Community-Based Renewable Energy

Community-Based Renewable Energy (CBRE) programs, also known as shared solar, allow residents to save money over time by participating in the renewable energy movement even when they are unable to install their own systems. These programs are most commonly community solar projects. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs provides a description of how they work:

Subscriber is an electric utility customer who agrees to pay a subscriber organization for a portion of its renewable energy project and receives monthly bill credits to offset their electricity use. 

Subscriber Organization is a company, organization, or group of people who own, develop, or operate a CBRE or “community solar” project. 

Subscriber Agreement describes the terms between a subscriber and a subscriber organization. 

Utility purchases electricity from the subscriber organization and provides bill credits on the subscriber’s monthly electricity bill based on the subscriber’s level of CBRE participation. 


From subscription to bill credit: 

  1. A subscriber signs a subscriber agreement with a subscriber organization for an interest a renewable energy project. 
  2. The subscriber organization sells the monthly kWh generated by the renewable energy project to the electric utility. 
  3. The electric utility will convert the purchased kWh to a dollar amount. 
  4. The subscriber receives a credit from the utility based on his/her share of the renewable energy project and the amount is deducted from the subscriber’s monthly utility bill.


Hawaiian Electric’s latest phase of CBRE, or shared solar, is anticipated to launch this year with future solar projects expected across its five-island service territory. Pending PUC’s approval of its shared solar program, HECO will issue request for proposals for large-scale projects (equal to or greater than 250 MW capacity) and work to enlist smaller projects. This page will update as those projects become available for participation. 


Important Notice: 

These resources are advisory and for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon to determine available assistance. Contact the appropriate agencies and entities for additional information. The listings, associations, and contacts herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not meant to be all-inclusive. The Hawaii State Energy Office does not endorse or certify the individuals, organizations, or agencies on these lists. If you are an organization or agency that provides community-based renewable energy services and wish to be added to the content found in the following summary pages, we welcome you to contact us and provide your information for the listing. 

For comments or questions about the Energy Financial Assistance Resources, please contact the Hawaii State Energy Office at [email protected].