For Immediate Release: April 29, 2011

HONOLULU – The State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s State Energy Office (DBEDT) will direct additional American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to support the highly successful Hawaii Energy Solar Water Heating Rebate Program.

In less than one month, after using ARRA funds to increase the solar water heating system rebate to stimulate sluggish system sales, Hawaii Energy reports that over 600 households have purchased solar water heating systems, exhausting the federal stimulus money that had been allocated for this enhanced rebate. Due to the ARRA-funded program, Hawaii Energy experienced an unprecedented demand for solar water heating systems and currently 220 customers are waitlisted for the rebate program.

Because of the demand for rebates, DBEDT has authorized Hawaii Energy to redirect remaining ARRA funds to fulfill the waitlisted customer applications for the $1,500 rebate and to provide further applications with a $1,000 rebate for solar water heating systems, as long as ARRA funds are available and on a first-come-first-serve basis. DBEDT anticipates that several hundred additional customers will take advantage of the ARRA-funded $1,000 rebate before the budgeted Hawaii Energy rebate of $750 returns on July 1, 2011. When Hawaii Energy first announced the program on March 21, 2011, they anticipated the rebate program would run through May 31, 2011, or until the federal funding ran out.

“We are very happy that these additional ARRA funds will help Hawaii homeowners and give them the opportunity to get a rebate for a solar water heating system which helps to reduce electricity costs and encourage energy efficiency in their homes” said Estrella Seese, Acting Energy Program Administrator, DBEDT’s State Energy Office.

In addition to these rebates, solar water heating systems are eligible for tax credits of 35 percent from the state and 30 percent from the federal government.

Hawaii residents can still take advantage of the DBEDT ARRA-funded “Hot Water, Cool Rates” (solar interest buy-down) program offered by Hawaii Energy through Participating Lenders, which will continue with the bonus rebate funded through ARRA. Residents who finance their system through this program will receive a bonus instant rebate of $750 in addition to a $1,000 incentive to Participating Lenders to buy-down the interest rate to zero percent or a low rate. A list of Participating Lenders can be found at Hawaii Energy’s website at

Typical single family households installing solar water heating systems will save between $587 to $849 per year in electricity costs, and the equivalent to 150 gallons of fossil fuel per year. With electric costs going up, the savings with solar water heating systems will continue to rise with the price of oil.

“Solar water heating is a significant contributor to the State’s clean energy efforts,” said Ray Starling, Hawaii Energy Program Manager. “We want to see solar water heaters on every residence in Hawaii and DBEDT’s support with these ARRA funds is bringing us closer to this milestone on our march toward energy independence.”

For more information, visit the program website at


For more information, contact:

Estrella Seese
Acting Energy Program Administrator
Phone: (808) 586-2352

Lois Hamaguchi
Energy Analyst
Phone: (808) 587-9006