Solar Panels

The average home in Hawai‘i pays more for electricity than any other home in any other state in America.

Some people believe there is no financial incentive for the switch to green energy, because it’s so expensive. At first it might seem that way, as the cost of installation is significantly expensive. That being said, these figures do not factor in how much one would save overall.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average Hawaiian house will pay upwards of $171 a month on electricity, which adds up. Going green can either cut down that bill significantly or remove it altogether. In fact, a homeowner can even get the installation costs back through time.

Why the wait for wind?

Have you noticed how strong the wind is at the Pali Lookout, or on the Waimānalo coast? That wind is a possible source of sustainable, clean energy to power homes and businesses in Hawai’i.

Wind energy

You can think of a wind turbine as basically is basically the opposite of a fan. As the wind moves the blades of the turbine, the blades spin a shaft which converts the mechanical energy created by the blades, into electrical energy. It is a common misconception that the wind has to be blowing towards the front of the turbine in order to make the blades turn, however the blades can turn despite what direction the wind is pointing.

The cost of installing a home turbine that will power one house is approximately $48,000-$65,000 plus annual maintenance fees. However, a wind turbine can power a home continuously for at least 20 years, effectively removing an energy bill for good.

Solar energy

Since the sun produces approximately 1370 Joules of energy for every square meter per second, it would be ridiculous to not take advantage of it. When light hits the panels, the light knocks off electrons from the atoms on the panels, forming a flow of electricity.

However, solar power is not as simple as one would think because the amount of sunlight your area gets must be taken into account. According to the Solar Power Authority, every square meter gathers only 2% of the total energy of the sun. This means that a homeowner would have to put up at least 100 square meters of paneling, which in total will cost roughly $35,000. Even though it will be almost impossible for homes to completely depend on solar power, the Solar Power Authority estimated that one would save over $50 a month by using solar panels along with fossil fuel electricity.

Selling electricity

Since green energy produces electricity on a semi-constant basis, many states, including Hawaii, require electric companies to buy unused power from those who depend on green energy. People who use green energy might see the installation costs as a turn off, but with a perk like a reduced or eliminated energy bill, a homeowner will eventually get that installation money back.