Case Study: Waikiki Shore Apartments' Solar Water Heating Triumph


  • Location: 2161 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Installer: Green Energy Solutions
  • Completed: 2010

In 2010, Waikiki Shore Apartments, situated in the heart of Hawaii's iconic Waikiki, faced a common challenge: soaring water heating costs. Seeking an efficient and sustainable solution, the apartment management took a leap into the world of solar technology, a proven cost-effective alternative for commercial applications. Anticipating cost reductions, they were pleasantly surprised by the system's remarkable efficiency. The solar water heating system not only drastically lowered gas consumption but also exceeded expectations to the extent that the utility company dispatched technicians to verify the meters' accuracy.

Project Overview

Waikiki Shore Apartments achieved a remarkable feat, reducing gas consumption so dramatically that the utility company dispatched technicians to validate the system's performance. As a result, the apartments continue to enjoy an estimated 50 percent reduction in their gas bills since the installation of the solar water heating system. This significant cost savings not only benefits the apartments but also contributes to the broader objective of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and lowering CO2 emissions, aligning with Hawaii's commitment to environmental sustainability.

To realize this project, Waikiki Shore Apartments partnered with Current Capital and Consulting to secure financing for the solar system through a unique true lease arrangement. In this setup, the Bank of Hawaii served as the legal and tax owner of the system, which allowed the project to leverage federal and state tax credits and take advantage of equipment depreciation. The resulting monthly lease payments proved to be more economical than a conventional loan, making the transition to solar water heating financially attractive.

Key Project Details

  • Location: Honolulu, HI
  • Application: Multi-Family Commercial
  • Solar Collectors: 60 SunEarth Empire 4' x 10' Solar Thermal collectors
  • System Format: Solar pre-heated water
  • Estimated carbon emissions displaced over the life of the system (metric tons CO2): 230
  • Total cost before incentives: $505,000
  • Total cost after incentives: $176,750
  • Estimated annual savings: $35,000
  • Estimated annual savings over the life of the system: $875,000
  • Estimated life of the system (years): 25
  • Estimated return on investment (years): 5
  • Heat energy generated on an annual basis (BTUs): 895 million

Contact Information

To explore SunEarth's solar solutions and products, please visit SunEarth.

For information about Inter-Island Solar Supply, visit Inter-Island Solar Supply.

Green Energy Solutions, the installer behind this exemplary project, can be found through their website or relevant local channels.


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