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The Math on Solar Hot Water in Hawaii

I see the ads.  Go solar!  Save up to 40%!

I have friends.  They say it’s cheap!  It’s the most energy you can get from the sun!

The government says it’s a good idea.  Such a good idea that since 2010, Hawaii has REQUIRED a solar hot water (SHW) system on every new home built.  (There is an exception for on-demand water heaters but that’s a topic for another day.)

But advertisements aren’t facts, my friends live on the mainland, and the government is well-intentioned but that law is more than eight years old.  I have opinions, but I don’t know everything and love/hate to be proven wrong.  So let’s dive in.