The Solar Battery Revolution

Photo Of Enphase Solar Battery

Hawaii leads the nation when it comes to installing a solar system with a solar battery. 85-95% of all new solar permits included battery storage in 2021, why is this the case? In California for example, a big motivating factor for people to purchase a battery with their solar system is to give them peace of mind during a power outage. With rolling blackouts becoming increasingly more frequent customers want to make sure they can keep the necessities running when power is out for days and sometimes weeks. For being an island in the Pacific we generally have great grid services and very few sustained power outages. So if power outages aren’t the motivation, what is?

Solar Battery installed in the back of a home

How a Solar Battery Improves ROI

A solar battery has a cost associated with them. If solar panels produce all of the power and batteries only serve to store the power, why would you increase the cost of your system? With the current state of solar programs in Hawaii, HECO no longer allows solar customers to send back their power for the retail rate. This program is referred to as the NEM program and was shut down in 2015 for new customers. To read more about this, visit this link.

With the loss of net metering, the best customers can get for their exported power (kWh’s) is $0.108 cents per kWh. With current retail rates as of September 2022 varying from $0.43 cents per kWh to $0.45 cents per kWh customers are only able to get back about a quarter of the energy they send back to the grid.

This is where a battery comes into play. Most homes use around 40% of their power when the sun is out, and when their solar panels are producing power. Without a battery that would mean 60% of all of your home’s solar production would be exported to the grid. By capturing that power with a solar battery you can use that power that would’ve been exported, for yourself. By using solar batteries to store the extra solar energy produced during the day homeowners can improve their return on investment. Not only do they help to save money, battery systems allow you to power the essentials during an outage scenario and improve your homes resilience.

For more information about our Solar Battery installation services, click here.

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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.