5 Tips For Getting Solar PV In Hawaii

Navigating the Pros and Cons of Solar PV Systems: A Comprehensive Guide

As concerns about energy costs and environmental impact continue to grow, more and more homeowners in Hawaii are considering solar photovoltaic (PV) systems as a sustainable solution. However, the decision to go solar is not a straightforward one, and it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making an investment. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the world of solar PV systems, exploring the advantages and potential drawbacks of both leasing and owning systems.

The Drawbacks of Leasing

While leasing may seem more affordable initially due to the lack of upfront costs, it comes with several potential drawbacks:

1. No Incentives or Rebates: When leasing solar panels, you typically do not qualify for the various tax credits and rebates available. These incentives are typically claimed by the system's owner – the solar company.

2. Limited Flexibility: Leasing contracts often come with limitations, such as restrictions on upgrading or modifying the system, as well as potential early termination fees.

3. Complications When Selling: If you decide to sell your home before the lease term ends, the new homeowner must agree to take over the lease. This can lead to complications or even jeopardize the entire sale process.

4. Reduced Long-Term Savings: While leasing may seem cheaper initially, owning your PV system outright is often more cost-effective in the long run. Once you've recouped the initial investment, the electricity generated is essentially free.

5. No Increased Property Value: Leased solar panels do not contribute to an increase in your home's value since the leasing company retains ownership of the system.

The Benefits of Owning

On the other hand, owning your solar PV system comes with several advantages:

1. Tax Credits and Rebates: As the owner, you can take advantage of the various federal, state, and local tax credits and rebates available, lowering your overall investment costs.

2. Increased Home Value: Purchased solar panels are considered a legitimate upgrade to your home and can directly contribute to an increase in its appraised value, typically ranging from $750 to $1,000 per panel, depending on factors like age and total number of panels.

3. Battery Backup and Self-Sustainability: Owning your system gives you the freedom to control your electricity supply, including the option to install battery backups for emergency power outages or to store excess energy generated during the day for use at night when electricity rates are typically higher.

4. Net Metering: In some areas, if your system generates more electricity than your household consumes, you may be able to sell the excess back to the utility company through a process called net metering, potentially earning a profit.

Essential Considerations for Solar PV System Installation

Whether you choose to lease or own, there are several crucial factors to consider before proceeding with a solar PV system installation:

1. Permit Closure and Documentation: Ensure that all necessary permits are properly closed and that you have proof of this. Unclosed permits can cause delays and complications, especially when selling your home.

2. Warranties: Inquire about the various warranties included, such as performance, product, inverter, and workmanship warranties. These warranties can vary in length and availability, affecting the overall cost and protection of your investment.

3. Paperwork and Incentive Management: Clarify whether the provider will handle the necessary paperwork for permits and incentive applications, or if this responsibility falls on you.

4. Panel Location: Confirm that the panels are installed in the optimal location to maximize sunlight exposure and minimize potential issues like roof leaks.

5. Total Cost Analysis: Carefully consider the total cost of installing, maintaining, cleaning, and potentially replacing components like inverters over the system's lifespan. This will help you determine if the investment is truly cost-effective for your household.

6. Money-Saving Potential: Based on the total cost analysis, calculate the potential savings and determine if the investment in a solar PV system will genuinely save you money in the long run.


Investing in a solar PV system can be a wise decision for homeowners seeking to reduce their environmental impact and electricity costs. However, it's crucial to thoroughly evaluate your options, weigh the pros and cons of leasing versus owning, and carefully consider all the factors involved in the installation and maintenance of the system.

By doing your due diligence, researching reputable providers, and understanding the terms and conditions, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and environmental values. Remember, the key to a successful solar PV system investment lies in being an informed and proactive consumer.

If you have any specific questions or need recommendations for reliable solar providers in your area, feel free to reach out to us. We're here to help you navigate this journey and ensure you make the best decision for your home and family.

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