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Hawaii PUC Announces Changes to Rooftop Solar

Posted on November 20, 2015

PV systems, despite recent PUC changes, are still a great return on investment. Don't wait until it's too late!

The Hawaii public utilities commission announced two new rooftop PV programs that affect Hawaii residents and businesses. The programs, which will replace the NEM program, include:

  • Grid Supply Program: Similar to the NEM program, the grid supply program will allow rooftop PV customers to send extra energy to the grid in return for energy credits on their monthly electric bills. The rate of return on extra electricity is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour on Oahu and 17 cents per kilowatt-hour on Maui. New residential PV customers will pay a minimum monthly bill of $25. This new program reduces credits to homeowners and increases the minimum monthly payment as compared to the NEM program. This program is limited to 25 megawatts (MW) of subscribers (estimated end date: 8-10 months). Once full, this program will close. Don't wait, act now!

  • Self Supply Program: The self supply program allows rooftop PV customers with energy storage, such as the Home Energy Storage Site (HESS), to capture excess solar power for their home and business. Excess energy does not need to be exported to the grid.

Access the summary and full version of the decision and order below:

Current Net Energy Metering (NEM) customers and those who filed applications for the program before October 13, 2015, are unaffected by these changes. However, current NEM customers who want to modify their PV systems will be required to adopt the Grid Supply or Self Supply program.

The PUC also announced a new time of use (TOU) tariff that will allow customers to save money by shifting their energy demand to the middle of the day, taking advantage of lower-cost solar energy. Currently, all residential PV customers can opt-in to this program. Additionally, the interconnection process for customers who connect to the grid will be streamlined through the adoption of new technical standards.

PV systems still have a great return on investment. Compared to the previous Net Metering program, a new grid-supply system can have a ROI of about 12%.

Utility Program Net Metering (NEM) Grid Supply
Number of Modules 10 16
Simple Payback 3.2 years 5.9 years
Return on Investment (ROI) 19% 12%
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