Questions to Ask a Contractor
For a list of questions you might ask solar contractors, review our Guide to Going Solar. Click here >
Connecting to the Utility Grid
Hawaiian Electric's goal is to help get as much customer-sited generation, especially renewable energy, as possible while maintaining reliable service to all customers. Reliable service may be impacted if a circuit has too much Distributed Generation, that includes grid-tied PV, interconnected without proper protection equipment.
- Whether you simply reduce the amount of power you purchase from the utility or export excess power to the grid, the Public Utilities Commission requires Hawaii households and businesses that install a grid-connected PV system to submit to Hawaiian Electric a Customer Self-Supply or Grid-Supply, Feed-In Tariff (FIT) or Standard Interconnection Agreement.
- You and your contractor will need to complete the interconnection application (agreement). Make sure the contractor submits the completed paperwork required to apply for Customer Self-Supply or Grid-Supply, Standard Interconnection or Feed-In-Tariff, or to obtain the rebate for solar water heaters and provides you with a copy. Submitting paperwork in a timely manner is important to process your application in a timely manner.
- Make sure the contractor obtains all applicable permits from the City and County of Honolulu. Solar water heating and PV systems must be inspected and approved (closed permit application) by county building inspectors to ensure that all work complies with applicable building and electrical codes and that the system is safe for operation. On Oahu, you can review the status of your permit by accessing the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting website.
- Verify that a lockable utility disconnect is labeled and installed within close proximity of the meter or at the location approved by the utility.
- Customer Self-Supply (CSS) is intended only for solar PV installations that are designed to not export any electricity to the grid. Customers are not compensated for any export of energy.
- Customer Grid-Supply (CGS) customers receive a PUC-approved credit (listed in the table below) for electricity sent to the grid and are billed at the retail rate for electricity they use from the grid.
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved these rooftop PV programs to support the continued growth of rooftop PV and ensure safe, reliable service and fair treatment for all customers. The decision is the result of the PUC's effort to develop long-term technical and policy solutions that will support the continued growth of rooftop PV in Hawaii.
These programs provide customers with options to install both traditional rooftop PV systems and systems equipped with new emerging technologies, such as battery storage systems.
The Feed-In Tariff program offers pre-established rates and standardized contract terms to provide an easy way for individuals, small businesses, government entities, or others to sell renewable energy to their utility.
The Standard Interconnection Agreement program is for renewable and non-renewable systems. This agreement allows you to reduce the amount of energy you require from the utility by energy produced from your system. Any surplus exported to the grid will not be "stored" or credited on your bill. For details, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.