2018 saw 5% jump in residential rooftop solar installations

Nearly 4,000 new systems now online

Release Date: 1/16/2019

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HONOLULU, Jan. 16, 2019 – Installation of residential rooftop solar systems used by Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light customers increased by 5.3 percent in 2018 from 2017, continuing Hawaii’s leadership as the No. 1 state for private rooftop solar.

Year-end figures show that 18 percent of residential customers in the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ five-island service territory are using rooftop solar, up from 17 percent in 2017. Nearly 4,000 new systems came online in 2018, supporting the companies’ drive to reach the state’s next milestone of 30 percent renewable energy by 2020.

Hawaii’s percentage is more than double that of Connecticut, which is second at 6.8 percent; California is third at 5.9 percent; Arizona, fourth at 4.5 percent; and Utah and Massachusetts are both at 3.4 percent, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

"We are extremely proud of the progress we’ve made as a company and as a state to build steady growth in residential rooftop solar," said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service. "Rooftop solar is a critical piece of the renewable mix that will move the state toward a 100 percent clean energy future, and we’re excited to see the numbers increase year after year."

Residential rooftop solar systems installed across the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ service territory rose to 74,331 in 2018 from 70,607 in 2017, a 5.3 percent jump. All islands saw an increase.

Residential systems 2017 2018
Oahu 51,087 18% 19%
Maui County 11,414 18% 19%
Hawaii Island 11,830 15% 16%
Consolidated 74,331 17% 18%

On Oahu, 1 out of 3 single-family homes now have rooftop solar.

As a renewable energy resource, there are now 418 megawatts of residential rooftop solar online, including 289 on Oahu, 66 in Maui County and 63 on Hawaii Island.

In the 10 years since the state created the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, the companies have reduced fossil fuel use by 26 percent, importing about 48 million fewer gallons of oil annually to generate electricity.