Last week Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) announced its plan to triple the amount of rooftop solar in its service area on Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. At the same time however, it proposed gutting net metering—one of the most popular incentive programs to support the expansion of rooftop solar power across the country.
The utility filed its proposal with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission last week. In its proposal it outlined its plans to move from the current net metering scheme for rooftop solar under which it reimburses customers with rooftop solar power for the power they put back on the grid. Instead it would enact a tariff system for future customers that choose to install rooftop solar. The changes, it said, would help the utility source 65 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.
“We want to ensure a sustainable rooftop solar program to help our customers lower their electric bills,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “That means taking an important first step by transitioning to a program where all customers are fairly sharing in the cost of the grid we all rely on.”