The Cost of Solar Panels in Hawaii

Solar panels in Hawaii: What’s the real cost here?

This is a great question and the first thing people usually ask about solar energy. It’s a bit of a trick though because the true cost depends on a number of factors (which we’ll cover here). A few important things to keep in mind:

  • When we’re talking about the cost of solar panels in Hawaii, we’re generally talking about the whole solar installation, not just the panels themselves. The complete installation takes into account the equipment (panels, inverters, wiring) and the labor itself.
  • Remember that what you’re really looking for is not just the system cost, but the total ROI, or return on investment. Solar is an investment, and in places like Hawaii the cost of solar is low compared to the total you save on electricity over the life of the system. As we like to point out, solar is the only home investment that pays for itself.
  • A large amount of the cost can be offset by tax credits, rebates, and incentives. See our posts on the Hawaii solar tax credit and solar incentives.

With those points in mind, let’s talk a little more about pricing, and the sorts of numbers you might see.

Hawaii Solar Panel Cost Breakdown – 5kW Install

For an average size system of about 5 kW, the out of pocket cost of the solar array would be $25,000. Fortunately for us, that gets knocked down quite a bit by the following:

  • State solar tax credit: -$5000
  • 30% Federal solar tax credit: -$6000
  • Avg. annual electricity savings: -$2686

So at the end of the first year after installation, the true cost is only $11,314. Not bad!

Return on investment for a 5kW solar array

For this same array, expect to see about a 4-5 year payback time. That’s right, although you may be out a few grand initially the solar (investment) array will pay you back after just a few years. Note that there are always other financing options available but we’re assuming you want the biggest payback possible, which only comes by buying the system outright.

The best part is your total ROI on a 5kW solar panel array in the 20 years after the system pays for itself: $116,623.

That’s correct, in total savings on electricity you will actually earn a cool six figures over the next 20 years. This makes investing in solar panels a financial no-brainer if you plan on staying your home. (even if you don’t, the panels will raise the value of the property).

Expect to save over $200 a month in electricity costs. We don’t need to remind you how expensive electricity is in the state of HI!

How to estimate the cost of solar panels for your home?

The best way to see the true cost breakdown for your property is to get a solar quote from a trusted solar installer. Feel free to browse our list of solar companies in Hawaii.

There are a few final things to keep in mind before running through quote software: generally a solar installer will take a look at your roof and evaluate things like shading and proper orientation of the panels. They’ll also size the system according to your needs, and this is the most important factor in the cost of the system: the number of solar panels they end up putting on your roof.

So just remember that there are a number of variables that play into the cost of the system, but in the end you’re looking at whopping financial savings by going solar.