As lawmakers look to balance the state’s books, many homeowners are trying to balance their own finances.

With electric bills going up due to people staying home and working from home, it appears more are looking toward other alternatives. According to HECO, applications for solar power in Hawaii are up 40% in 2020.

“I think in part because everybody’s staying home,” Revolusun COO Colin Yost said.

“We’re all kind of looking around our houses thinking what can we do better, what can be improved about the house I’m living in?”

According to the federal government, in 2019 Hawaii had the highest electric cost in the nation at about $0.29 per kilowatt-hour.

“A typical household on Oahu, it’s around $250 to $300 dollars a month in electric bill if you don’t have solar, so you can virtually eliminate that,” Yost said.

“You can get it down to the basic charge of about $27 a month with the utility charges to stay connected to the grid.”

If you’re installing a new system, the state offers a 35% tax credit up to $5,000. The federal government also has a 26% tax credit that drops down to 22% in 2021.

“I highly recommend folks contact a solar provider before the end of August,” Yost said.

“The sooner the better really to make sure you can get on the schedule and get through the permitting and go through the approval process.”