Residents wanting to ‘go green’ left in limbo

August 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips


Hawaii homeowners are trying to go green by going solar and many have been on a waiting list for months.

It’s become a problem on almost all of the islands. Hawaiian Electric Company’s message to those waiting?  Be patient.

Alan Thompson lives in this two-story house in Waianae. One can imagine why he wants to go solar.

“To save on my utility bills because right now I’m paying anywhere between $850 and $900 a month, just for electricity alone,” Thompson said.

It’s been four months since he signed all the necessary paperwork. Still, not a PV panel in sight.

“My construction is at a standstill until HECO gives the approval,” Thompson said.

The number of Hawaii residents who are taking advantage of the sun’s energy doubles every year, and  HECO is trying to keep up.

Some areas already have a high percentage of solar customers. HECO says adding more people to those areas requires additional studies or upgrades to ensure it won’t cause a problem to the system.

“My neighbors don’t have solar on their roof, of course I don’t have solar, in fact nobody on my block has solar at this point,” Thompson said.

Still, Waianae is one of the areas on the island that’s saturated with solar customers.

“What do you tell Hawaii residents who want to support the state’s efforts to go green, yet they’re being told to wait to do that?” KHON2 asked Pamela Joe from RevoluSun.

“As a company, we’re still committed to the acceleration of the adoption of this technology, so we tell customers because the process is becoming increasingly complex, that they should really get the process going now,” Joe said.

In a statement, HECO spokesperson Peter Rosegg said,” Our utilities are continuing to work with customers who want to add solar while ensuring we maintain safe and reliable service for everyone.”

As for Thompson, Rosegg said HECO will get to him soon.

According to HECO, one can increase your chances of gaining approval if you don’t apply for a large system.

Here are three tips from HECO on how to do that: make your home as energy-efficient as possible; get a solar water heating system; and get at least three bids from a reputable contractor.

HECO say one of the holdups is customers who don’t fill out the application correctly. A reputable company will make sure everything is done properly.

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