Solar Energy Frontrunners
Wednesday - September 22, 2010
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By Bruce Ekimura
Owner and founder of Alternate Energy Inc.
The sun is definitely shining on the solar energy industry these days.
Here in the Islands, where we have year-round sunny weather combined with the highest electricity rates in the nation, plus attractive state and federal tax credits, it makes more sense to install a photovoltaic system than ever before. In fact, according to Hawaii Solar Energy Association, a record 7,300 kilowatts of photovoltaic power was installed in Hawaii in 2009 - compared to only 167 kilowatts in 2005.
But given the level of interest and the financial incentives, there are a lot of new providers jumping on the bandwagon. Five years ago there were about 20 companies providing PV system design and installation in Hawaii. Today there are more than 100.
At Alternate Energy Inc., we’re in it for the long haul. My dad and I were plumbers, and as solar water heating became more popular, we saw the shift that was destined to take place. My family and I founded Alternate Energy Inc. in 1993. We’ve grown slowly and steadily over the past 17 years, becoming frontrunners in Hawaii’s PV revolution.
What drives us is the knowledge that more solar installations means less dependence on expensive oil and electricity, which means Hawaii families and businesses are keeping more of their hard-earned dollars right here at home. It’s the right thing to do.
That’s why all of our installers are my employees, not sub-contractors. That way I can take full responsibility for every single installation, no matter how large or small. We purchase the highest quality materials and systems direct from the manufacturer - we don’t use a distributor as a middleman, which means the savings are passed on to the customer.
Our customers tell us it gives them peace of mind to know that they are working with a longtime, established local company when they make this important environmental investment.
Today, we are prouder than ever to be one of Hawaii’s oldest residential and commercial solar energy companies, locally owned and operated from day one. We’ve been a HECO Approved Contractor (Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program) since 1999. And as always, we will continue to focus on what we do best: design and installation of photovoltaic systems, solar water heating systems and solar attic fans.
We’re headquartered at 1111 Dillingham Blvd., #H3, Honolulu 96817 (with offices on Maui at 60 East Wakea Ave. #109, Kahului 96732). Call (808) 842-5853 or go to alternateenergyhawaii.com.
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