Leasing customers receive an extended 25-year warranty that includes insurance protection for theft and damage.

Reputation and Awards

Sunrun earned DroneDeploy’s 2022 Guardian of Safety Award for using drone technology with its site assessments. In 2021 and 2022, Sunrun received 14 awards from Comparably, including Best Company Culture, Best CEOs for Diversity, and Best Company for Women.

Sunrun has an A+ rating with BBB and is accredited. Leased customers appreciated the complete warranty coverage, but other homeowners voiced concerns about delayed installations and poor customer service.

Learn more: Sunrun review

Tesla Solar Best Solar Tech
4
Pros and Cons
Pros Low-profile rooftop panels and solar roofing options Popular Tesla Powerwall available with all installations Transparent pricing online Cons Installations completed exclusively by third-party installers Solar loans offered only in select areas Customer reviews call out difficulty with scheduling repair work
Why We Chose Tesla

Tesla offers high-tech solar solutions for residential customers, from advanced solar roofing to the powerful Tesla Powerwall. It stands out as one of the only companies to offer full, transparent pricing online before ever speaking to a representative. Whereas most solar companies require a consultation before revealing any pricing, Tesla has an online system that analyzes your home’s design and average energy bills to provide a custom quote. You can adjust your system’s configuration to add more panels and up to 10 Tesla Powerwall batteries.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
Tesla includes 10-year comprehensive warranty coverage for product and workmanship and a 25-year performance warranty.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan (in select areas)

Reputation and Awards

Tesla began developing innovative solar products based on its successful automotive technology in 2003. It ultimately created the Tesla solar roof and Tesla Inverter in addition to providing traditional solar panels.

Tesla is not accredited by the BBB but holds an A+ rating. We noticed while reading reviews that many customers praised Tesla’s panel technology and the Powerwall’s performance but called out scheduling issues for service and repair.

Learn more: Tesla Solar review

RevoluSun Hawaii Best Full-Service Hawaii Installer
4
Pros and Cons
Pros Additional heating, AC, and energy efficiency products and services Solar products include panels, energy storage, and hot water heaters Partnerships with leading nationwide solar companies, such as SunPower and Tesla Cons Customer reviews note higher-than-average system cost Limited solar panel brand selection No power production guarantee or roof leak coverage
Why We Chose RevoluSun Hawaii

Hawaiian homeowners looking for a full-service local installer should consider RevoluSun Hawaii. The company offers solar energy solutions to all islands in the state. RevoluSun Hawaii partners with Tesla and SunPower for its offerings. The company also provides solar energy storage and hot water installations. 

Beyond its solar equipment, RevoluSun offers energy efficiency audits to improve energy loss and lower utility bills. Additional services include air conditioning and heating equipment sales, maintenance, and repairs.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
The company offers a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty and a 20-year labor warranty.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease

Reputation and Awards

RevoluSun Hawaii received the Readers’ Choice Awards for Solar From Hawaii Home & Remodeling Magazine in 2021 and 2022. Honolulu Magazine also recognized the company under the “Best of Honolulu 2022: The Best Services on O‘ahu” category for best solar company.

RevoluSun Hawaii holds an A+ rating with the BBB and is accredited. When reviewing homeowners‘ reviews, we noted that customers praised its timely installations and courteous project managers. They were not pleased with the higher system pricing and delayed customer support communication.

Rising Sun Best Local Hawaii Installer
4.2
Pros and Cons
Pros Coverage area includes the Big Island, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu Large selection of name-brand solar panels, batteries, and solar roofing options Oldest solar installer in Hawaii with almost 30 years of experience Cons Communication issues and installation delays, per online reviews No financing term details listed online Short five-year workmanship warranty
Why We Chose Rising Sun Solar

Rising Sun Solar is the most experienced local installer in Hawaii, offering almost 30 years of business experience and 20 years of solar industry expertise. The company makes an excellent choice for homeowners interested in a trusted company with in-depth knowledge of local permitting and solar incentives. Rising Sun offers a diverse catalog of solar solutions from LG, Q Cells, SunPower, and Tesla

As a certified Tesla installer, the company also provides Tesla solar roofing and the Tesla Powerwall battery. Additional battery options include SunPower and Generac. Each system includes 25-year warranties for equipment and inverters, and five years of workmanship protection. The company has four financing options but doesn’t disclose its financial terms.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
The company includes a 25-year equipment warranty for panels and inverters, plus a five-year workmanship warranty with every solar system.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease
✔ PPAs

Reputation and Awards

Rising Sun Solar holds an A+ rating with the BBB but isn’t accredited with the organization. When analyzing customer reviews, we noticed homeowners praised the company for its knowledgeable and friendly staff but were disappointed with delayed installations and project managers’ poor communication. 


What Are the Solar Incentives in Hawaii?

Hawaii offers several generous solar incentives, credits, and rebates that help reduce solar panel system costs. The state offers federal and statewide incentives and additional utility- and city-based rebates and credits. Below is an overview of the available residential solar incentives

The federal tax credit applies to most Hawaiian homeowners and provides a credit for up to 30% of your installation costs. This credit applies to your owed federal taxes and helps reduce or eliminate your tax liability after filing. The federal tax credit applies to various equipment, including photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar shingles and roofing, and standalone solar batteries

The Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC) provides a 35% state tax credit for system costs (with a $5,000 cap). 

The GreenSun Hawaii financing option offers lower interest rates and minimal down payments. This financing program is offered through certain banks and credit unions. When we tried searching for this program, we found no centralized search database. Homeowners must search for lenders referencing the “GreenSun program” or “the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” This indicates their involvement in GreenSun Hawaii’s program. Loan terms vary by selected lender. 

With the Green Energy Money Saver (GEMS) program, low- to moderate-income homeowners can apply for low-interest loans and no down payments. This includes solar power systems, solar hot water heaters, solar thermal water heaters, and heat pump water heaters. The programs require significant paperwork, and the application process takes time for approval. We recommend reviewing the full program terms and all the necessary paperwork before applying. 

Net-metering was mandated statewide by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HIPUC) until the program ended in 2015. Now, net metering access varies between state utility companies. With this program, customers receive electric bill credits for returning excess energy to the power grid. Utility companies with net metering include: Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), Maui Electric Company (MECO), Hawaii Electric & Light Company (HELCO), and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). HECO, MECO, and HELCO now operate under Hawaiian Electric

Additional city-based and utility company rebates offer extra savings on new solar systems and battery storage. For example, Hawaiian Electric offers up to $850 per kilowatt (kW) of solar energy storage capacity for Oahu and Maui customers. City and County of Honolulu residents receive a property tax exemption when installing solar energy solutions. This means their solar panels increase their home value without increasing their taxes.

Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) to find your location’s solar incentives.


Below are some key factors to consider when comparing solar panel installers in Hawaii.

Solar Services

Beyond essential solar equipment and battery storage, solar installation companies offer special services and tools to support your system. Extras such as system monitoring, mobile apps, and online portals track system performance, energy use, and panel issues. Additional services such as energy audits assess your home’s efficiency and make appropriate upgrades. Some companies may also provide roofing, electrical, or other home services. 

Most solar panel installations are handled by either in-house or third-party solar contractors, with communication and quality control cited as the options’ major differences. With an in-house team, you work with one designated project manager throughout the installation. In some cases, this individual is assigned to your project during the consultation and guides you through to final activation. Third-party contracts involve more points of contact, leading to miscommunication and delayed responses. Installation quality also varies by location, so there’s a higher chance of faulty installation. 

Warranties and Power Production Guarantees

Warranties help protect your solar investment, ensuring your system continues working in the future. Most solar contractors offer two types of warranties: manufacturer (or product) and workmanship. The product warranty covers your panel for any manufacturing defects. With workmanship coverage, your solar solutions are protected against any issues that arise from poor or faulty installations. Since the average solar panel lasts around 25 years, we recommend choosing companies with warranty coverage that matches their life span. High-quality solar panels include 25-year warranties for manufacturer and workmanship coverage. 

Some solar installation companies also offer power production guarantees. This guarantee outlines your expected panel production and offers replacement or compensation if panels drop in performance. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), panels drop 0.5% in efficiency yearly. Solar companies account for this degradation and create production guarantees to support their panels’ performance. Power production guarantees vary based on the type of panels. You’ll find cheap solar panels have power guarantees for 10–15 years or less, while top solar panels are covered for 25 years or longer. 

Payment Options

Solar panel financing options play a major role in your return on investment (ROI) and solar incentive eligibility. Up-front or solar loans make you the legal system owner, qualifying you for federal and state solar incentives. These payment options also offer a better ROI and solar payback period, or the time it takes for panels to pay for themselves. 

Payment options such as solar leases and power purchasing agreements (PPAs) make the solar company the legal owner, disqualifying you from additional savings. Although these payment options work for individuals uninterested in system ownership, they offer the least financial benefit, long-term savings, and ROI. 

We recommend choosing cash payments or solar loans for your solar energy system.

Customer Support

When comparing customer support options, look for companies with multiple communication methods and extended hours. Many companies offer phone, email, and online forms to request additional help. Some companies also have online chat features to communicate with support teams. Our team experienced mixed results during our shopping experience, with some chats connecting to live agents and others offering unhelpful automated responses. 

We recommend checking online reviews for mention of customer support experiences and note any callouts for delayed or unanswered inquiries. Although many service industries have varied customer service experiences, reliable customer support with a solar company is important before, during, and after installation.


How To Get a Solar Quote in Hawaii

To find the right solar installer, we recommend requesting multiple quotes from different companies. Compare each quote and check the total costs, including equipment, labor, and add-on accessories. The below guide explains what to expect when meeting with a solar company for a quote. 

  1. Contact each solar company: Most companies provide an online form or phone number to start the quote process. Ensure the company offers a free quote, as a few companies charge for a solar consultation. When using the online form, check the terms and conditions since some companies sign you up for automated phone calls and SMS messaging. You may speak to multiple reps before scheduling an appointment. Based on our shopping experiences, we spoke with an initial representative who verified our area coverage before being connected with the sales rep. Companies may offer in-person or virtual consultation. 
  2. Determine your energy usage: During your formal consultation, the rep must verify your average home energy use to build the right system for your needs. You’ll need a recent electricity bill for this step, although we recommend bringing several statements to help give a clearer picture of your use, especially during high-usage seasons such as summer or winter. 
  3. Check your roof layout and design: A company rep will assess your roof and identify any structural and design complications. They will also check for any nearby shading that could reduce your panels’ energy production. They may recommend tree removal services if you experience a lot of surrounding shading. If you choose a virtual roof review, the representative will use satellite imagery to begin your solar project design. 
  4. Create your solar energy project: Your consultant will design your final solar energy system based on your roof assessment and energy use. You’ll receive a final quote and contract with design details. Your quote should include your solar system, system components, and accessories, such as solar batteries or electric vehicle (EV) chargers. When we spoke to professional solar installers, they advised that any solar quote should include details for all equipment costs, labor costs, racking systems, and warranty information. Your quote should also outline your expected solar payback period and financing options. Some solar companies also assist you with applying for federal and state solar incentives.

Our Conclusion

Based on our analysis, we’ve selected SunPower as the top solar provider in The Aloha State. The company builds some of the most efficient solar systems in the residential space and includes in-house components for improved, streamlined performance. Hawaii homeowners also have peace of mind knowing their SunPower system includes a 25-year comprehensive warranty, providing long-term protection for their solar investment. 

Hawaii residents should compare at least three solar quotes before committing to a solar installer


Other Hawaii Home Service Resources


FAQ About Solar Companies in HI

What are the benefits of going solar in Hawaii?

By going solar in Hawaii, you’ll benefit from lower energy spending, reduced carbon footprint, and better energy independence. Hawaii residents also benefit from a boost in their homes’ value while supporting the state’s 100% renewable energy goal. 

How long do solar panels last in Hawaii?

The average solar panel lasts about 25 years in Hawaii, which is consistent with its life span in other states. Depending on solar panel quality, they can last even longer. For example, high-quality monocrystalline panels can last up to 40 years with proper care and maintenance. 

Is it worth it to get solar in Hawaii?

Solar is a worthwhile investment in Hawaii due to the state’s high electricity rates and generous solar incentives. Investing in solar panels helps reduce electricity costs and save more money over time. 

Is the Tesla Powerwall available in Hawaii?

Yes, the Tesla Powerwall is available in Hawaii through certified Tesla installers, such as Rising Sun Solar and the Powerwall Direct. When we ran a quote for a home in Honolulu, Tesla Powerwall costs started at around $15,288 before applying the federal solar tax credit


Our Rating Methodology

We are committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar providers is on a 100-point system based on five factors:

  • Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of the four options they provide.
  • Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance? The more options available, the higher the score. 
  • Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives. 
  • State availability (10 points): We award the most points to companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
  • Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.

Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.