When you want to use Solar energy for your home or business, you need to go with the best company. To find out what Hawaii’s 5 top solar contractors have been up to, we combed through their websites and found out some amazing things about most of them.
Most do a good job of informing their customers about their services and some have done a great job of telling their customers about their company. Others are less than willing to give up the info.
In this review article, we review and compare 5 Solar Companies in Hawaii: RISING SUN SOLAR, ALTERNATE ENERGY Hawaii, AMERICAN ELECTRIC, AFFORDABLE SOLAR CONTRACTING, and PACIFIC ENERGY, LLC. to find out which is the best one. Let’s go!
|COMPANY NAME||RISING SUN SOLAR||ALTERNATE ENERGY||AMERICAN ELECTRIC||AFFORDABLE SOLAR CONTRACTING||PACIFIC ENERGY, LLC.|
|SOLUTIONS||Photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal systems (ST)||Photovoltaic|
PV + Storage Solutions
PV + Storage Solutions
|Photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal systems (ST)||Photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal systems (ST)|
|INSTALLATION||Single Axis and Combo Axis||Single Axis and Combo Axis||Single Axis and Combo Axis||Single Axis and Combo Axis||Single Axis and Combo Axis|
|COVERAGE||Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and the Big Island||Oahu, Waikoloa Village, Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Makawao, Kona, Honokaa, Kealakekua, Kahului, Lanikai, Kamehameha Schools, Lānai and Lana’i||Honolulu? Oahu?||Statewide||Large Scale Only and Military Bases|
|PRICING / FINANCING||Price Match, Rebates, and Financing||Federal, State, and Local Incentives|
|Unknown||Tax Credits, Federal and State Incentives||Tax Credits|
|WARRANTY||5 Years||10 Years||Unknown||25 Years||Unknown|
RISING SUN SOLAR has a wide range of solar power systems, which are ideal for commercial and residential use. The company offers a variety of products, which include photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal systems (ST).
It is also possible to combine the two systems, which can be used to generate extra heat for the winter or create electricity during the summer months.
The company not only specializes in the installation of solar power systems but also in the research and development of new technology. The company says that installing solar systems is the easiest way to generate extra electricity.
RISING SUN SOLAR offers two main installation methods:
- The first one is the most common and involves a single-axis tracking system. This allows users to position the solar panels to any angle. This setup allows a perfect angle to the sun throughout the day, which is ideal for optimum solar energy production.
- The second type of installation is a combination of single-axis and multi-axis tracking systems. This gives greater flexibility and more space to the user.
RISING SUN SOLAR has comprehensive coverage of the island of Oahu. The company installs solar power systems in various areas, including residential and commercial buildings, private homes, governmental facilities, religious institutions, schools, factories, and even casinos.
PRICING AND FINANCING
The company offers a competitive, fixed-rate financing plan and a long-term maintenance agreement. Customers can choose the solar PV and ST systems according to their needs.
Each of the systems comes with different options, specifications, and benefits. Photovoltaics (PV) There are three types of photovoltaics: fixed, series and parabolic. PV systems require an investment of $4,000 to $6,500 per sq. ft. at the least.
RISING SUN SOLAR offers a 5-year warranty on solar power systems.
|Installations in over 5000 properties||May take a while to get replacement parts|
|Excellent reputation||Need to offer longer warranty|
|Customers can choose what type of solar they want|
RISING SUN SOLAR is in the top 5 in this list for a reason. They’ve done some awesome work for their customers! Aloha.
ALTERNATE ENERGY Hawaii specializes in solar and offers services in the following fields:
- Landscaping – including solar aerating & shade installations.
- Heating and cooling – including solar vents, solar monitors, solar heat pumps, solar+gas systems, solar room air conditioners, solar extractors, and solar water heaters.
There are several ways to bring solar energy into a home. One way is to integrate renewable energy devices to reduce or even eliminate your carbon footprint and provide you with a cleaner, more reliable source of energy. ALTERNATE ENERGY Hawaii offers additional ways to integrate solar energy into a home:
- Rooftop solar panels
- Solar PV inverters
Foo noted that their primary selling point is that they guarantee they will install panels in compliance with state and local laws and codes. Since this is the solar market, it’s common to be uncertain about whether a particular installer will follow local building codes, so you want to make sure you find a company that will.
They also perform regular inspections for compliance and have a special shingle they will place on top of the building to show compliance. Of course, you’ll also want to consider the best solar panels available, and the inverter that goes with them.
With the high price of utility power, this is an especially important consideration for residential installations, but this is a technology that evolves quickly.
The company covers the island of Oahu, Waikoloa Village, Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Makawao, Kona, Honokaa, Kealakekua, Kahului, Lanikai, Kamehameha Schools, Lānai and Lana’i.
We spoke with them and they said they have the manpower to install over 500 solar systems a year.
PRICING AND FINANCING
The installation process is easy and straightforward, including financing. After the solar panels have been installed, customers can purchase the panels at a fraction of their original price.
Some of their partners include Solar Hawaii, Natural Solar, Episeyo, Connect, All American Solar, Make Solar, and more. They have worked with local Hawaiian communities to install renewable energy solutions for the community.
The company is capable of offering a variety of financing options, including a cost-plus loan and a cost-less loan. They have also partnered with Key Bank to offer customers the lowest rate available in Hawaii.
Alternate Energy Hawaii can build systems for any capacity requested, as long as their system is approved and in compliance with the state of Hawaii.
A new roof can be an expensive undertaking, so if you are interested in going the solar route, getting a warranty is a must. The company offers a standard 10-year warranty.
Having a warranty will give you a sense of comfort that if something does go wrong with the installation, the company will provide a solution and you will not have to spend extra cash for repairs.
|Vast Financial Options||The company doesn’t seem to respond to negative reviews|
|Good reputation||Lots of complaints about workmanship|
|Large coverage area||Customers service could be more responsive to concerns|
Solar panels are rated by their watts per panel (Wp) rating. Generally, the higher the Wp rating, the more efficient the panels are. The panels will provide the most energy in the summer months. Solar panels also don’t require constant maintenance.
AMERICAN ELECTRIC Is one of the largest utility companies on the planet. The Company’s Solar Panel Technology can be Independent of the grid.
Because panels are not connected to a central system, they are 100% independent of utility power. As a result, the company does not lose revenue by providing solar energy. The company is able to help customers save money on electric bills.
Solar panels are taken off the roof and installed on a tracking system. The tracking system moves up and down as the sun moves across the sky. This ensures that the panels always have optimal sunlight.
PRICING AND FINANCING
American Electric Power The company provides pre-approved financing plans to customers who apply to and have a clean energy plan approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Customers will also have their solar panels installed at no up-front cost to them; only monthly payments.
Currently, the company mentions full service in Honolulu and Oahu, but their web pages still need to be updated. We reached out to the company, but have not heard anything as of the writing of this article. We also know that they handle residential areas and perform installs on many large buildings and military bases.
Again, until the company updates its information, there is nothing for us to add. In terms of solar, the company supports limited land use development for solar projects and is a partner of Solar City.
|In business for 75 years||No pricing info on their website|
|Good customer ratings||No warranty info listed|
|Panels are 100% independent of utility power|
Affordable Solar Contracting in Hawaii is a locally owned company, established in 2011, run by three professionals; Scott Hammond, Rick Segall, and Lisa Casey.
This is their business slogan: Affordable Solar Contracting Hawaii’s best solar contractors. If you live in Hawaii and have a need for solar energy, this company should be on your shortlist.
The fact that they are local makes them even more attractive. The fact that they are competitive is impressive in the current solar energy market. Affordability is another plus.
In 2013, they proudly set a new record for Hawaii solar energy use. Their impressive response to the dramatic drop in the price of solar panels shows the company has already had an impact on this issue.
AFFORDABLE SOLAR CONTRACTING is one of the top solar contractors in Hawaii. They also offer a variety of other services and get many customers to hire them to build an energy solution for their homes.
They make it easy to do it yourself (DIY) or to choose from their many qualified vetted vendors.
They also try to give you the best pricing on their solar solutions (A-TRAN Solar).
You’ll fill out some info on their website and the company will be happy to get with you about the project and give you all the answers you need. The most important aspect of the installation process is knowing exactly how much solar you’ll get for your money.
This is what the company does well. For the average residential customer (with no load) in Hawaii, the company promises savings on the annual electricity bill for those folks.
They have a wide coverage for residential, commercial, and non-profit clients. But it’s not as simple as ‘most of their customers are on Oahu’. Some of their biggest customers are in the West and the North Islands of the Big Island, as well as on Kauai.
Turnkey, The company does a good job at using a turnkey system that ensures no problems on the client’s side. Basically, their installation team will come on a certain day, drop off the equipment and perform the installation.
No surprises. The customer doesn’t need to do anything other than confirm the appointment.
PRICING AND FINANCING
Their initial pricing is only $1275 for 8 solar panels, and they have amazing 6-month financing to get started.
The best part is that they offer the installation in 3 separate phases, meaning you only have to pay for one month of the solar system and all of the other components will come on as part of the monthly payment.
They also offer financing in the amount of 20 years.
The company offers a whopping 25-year warranty on its solar panels.
|Prices are on the form when you fill out the information about what you want||Customer service can be hit or miss|
|Very good reputation||Can be slow to respond to requests after the project is completed|
|25-year warranty on panels|
Pacific Energy is an environmental and renewable energy provider that combines solar energy with a variety of other forms of renewable energy. Pacific Energy focuses on providing a renewable energy alternative to the U.S. utility energy market.
Pacific Energy works in several locations and on several different types of projects. Some of Pacific Energy’s facilities are also home to a national tax credit rebate program.
The business’s website gives very little useful information.
They advertise that they can generate wind energy, solar energy, and natural gas from renewable sources. Pacific Energy can provide three different types of solar panels to serve residential, commercial, and agricultural customers.
Customers can choose from standard solar panels, thin-film solar panels and hot-dip galvanized solar panels. Here is an excerpt from their website: “Not only does Pacific Energy offer residential and commercial customers our own solar power business, but we also offer our customers’ businesses a National Tax Credit Rebate (NTCR) Rebate.
The NTCR Rebate will reimburse customers up to 50 percent of the cost of installing a solar PV system.
Pacific Energy provides the following types of installations for residential and commercial clients:
- Solar Photovoltaic Project Components
- Commercial Buildings
- Energy via Storage Solarcity in Hawaii
The majority of Pacific Energy’s facilities are in Hawaii. Pacific Energy is even currently installing solar panels on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
This will give residents access to solar energy on their islands.
PRICING AND FINANCING
Pacific Energy considers itself a utility energy vendor. They are subject to strict rules that apply to what can be sold as “utility energy” or “energy storage”.
In Hawaii, they provide both utility energy and renewable energy. This means that they are subject to state and local government rules for the allocation of renewable energy. Pacific Energy’s financing plan was quite unique.
There isn’t much information about warranties on the company website. Email requests haven’t been returned at the time of this completed article. Since this is a large-scale contractor they normally only deal with large projects and military bases.
|Can build projects to scale||No real information on their website|
|The online sales page allows you to request a quote without the long wait time||They seem to only handle large scale projects|
And there you have it, a review of the best solar companies in Hawaii. Either way, you decide to go, the important thing is the potential savings you’ll be getting by switching to solar power. In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with RISING SUN SOLAR as they are crowned champions. They have everything you’ll ever need in one place to get started with solar.