Price of solar to rise as sun begins to set on federal tax credit

Local News

The price of Hawaii’s already record-high utilities could be going up.

Solar power is one of the state’s best ways to mitigate the steep price of electricity, which hovers around 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, but incentives from the government are dwindling, and are soon coming to an end.

Honolulu leads the nation in installed solar capacity per capita. Now there’s only a month remaining on a 30% federal tax credit for homeowners looking to purchase solar with the credit dropping to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, before expiring entirely in 2022.

Kumukit managing partner Chris DeBone knew the sun was setting on solar incentives.

“It’s inevitable. It was an incentive to spark the industry. It’s been going on for quite a while. Now that energy prices are going so high I wish that there was more time.” DeBone said.

Hawaii is already the most expensive state in the nation when it comes to utilities with residents paying an average of $587.79 per month.

If the legislation does not move the date of 2022 back for the solar tax credit, the state, which leads the nation in installed solar capacity per capita would take another hit.

“As efficiency and prices of our products go down we see this still as a long haul game.” DeBone said.

“Especially in Hawaii with the cost of electricity. It’s going to always pencil out in Hawaii for the cost of electricity to all of these devices.”

With the federal credit coming to an end, DeBone recommends getting started on solar as soon as possible if you’re interested.

“If you’re serious about thinking of getting a solar system or just wanting to know how it could help you on your home or business, you should really start looking at it now.”

Also, don’t be dismayed by losing 4% this year. The state of Hawaii still has a 35 percent tax credit that is good for up to $5,000.

“It’s still over 50% of the system is incentivized for going solar and solar plus batteries so it’s just with high electric rates and abundant sunshine it’s still that no-brainer for the next couple of years in Hawaii, so just act.”

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