By Jeff Davis — With next year’s change in solar photovoltaic (PV) tax credits beginning on January 1—due to state budget restraints and loopholes in the previous policy—many local residents are concerned about what this means for them. In simple terms, the incentives for going solar will be reduced, allowing homeowners to only receive one tax credit per system.  Not to worry.

Homeowners can still earn solar tax credits and keep their energy bills low by installing smaller PV systems to help maximize the incentives per system.  The average investment of $14,500 will remain the same with a turnout of around $5,000 in tax credits or 35 percent of the system’s cost.  The change comes depending on the size of the PV system and how many are used.

Although the new guidelines revolve around the size of the system, the rule of thumb is a loss of $5,000 on a second system at $14,500, with another $5,000 realized on the third investment of $14,500.

Adding a solar water heater and solar attic fans can help to knock an additional $130 to $150 off your monthly household energy bill. With the use of all three solar products, the average household can save around $220 a month.

Solar tax credits are still available to Hawaii residents in the new year and still offer great savings with just a few simple adjustments.

Jeff Davis, The Solar Guy, is a solar contractor with Solar Services Hawaii and hosts “Hawaii’s Tomorrow”— focusing on politics, energy and sustainability— seven days a week from 5-6 p.m. on KGU (760 AM). To learn more, please visit