Our company was founded by solar professionals who shared a common mission:

“ To Make Solar Simple and Accessible for Everyone. ”

Independent Energy’s Founder: James Rudolph began his solar career as a master electrician in 2008. From the beginning: creating a family business was the dream. This dream came to fruition when he joined forces with his son Desta Rudolph in a partnership that combines extensive industry experience with cutting-edge technology and tools. Both Rudolph’s came into Independent Energy with industry experience which is leaned on when it comes to creating the highest quality installation and service for our customers.
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Deciding to go solar is one of the best decisions a person can make. There are many reasons for this, and it isn’t just our opinion. By going solar, you access financial benefits, government and utility incentives, environmental benefits, and reliability and security for your home/business. We have seen solar done wrong in the past, so we work with our customers every step of the way, from the initial consultation to the final installation and beyond, to ensure the best service and utilization of our systems. We take the time to educate our customers on their systems and work with them to understand their unique needs and preferences. We design custom solar energy + battery storage systems that meet our customers’ needs

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Our Mission

Independent Energy was founded upon a core belief that customers wanting to go solar needed a more transparent, fair, and, most importantly, a simpler way to go solar. We were tired of seeing solar done wrong: installations done by unqualified people, predatory sales tactics that took advantage of our communities' trust, and companies that refused to provide after-installation support. These examples drive us to be a company that to put it simply: “does the right thing”
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Through a quick and data-driven process and highly qualified staff, we are able to provide an unmatched experience, the Independent Difference. We stand out amongst other solar companies by having a customer-first sales process and pride ourselves in prioritizing what is best for the customer.

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Independent Energy Year-in-Review

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Independent Energy a Purpose Driven Company

Independent Energy joins many other companies in the “Pledge 1%” movement. We pledge to donate 1% of our profit to providing sustainable energy to those who need it most. Recent donations and community events include a $50k donation to the Ohana Hope Village on Maui to provide solar equipment and clean power for families displaced by the devastating Maui wildfires. In addition, Independent Energy has a policy of sponsoring all employees who wish to continue their education through the electrical trade school, which helps to strengthen the workforce in our islands. We are also active in a variety of community events and beach cleanups.

Our Team Of Experts


James Rudolph


Desta Rudolph

Desta Rudolph


Sean Dagan

Project Manager

Justin Banaga

Servicing Manager

Adam Guzman

Operations Manager

Jenesis Ellis

Media Director

Our Team Of Experts

What Makes Us Different?

Our local staff has over 90+ years of solar experience and expertise to guarantee top-notch design and installation services. We specialize in Solar and Energy Storage Systems, Maintenance of existing systems, Main Panel Upgrades, Smart Home Upgrades, and EV Charging Stations. You can trust our certified team members to ensure your solar journey is nothing short of excellent and the best in the industry. Our process is tailored to educate the customer and ensure the best possible savings.

Solar Empowerment

We’re dedicated to making solar simple for you, and our goal is to have our customers become solar experts by the end of their buying journey. We break down the complexities, ensuring you make informed decisions and understand the capabilities of your system. We have found an educated customer to be a happy one. Plus, our commitment to safety shines through our secure installation process and the use of top-quality products in your home. Our emphasis on education is to ensure the best savings and use of your system. 

Return on Investment

We work with our customers to ensure that the options we offer are tailored to their own needs. We provide multiple options, and we will work together to decide on the best option for your needs.  We use state-of-the-art software to provide optimized and well-designed systems to achieve the fastest return on investment.

Locally Owned

Independent Energy is a locally owned and operated business. This means that when customers go solar with us, not only do they receive the best value, but they also make a conscious decision to support a team of local staff.




The #1 Solar Company In Hawaii – Independent Energy

Looking for a solar company in Hawaii? Don’t waste your time, energy, or investment with anything but the best—Independent Energy. We offer premium solar panel installation in Hawaii for both homes and commercial buildings. We have over 100+ Five Star testimonials from our past clients to back up this claim. We genuinely believe that with our attention to detail and professionalism our customers get the best experience in the industry. 

Let your money work for you, as you’ll save big on your energy bill each and every month while also raising the value of your home or commercial building!

Plus, investing in Hawaii solar panels is something you can feel good about – as you help society progress towards a greener, more eco-friendly energy source. By choosing a local company, you also make a conscious choice to strengthen our local workforce and economy. 

You have plenty of choices when looking for companies offering solar panels in Hawaii. But, when you’re looking for a local solar company that actually puts you first and helps you get the most bang for your buck, only one is worth working with – Independent Energy.

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James Rudolph is a well-known and respected solar professional. He began his career in solar in 2008. Since then he has quickly risen through the ranks and has acquired many certifications, awards, and licenses. To name a few: Business Owner, Electrical Contractor, Electrical Supervisor, Journeyman Electrician, NABCEP certified solar installer, and various others.

Grew the business from 1 employee in 2020 to currently 16 employees. James is committed to educating Hawaii’s workforce. At Independent Energy he implemented a policy that ensures that all employees looking to become journeymen electricians will have their education covered by the company. Independent Energy currently provides scholarships to 5 young professionals in Hawaii looking to advance in their trade.

  • Received PBN’s best place to work for 2023.
  • Elected as HSEA board member this year, first ballot.

James provides leadership through the community by advocating and advancing the solar industry as a board member for HSEA. Hawaii Solar Energy Association. He has been boots on the ground for various demonstrations and events. He also volunteers his time to train and educate the future generations. For many years James also worked at HCC (Honolulu Community College) along with ABC Hawaii to educate 5th-year electrical apprentices and was a professor at the school.

  • Dual Status Hawaii C-13 Electrical Contractor #36080 & #37984 -2018 –
  • Hawaii ES (Electrical Supervisor) License # 10816 -2012
  • North Carolina Electrical Contractors License- 2012
  • NABCEP PV Installer Certification- # 091209-155 – 2009
  • Journeyman Electrician License- #134381 California – 2008
  • Electrical Contractor License –#6111757 Michigan – 2006
  • Master Electrician License – # 6214345 Michigan – 2005
  • Journeyman Electrician License – #6328006 Michigan – 2003
  • All licenses are current and up to date.

James helped grow the business from scratch to over 20 employees. He is committed to educating Hawaii’s workforce. At Independent Energy, he implemented a policy that ensures that all employees looking to become journeymen electricians will have their education covered by the company. Independent Energy provides scholarships to 6 tradesmen in Hawaii who are advancing their careers through the trades. 

  • Pacific Business Magazine “Best Places to Work” 2023
  • Solar Power World “Top Solar Contractors” 2023
  • Hawaii Business Magazine “Best Places to Work” 2024
  • Hawaii Solar Energy Association – Board Member

Desta Rudolph is an accomplished Solar Professional and entrepreneur. He graduated from Mililani Highschool in 2016 and recently completed his studies at the University of Hawaii – West Oahu in 2023. In addition to his professional pursuits, Desta finds solace in activities such as spearfishing, surfing, and hiking during his leisure time.

At the young age of 19, Desta embarked on his full-time solar career while simultaneously managing his studies. After three years of valuable experience in the Solar Industry, he took a bold step and established his own venture, Independent Energy Systems, LLC. Since its inception, Independent Energy has rapidly gained a reputation as one of the most trusted and esteemed solar companies in the state. The company prides itself on exceptional customer service, backed by glowing customer testimonials. Having learned from his industry experience, Desta understands the importance of providing customers with a transparent and educational process, reflected in Independent Energy’s motto: “Solar Made Simple.” From the initial meeting to the activation of the solar system, the company strives to ensure a seamless and informative experience for its clients.

Beyond his entrepreneurial endeavors, Desta passionately advocates for renewable energy and the decarbonization of Hawaii. He actively participates in the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA), an organization dedicated to advancing the solar industry and aiding Hawaii in achieving its 100% Renewable Energy Goals by 2045. Through policy advocacy and lobbying efforts with local government and public utility commissions, Desta and the HSEA strive to make a meaningful impact. Additionally, he holds memberships in esteemed associations such as the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), GRID Alternatives, and serves as an Island Innovation Ambassador, further demonstrating his commitment to a sustainable future.

  • “Innovators Under 25” Pacific Business Magazine c/o 2023
  • NABCEP PV Associate #PVA-101323-015561
  • Tesla Certified Installer
  • Enphase Certified Installer
  • PBN “Best Places to Work” 2023
  • Solar Power World “Top Solar Contractors” 2023
  • Hawaii Business Magazine “Best Places to Work” 2024

“Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Sean Dagan is a highly qualified and dedicated Project Manager at Independent Energy Hawaii, where he brings his expertise and enthusiasm to every aspect of his role. With a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of Hawaii at Manoa, Sean possesses a strong analytical background that allows him to effectively coordinate and oversee solar projects with meticulous attention to detail. At 24 years old, his passion for client care and exceptional communication skills set him apart in his field. Sean takes immense pride in being part of a company that values renewable energy and actively contributes to the betterment of the community. He finds great fulfillment in his role, where he enjoys leveraging his skills to ensure the successful implementation of sustainable energy solutions. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Sean finds joy in playing basketball, lifting weights, and serving at his local church, showcasing his commitment to personal growth and community engagement. His passion, qualifications, and dedication make Sean an invaluable asset as a Project Manager at Independent Energy Hawaii.


  • Enphase IQ Battery 5P Certified Installer
  • IronRidge: Installing Pitched Roof-Comp Shingle Course”

“Justin Banaga is an accomplished servicing manager at Independent Energy Hawaii, a leading solar company based in Honolulu. Born and raised in Hawaii, Justin’s passion for renewable energy and sustainability led him to pursue a career in the solar industry. With a BBA in Management from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Justin’s educational background perfectly complements his role as a servicing manager, where he oversees the efficient operation and maintenance of solar energy systems.

Justin’s dedication to his work is matched only by his enthusiasm for his hobbies. When he’s not busy optimizing solar systems, he can often be found on the tennis court, honing his skills and enjoying friendly competition. Justin’s love for the outdoors extends beyond the tennis court, as he also finds solace in biking, exploring the scenic beauty of Hawaii’s landscapes. Additionally, he has a passion for thrifting, seeking out hidden gems in secondhand stores and contributing to sustainable fashion practices.

With his expertise in renewable energy and commitment to personal growth, Justin Banaga continues to make a significant impact at Independent Energy Hawaii. Through his management skills and dedication to sustainability, he is helping to shape a greener future for Hawaii and beyond.


  • Generac Certified Installer
  • Enphase IQ Battery 5P Certified Installer
  • Enphase Storage Installation Certification Training
  • Heatspring Introduction to Solar PV Design, Installation and Code”

Adam is currently an Operations Manager at Independent Energy, overseeing the solar team and providing excellent service to customers with his four years of experience within the solar industry. His passion for helping others and his dedication to the renewable energy sector have allowed him to grow into this role. Outside of work, Adam enjoys weightlifting, cooking, and traveling.

Every day, Adam comes to work driven by the opportunity to collaborate with his dedicated team and provide the best customer experience. He believes that a positive work environment is essential for achieving this goal. Adam’s dream is to ensure that every customer feels welcomed, appreciated, and part of the Independent Energy Ohana, fostering a sense of belonging and trust.

With his dedication, leadership skills, and passion for helping others, Adam has played a pivotal role in Independent Energy’s success. His commitment to providing outstanding service and genuine care for customers make him an invaluable asset to the company. Adam’s vision of a brighter, more sustainable future motivates him to go above and beyond, making a positive impact on both the environment and the lives of Independent Energy’s customers.

Jenesis Makanani, is the Director of Marketing at Independent Energy. Her journey began in Hawai’i as a Media and Video creator, where she developed a passion for storytelling and aiding local companies in gaining recognition. Over the years, Jenesis has been instrumental in supporting multiple local businesses, aligning her mission with Independent Energy’s vision for a cleaner energy future.

As the Director of Marketing, Jenesis is dedicated to applying her skills in media creation to contribute to a happier and healthier Hawai’i. Her work directly supports Independent Energy’s mission by ensuring a truthful customer journey and amplifying the message of clean energy solutions throughout the community. With her expertise and commitment, Jenesis continues to play a role in advancing the goals of Independent Energy and promoting sustainability in the local community.

Anuhea is a Project Developer here at Independent Energy. She has received her Bachelors Degree in Public Health at Northern Arizona University. Public health and solar energy are related in several ways, primarily in the context of mitigating the health impacts of environmental factors, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting sustainable and clean energy sources.

In a public health perspective, solar energy can provide energy access to underserved and remote communities that may not have access to reliable electricity. By expanding solar energy access, we can improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities.


  • Enphase Storage Sales
  • Residential Powerwall Certified Installer
  • IronRidge’s Installation on Pitched Roof – Comp Shingle
  • Solar PV Design, Installation and Code


Status: The program is capped at 50 megawatts (MW), as of right now we are at 6.2 MW.

  • Currently customers who are accepted into the program will receive $850 per kilowatt (kW).
  • After the first 15 MW is filled, the next 15 MW of committed capacity will receive $750 per kW.
  • After the next 15 MW is used the last 20 MW of committed capacity will receive $500 per kW.

Customers that are not currently enrolled in the company’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) Program will receive a fixed monthly bill credit for energy exported to the grid for three years. The credit is an amount equivalent to the respective retail rate for electricity exported during the two-hour period. After these three years are completed any underlying interconnection tariff export rates, if any, will apply.

Customers who wish to participate with an existing solar system and are presently enrolled in a customer energy program (such as Net Energy Metering, and Grid Supply or others) will continue to receive full benefits from these programs. Up to 5 kW of new panels may be added under existing programs. There is no limit on the size of an individual customer’s battery.

If you would like to add more than 5 kW of additional capacity of PV, it is possible as long as you still adhere to a 2:1 PV to battery output ratio. These apply to any interconnection tariff customers!


“We wholeheartedly recommend Independent Energy Hawaii for all your solar photovoltaic system needs. From our initial conversations with Desta to the final inspection with James, every interaction was extraordinarily positive. The team’s knowledge, honesty, and professionalism was exceptional. The whole process was done efficiently and reliably and we couldn’t be more appreciative. Every member of the team was professional, competent, and respectful in their dealings with us.”

– Sandy L


“Easily the most professional crew I ever had the pleasure of doing business with, and I never felt alone or in the dark thanks to Desta. He helped me with all my questions and I loved the fact that he was just a phone call away. Dedication to something like that is just hard to find nowadays. This company was a breath of fresh air for me and I wish I could do such an awesome crew justice with such a simple review. 10/10″

– Hank W


“Desta, Adam, Mike, Garrison and the rest of the Independent Energy Team are amazing. They were knowledgeable, responsive and helpful throughout our whole solar process. When issues came up (as they always do with projects), they went the extra mile to make sure everything worked properly.
Our panels and battery were installed on time as promised and are working great – just got our first ever $26 HECO bill!
This company cares about helping people and doing quality work, which is very rare these days. Hands down the best experience I’ve had with a company for home improvement/renovations. Highly recommend!”

– Matcha S.