Hot Water, Cool Rates FAQs
Q: Who do I contact to get more information about the Program?
A: Please feel free to contact us via email or by telephone and we would be happy to assist you. Oahu: 808-537-5577 Neighbor Islands: 877-231-8222 Email: HawaiiEnergy@saic.com
Q: How does the incentive work for this program?
A: The $1,000 incentive is given to the Participating Lender to buy down the interest on your loan. The lender then provides a zero percent or low interest rate loan depending on the participating financial institution.
Q: Can I also qualify for $750 residential solar water heating system rebate program?
A: Only one incentive will be given per solar water heating system installation.
You will need to decide which option is better for your personal circumstances:
- Option A: Purchase your system in a single payment with the program.
- Option B: Finance your system through the Hot Water, Cool Rates program.
These programs cannot be combined for the same solar installation.
Q: How do I participate in the program if I am interested?
A: Contact a Participating Lender or Solar Contractor. Once you have been approved by a Participating Lender, the solar contractor will have the application and will assist you in filling it out.
Q: What are the tax credit advantages available to me for purchasing a solar water heating system?
A: Whether you buy your solar water heating system or finance it, you are entitled to both state and federal tax credits (35% and 30%, respectively). For the Hot Water, Cool Rates program, tax credits are applied to the total system cost, whereas with the solar water heating rebate, tax credits are applied to the total system cost less the $750 rebate. Please note that the state tax credit limit has a maximum of $2,250. This information does not constitute as tax advice and cannot be used to avoid IRS penalties.
Q: Can a solar water heating system be connected to an existing backup gas water heater and qualify for the incentive?
A: If the solar hot water heating system is replacing an electric water heater, the incentive program does allow the new system to have gas backup. However, the program disqualifies a gas system being replaced with a solar water heating system regardless of the backup energy source.
Q: Can the loan also apply to a solar attic fan if purchased in conjunction with my solar water heating system?
A: Yes, the loan may include the solar attic fan, but this is at the sole discretion of the Participating Lender.
Q: If I have an existing tank that can be used to hook up to a solar water heating system, can I still qualify?
A: This can be done at the sole discretion of Hawaii Energy based on the condition and size of the tank. The tank must be at least 80 gallons and in good condition to qualify.
Q: Can I be eligible for the incentive if I am building a new home?
A: As of January 1, 2010, ACT 204, a solar water heating system must be installed for residential new construction. This will be standard and does not qualify for the incentive program. For more information, click here.
Q: I have a pending system to be installed; can I qualify for the bonus instant rebate?
A: No, the decision to purchase a Solar Hot Water System made prior to March 21, 2011, was not influenced by the bonus rebates therefore, no retroactivity will be made.
Q: Can I cancel my current pending loan and then wait to purchase after March 21, 2011 to receive the $750 bonus rebate?
A: No, the decision to purchase a Solar Hot Water System made prior to March 21, 2011, was not influenced by the bonus rebate therefore, no retroactivity will be made. No exceptions.