In June 2001, Hawaii became the 35th state in the nation to adopt a net energy metering (NEM) law to promote the installation of small (10 kW and less) renewable energy (RE) grid-connected systems across the Hawaiian Islands. What effect has the availability of this law had on the diffusion of NEM photovoltaic (PV) systems in Hawaii? Given the typical abundant sunshine here coupled with consistently high electric utility rates, NEM should be taking off, yet consumer adoption has been slow. What have been the principal impediments to homeowners and businesses going solar electric? While the relatively small number of NEM PV systems installed to date does not allow for definitive conclusions on the ability of the NEM law to achieve its purpose, this initial evaluation will identify what challenges and obstacles exist and make recommendations to overcome them.

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