The Hawaiian Electric Cos. have launched a new solar program this week called NEM Plus that allows net energy metering customers to add energy storage as well as extra panels to their rooftop solar systems — as long as the new equipment doesn’t export power to the grid.
Customers may install new panels, battery storage or a combination of both under this program. The output from the NEM Plus system is used solely on-site and is not allowed to export to the grid. The addition of the NEM Plus system does not affect the customer’s existing NEM agreement.
NEM Plus is available only to existing NEM customers with a signed agreement at Hawaii Electric Light Co. and on neighbor islands Hawaiian Electric Co. and Maui Electric Co.
NEM Plus allows NEM customers to maintain their current program status if they choose to add a nonexporting renewable system with or without energy storage, or a stand-alone energy storage system. NEM Plus could be a cost-effective option for customers who are consistently paying above the minimum bill for energy delivered to them. It also might benefit NEM customers who want to make home improvements such as adding rooms or split air conditioning, or to add an electric vehicle to their household. NEM customers who already pay only the minimum bill throughout most or all of the year would not benefit from NEM Plus.