By Dan Simms
Updated Nov 4, 2022
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With its incredible, almost-always-sunny weather and its electricity prices that are about triple the national average, Hawaii is one of the best places in the country to install solar panels. There are many options as far as installers go in the Aloha State, but, unfortunately, this often makes choosing one a difficult decision. That’s why we’ve reviewed the top companies in HI and put together this list to help you decide.
In this guide, we’ll provide our ranking of the best solar companies in Hawaii, include individual reviews for each solar panel company, and offer some insight into how you should go about choosing one.
Below are our top picks for solar companies in Hawaii:
First, we’ll provide a table that compares the top solar providers in Hawaii side-by-side. In the following sections, we’ll include additional information for each company that should inform your decision regarding which is best for your solar project.
|Company||Our Take||Our Rating||BBB Rating||Warranty||In-House Installation||Cost|
|Rising Sun Solar||Best Overall||9.8||A+||25 years for equipment, 5 years for workmanship||Yes||$$|
|SunPower||Best Warranty Coverage||9.8||A+||25 years for equipment, production, and workmanship||Some (see notes below)||$$$$|
|RevoluSun Hawaii||Most Local Experience||9.6||A+||25 years for equipment, 20 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|Independent Energy Hawaii||Best Customer Service||9.4||A||No information available||Yes||$$$|
|Malama Solar||Best Up-and-Coming Company||9.1||N/A||25 years for equipment, 10 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|Pacific Energy||Best Financing Options||8.9||A+||10-25 years depending on equipment||Yes||$$$$|
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Rising Sun Solar is a solar veteran and has been around since 1986. It provides outstanding customer service, top-tier solar equipment, and many different financing options to keep your solar project affordable and accessible.
Rising Sun Solar is known for providing best-in-class value and customer service at an affordable price in HI. Below, we’ll provide some crucial things you should know before choosing this installer.
Rising Sun Solar doesn’t publicize its pricing, but it typically falls around average for the area, meaning you can expect to pay around $12,000 after the federal tax credit for a system from this company. It does, however, note that its average system saves homeowners around $30,000 after paying for itself over its expected 20-year lifespan.
Rising Sun Solar has a 25-year equipment warranty that comes directly from the manufacturer of the equipment you install. Unfortunately, the workmanship warranty is only good for 5 years, which is well below the industry standard.
Rising Sun Solar handles solar panel and battery backup installations, and it offers system monitoring and ongoing maintenance. Unlike most other companies in Hawaii, Rising Sun Solar also installs solar roofing like the Tesla solar shingles, one of the most efficient roofing types.
Rising Sun Solar should appeal to most homeowners looking to install solar equipment, as it accepts cash purchases and solar loans, as well as no-money-down options like solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Rising Sun Solar has a referral program through which you can earn $350 for every customer you refer.
All of the installations this company handles are completed by its own in-house installation team. Nothing is outsourced to third parties.
Rising Sun Solar carries and installs an impressive array of solar equipment brands, including SunPower, Enphase, REC, Tesla, Panasonic, SMA, LG, SolarEdge, Blue Planet, Rolls, Fronius, Outback Power Systems, and Simpliphi.
Rising Sun Solar doesn’t have any industry affiliations, but it is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
SunPower is one of the largest and most experienced national solar companies in the country. It’s best known for offering some of the most efficient solar panels with industry-leading warranty coverage. Although it’s on the expensive side, the value provided is outstanding. It only serves cities on Oahu, including Pearl City, Mililani, and Waipahu.
SunPower is on the expensive side when it comes to installing solar energy solutions, but most customers agree that the value included in the high-quality panels is well worth the cost. Many people also note that the PV system pays for itself more quickly in many cases than less efficient brands.
The average cost for solar panels in Hawaii is around $2.70 per watt, but SunPower averages around $3.15 per watt. It’s more costly than most other companies, and the average 6,000-kW system in HI will cost around $14,000 after the federal investment tax credit (ITC) is considered.
SunPower is expensive, but many homeowners find that the warranty coverage offered is well worth the investment. This company provides protection for the equipment, workmanship, and solar panel energy production for 25 years. It also includes protection for roof leak coverage, and while this isn’t generally needed in Hawaii given the minimal rainfall — at least on Oahu, where SunPower has a foothold — it’s still nice to have.
SunPower is a full-service solar installer. It can install solar panels, solar battery solutions, and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, and it can provide solar monitoring.
SunPower’s high cost is more easily dealt with than it is with many other companies because it accepts all financing options, including PPAs, solar leases, solar loans, and cash purchases.
SunPower offers a referral bonus of $100 per person you refer for business. This isn’t much, but it’s a nice incentive if you have friends and family looking to go solar as well.
In years past, SunPower has managed manufacturing and outsourced all installation work to third parties. Now, SunPower is beginning the process of taking over the installation using an in-house team, and its sister company, Maxeon, is handling manufacturing.
The one major downside of SunPower is that it only installs Maxeon solar panels, which are expensive.
SunPower’s installers are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). The company is also accredited by the BBB.
RevoluSun Hawaii was founded in 2009 and has been delivering excellence in customer service and top-of-the-line solar equipment ever since. Despite the value provided, it still keeps costs relatively low to maintain accessibility to clean energy. It also has tons of local experience, so it can help you take advantage of local rebates and incentives for alternate energy.
RevoluSun Hawaii is on the expensive end, but many homeowners in HI find that the value provided for the money makes the investment a worthwhile one. Below is some additional cost and value information for this company.
RevoluSun Hawaii doesn’t have specifics posted on its website regarding the cost of its solar energy systems. However, based on customer reviews and project data, we have determined that this company is a little more expensive than the average in Hawaii.
RevoluSun Hawaii provides a 25-year warranty for all equipment. There is a 20-year labor warranty as well, which is shy of the industry average of 25 years. There is no guarantee for solar power generation or roof leak protection, which could be crucial, depending on where you live in Hawaii.
RevoluSun Hawaii installs solar panels and batteries, and it can also provide system monitoring services. Additionally, this company can provide heating and air conditioning repairs and maintenance, and energy efficiency audits to ensure your home’s energy efficiency is in order.
This company accepts cash payments, solar financing, and solar leases, but it doesn’t do PPAs. As far as financing goes, it offers a very accessible and appealing 0% interest loan with no payments for 2 years.
There is a referral program offered by this company that can net you a $500 bonus for referred customers.
This is a local company — although it has recently expanded to two additional states — that handles its installations in-house.
RevoluSun installs equipment manufactured by SunPower, Silfab, SolarEdge, Tesla, LG, and Solaria.
RevoluSun doesn’t have NABCEP certification or any other industry-specific affiliations. However, it is a registered SunPower dealer, and it is accredited by the BBB.
Independent Energy is one of the youngest solar contractors in Hawaii, but it has already shown the industry that it is capable of providing outstanding customer service and overall excellent value.
Independent Energy is another local Hawaiian company that brings outstanding value to the table along with reasonable pricing. Below is some additional information about this company and its operations.
Independent Energy’s prices prove to be about average for the area, so you can expect your system from this company to be around $12,000 after the federal tax credit (but before the state tax credit).
Independent Energy only offers the manufacturer’s warranty for the equipment installed, which is typically around 25 years. There is no workmanship or energy production warranty.
Independent Energy is a bit limited in its scope, as it only offers installation of solar panels and solar batteries. Customers looking for add-on products or ongoing services will not find what they need from Independent Energy Hawaii. However, it can handle off-grid solar projects.
This company accepts all financing options, excluding PPAs, so you can pay via solar loan, cash, or a solar lease agreement.
Independent Energy Hawaii manages all of its projects in-house, so your installation won’t be outsourced to a third party.
Independent Energy Hawaii doesn’t limit its offerings to particular solar brands. It can acquire most of the equipment you might want to provide a truly customized system.
The installers at Independent Energy are NABCEP-certified. The company is also accredited by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the BBB.
Island Pacific Energy — not to be confused with Pacific Energy, which appears later on this list — is a small local company that has been around since 2007. It has over a decade of local experience, and it maintains consistently high customer reviews.
Island Pacific Energy is a leader in the local solar industry in Hawaii, and it provides outstanding value for the money. Below is some vital information that can help you decide if this is the company for you.
Island Pacific Energy doesn’t post average pricing for its photovoltaic systems online, but it seems clear from customer reviews that its equipment and services cost around the average. You could reasonably expect to pay around $12,000 for your system if you go with this company.
Island Pacific Energy advertises that it has an “industry-leading warranty,” but there are no specifics available about the length or what it covers.
This company only installs solar panels and solar energy storage solutions, so customers looking for additional equipment or services will need to turn to a full-service installer.
Island Pacific Energy accepts cash purchases and solar loans. It doesn’t entertain leases or PPAs.
Island Pacific Energy tackles all of its installations via its in-house installation team, so you’ll never deal with third-party companies if you choose this provider.
Island Pacific Energy installs equipment from SolarEdge, Enphase, Tesla, LG, Trina, and SMA.
Unfortunately, this company doesn’t have any industry affiliations, and it’s not accredited by the BBB.
As the name suggests, Malama Solar is a local company located in Hawaii, specifically in Honolulu. It was founded in 2017 but has expanded rapidly and continues to grow to this day. It provides unmatched customer service along with high-quality equipment.
Below, we’ll include some information on the cost of going solar with Malama Solar, as well as the warranty coverage you’ll receive, the financing options available to you, and more.
Malama Solar’s pricing isn’t published on the internet, but systems installed by this company typically hover around the state average of $12,000 (after the ITC is considered).
Malama Solar offers a 25-year warranty on all of the equipment it installs, which comes from the manufacturers. It also has a warranty for the installation, but it’s only 10 years, which is shorter than the industry’s benchmark of 25 years.
Malama Solar is only suitable for homeowners looking for solar panels and/or solar batteries. It doesn’t handle any add-on equipment, like EV chargers, or additional services, like solar monitoring.
Malama Solar accepts all financing options other than PPAs, including cash purchases, solar leases, and loans.
This company offers a $500 solar incentive for each new customer you refer.
Malama Solar is a family-owned company that has a tight-knit, in-house installation crew. You’ll never have to worry about a third-party installer when you choose Malama.
Malama installs panels and batteries made by Panasonic, LG, Tesla, and QCells.
Malama doesn’t have any noteworthy industry affiliations, and it isn’t accredited by the BBB yet.
Pacific Energy, LLC is a small local solar installer located in Kihei, Hawaii. It excels in its customer service, and it offers some of the most efficient and most durable equipment brands available.
Pacific Energy is on the expensive side, but the value provided is also above average. We’ll include specific cost information and more below.
Pacific Energy notes that its average system — including two batteries — averages around $30,000 in Hawaii. If you opt-out of the batteries and apply the federal tax credit, you’re still looking at an average system cost of around $15,000, which is above the state average of $12,000.
The warranty provided by Pacific Energy depends on the piece of equipment. Tesla Powerwalls come with the manufacturer’s 10-year warranty; the SolarEdge inverters and optimizers are warrantied for 25 years each; and the SunPower panels come with the industry-leading 25-year comprehensive warranty that covers equipment, installation, and power production.
Pacific Energy only handles solar panel and solar battery installation.
This company accepts cash purchases, solar loans, solar leases, and PPAs, so most customers should be able to find something that works with them and their budget.
Pacific Energy offers between $500 and $1,000 as a referral bonus to existing customers for referring business, depending on the size of the system your referred customer installs.
The in-house installation team at Pacific Energy tackles all of the installation work, including connection to the grid.
This is where Pacific Energy falls a bit short compared to the competition. It installs only SunPower panels, Tesla batteries, and SolarEdge inverters and optimizers.
The installers at Pacific Energy are NABCEP-certified, and the company is a certified SunPower dealer.
According to the SEIA, there are around 45 solar installation companies in Hawaii. While having options is great, it also means that your decision can be a difficult one. Hopefully, our reviews above have made your choice a little easier.
Our pick for the best solar company in Hawaii is Rising Sun Solar. This local solar provider has a reputation for outstanding customer service and maintains affordable pricing while bringing tons of value and high-quality equipment to the table. With that being said, we can comfortably recommend any of the installers above for a positive experience.
If you’re not sure that one of the companies above is right for you, you should be equipped to continue on to carry out your own research. We’ve evaluated solar companies in HI based on a number of criteria, and you should do the same if you plan to look for an off-list provider. In the following sections, we’ll include information and tips on what to look for when assessing solar providers in Hawaii on your own.
First, you’ll want to look at the cost of the solar electric system you plan to have installed with the provider you’re considering. System cost can vary wildly between companies because of different labor costs and the quality of equipment each vendor carries. It’s best to find the highest quality equipment that can fit your budget.
Solar solutions are expensive, and although the weather in Hawaii usually isn’t extreme enough to cause damage to panels, having warranties is always a good thing. Solar warranties can cover equipment damage and malfunction, guarantee a certain level of energy production, or protect you from faulty solar panel installation services. The best warranties cover all three, as well as roof leak protection. Most areas in Hawaii receive below the national average amount of rain, but a warranty covering the roof penetration is still great to have.
All solar companies will install solar panels, but if you want batteries as well, some companies won’t be able to serve you. The more add-on products and services you want — like EV chargers, energy audits, and system monitoring — the more companies you can rule out based on the services offered. Some companies also offer additional products, like solar hot water heaters and energy-efficient water systems to make your home more energy-efficient overall.
It’s worth noting that Hawaii is particularly susceptible to power outages because of the constant load on the outdated electric equipment. Most homeowners choose companies that can couple panels with solar batteries to provide power through frequent outages.
Most people choose to pay for their solar panels with cash or with a solar loan, but others who don’t need long-term savings and instead want low or no upfront costs might prefer a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). You can sometimes rule out companies and narrow your search based on what payment options are offered.
Some companies outsource the installation of their solar equipment to third-party installers, which can create issues with communication and customer service but tends to keep prices low. Others handle everything in-house, which costs more but usually leads to a more enjoyable and straightforward customer experience. You’ll have to choose which option suits your needs best.
Not all solar panels and solar equipment are made equal, and not all solar panel companies carry all the brands you might want. If you decide you want the most efficient solar panels to take advantage of the plentiful sunlight or the cheapest solar panels, for example, you might have to rule out all of the companies that don’t offer that option. Keep in mind that the brand you choose can affect your upfront costs, your long-term savings, and how much you’re able to offset your electric bills.
The solar industry in Hawaii is booming thanks to the high cost of energy, which makes solar panels a worthwhile investment for most residents in the Aloha State. Where there is high demand, there will naturally be companies popping up to take advantage. That’s why it’s crucial that you read through a company’s reviews and online ratings before agreeing to service. Check positive and negative reviews to get an idea of the service the company provides and how likely your needs are to be met.
For similar reasons, it’s good to look for industry affiliations and certifications to verify the validity of a company and gauge its commitment to the industry and renewable energy rather than just profit. Some things to look out for include accreditation by the SEIA, NABCEP-certified installers, and business accreditation by the BBB.
Finally, we recommend you consider the size of the company and determine if it’s a good fit for you. Larger companies will naturally have less appealing customer service, but they’re often more flexible with consultations and installation timelines, and they’re usually cheaper. Smaller companies provide better customer service in most cases, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.
In our opinion, Rising Sun Solar is the most reputable solar installer in Hawaii. This company has many years of local experience, it only handles best-in-class equipment, and it offers great warranty coverage, all at an affordable price. Best of all, it provides stellar customer service.
Yes! In fact, Hawaii has one of the best statewide solar tax credits in the country. The Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC) provides a tax credit to your personal income taxes of up to 35% of the total system cost, up to a maximum of $5,000. Most residents will qualify for nearly the entire $5,000, as the percentage is based on your total before the ITC is applied.
For the large majority of Hawaii homeowners, solar panels are an incredible investment and a lucrative one at that. Hawaii has the highest electricity rates in the entire country, averaging around 43.11 cents per kWh, which is nearly triple the national average of 14.92 cents per kilowatt-hour. The massive potential savings of installing solar, plus the fact that Hawaii experiences around 240 sunny days per year — compared to the national average of 205 — makes Hawaii one of the best places in the country to go solar.
Additionally, companies like the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) offer net metering, which credits you for any overproduction and helps you eliminate utility bills altogether.
This is a challenging question to answer because there are many factors — other than the installer you choose — that affect your total system price. However, if you’re just going by average all-in costs, then Rising Sun Solar is the most affordable. Keep in mind that Rising Sun is also our pick for the best solar company in Hawaii, which means the value-to-cost ratio is astounding.
The average solar panel system in Hawaii costs around $12,000, which assumes a typical per-watt price of $2.70 and an average system requirement of 6 kW. The $12,000 average is after the 26% federal solar tax credit is applied. If you also consider the state tax credit, you could be looking at upfront costs closer to $7,000.
Yes, given the high cost of energy and the abundance of sunlight, solar is very popular in Hawaii. The state ranks 16th overall for solar adoption, but the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) set a goal for the whole state to run entirely on renewable energy by 2045, which means the popularity of solar is expected to rise in the coming years.
Rising Sun Solar, SunPower, and RevoluSun Hawaii are our top three picks for the best solar companies in Hawaii, and all three of these installers service the island of Oahu, where Honolulu is located. As such, we confidently recommend any of these three companies if you’re looking to go solar in Honolulu.
The overall quality of service within the local solar industry in Hawaii is outstanding, so there are quite a few companies that maintain near 5-star reviews across the board. Rising Sun Solar and RevoluSun are both companies with stellar online reviews and ratings, as well as a track record for outstanding customer service.
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