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Hawaii Energy Connection LLC

Phone: (808) 524-7336 99-1350 Koaha Place, Aiea, HI 96701 View Additional Email Addresses http://www.hawaiienergyconnection.com/ View Additional Web Addresses

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Description

This company offers a grid-tied residential photovoltaic package including contractoring, permits, and net metering agreements.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Hawaii Energy Connection LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered the rating for Hawaii Energy Connection LLC include:

  • 4 complaint(s) filed against business

Factors that raised the rating for Hawaii Energy Connection LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Response to 4 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

4 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 4

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review on Hawaii Energy Connection LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 1
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 1

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: April 24, 2009 Business started: 02/27/2007 in HI Business started locally: 02/27/2007 Business incorporated: 02/27/2007 in HI
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

DCCA Professional & Vocational Licensing
335 Merchant St STE 301, Honolulu HI 96813
https://pvl.ehawaii.gov/pvlsearch/
Phone Number: (808) 586-3000
pvl@dcca.hawaii.gov
The number is C31046.

DCCA Professional & Vocational Licensing
335 Merchant St STE 301, Honolulu HI 96813
https://pvl.ehawaii.gov/pvlsearch/
Phone Number: (808) 586-3000
pvl@dcca.hawaii.gov
The number is BC24283.

DCCA Professional & Vocational Licensing
335 Merchant St STE 301, Honolulu HI 96813
https://pvl.ehawaii.gov/pvlsearch/
Phone Number: (808) 586-3000
pvl@dcca.hawaii.gov
The number is ES-8792.

State of Hawaii Department of Taxation
PO Box 1425, Honolulu HI 96806
http://pahoehoe.ehawaii.gov/tls/app
Phone Number: (808) 587-4242
The number is W57029097-01.

Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Mr. Christopher Robert DeBone, Mem. Mr. Kyle Funasaki, Marketing Manager Mr. Steven Godmere, Mem.
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Christopher Robert DeBone, Mem.
Customer Contact: Mr. Kyle Funasaki, Marketing Manager
Business Category

Contractors - Solar Energy Electric Equipment - Service & Repair Solar Energy System Design & Installation

Alternate Business Names
KumuKit

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Hawaii Energy Connection LLC has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A-.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 99-1350 Koaha Place

    Aiea, HI 96701 (808) 524-7336

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  • Guarantee or Warranty

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Complaint Detail(s)

10/31/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My complaint/issue on the promise when I purchase this solar system I have enough solor panels to include the use of my split a/c unit.  This what I went through with this company
from the beginning till now. In August of 2013, I want to find out about solar panels.  Well a representative name ****, I guess a sales person came to talk to us about the savings we will be having if we go with solar panels.  After hearing from people who got them their bill was only $17.00 or less.  That really sounded very good.  So we sign a pre-op contract and I went with
our credit union to refinance our equity loan and up graded it to pay for the panels (the cost that was quoted to me was $33,000.00).  The process of refinancing of the equity loan
takes a long time and I wasn’t inform of when payment was needed.  The credit union told me an approximate date, on when the loan will be ready for signing and when we will be getting the
money deposit into our checking account.

Then, the process of ************ on getting approval for the solar panels started in September.  And boy, did it take long.  In the meantime, the sales person didn’t call me and I was always calling because him cause he didn’t know when ********** will approve my solar panels installation.  In the meantime, I ask the sales person can Kumukit company can they start on the upgrade of the electrical meter, because they said it need to be update, since my meter was old.  Nothing was done till January 2013.  I was upset because I was calling the electric company why is it taking so long, because I signed pre-op contract in August.  They said they were over loaded with requests and it will be approximately in December.  Well, I found out the electrical company approved my solar panel on December 10, 2013 and they sent notification to the company but I didn’t hear anything from the sales representative at all.  I tried for weeks
but no reply was returned, it came to a point which I asked him if he still wanted my sale (around December 23 or 24, 2013), and he apologized for not getting back to me.  I also asked him why couldn’t he company start upgrading the electrical panel so when communication with electrical company and kumukit company get settled things can be quick to install the panels.  I didn’t hear from him till January, and when I did, he requested the payment for the panels and upgrade, but I told him previous, that he had to let me know early so I can see how my refinancing is doing with the credit union.  Well, he made a comment to me that if I don’t pay him now then it will set back the installation another 2 months.  So I called the credit union and told them about the situation of paying for my solar panels, and they said they can give me a personal loan for $33,000.00 but the interest rate was very high till the equity loan can be done maybe in the next 2 weeks.  So here I hustle for a personal loan with high interest just because he told me I needed to pay him that week. It was so stressful that its hard for me to explain. 
After the credit union gave me the personal loan, I then paid for half of the entire unit.  Well, they came and installed the upgrade for the meter, and the day they installed it I was upset again.  The location was nothing like the sales person said it will be at all.  I thought it was going to be the same place where the old line was.  Also I didn’t know they was going to attach
anything to my car port.  Because I did mention to the sales person I didn’t want anything on the car port because I was going to install a new one because I felt it needed to be redone.  Well, the line was attached to the car port and the 2 feet pole was made on the car port.  I called the sales person and told him its not where you and I said it was going to be according the drawings at all.  This whole experience is not like what they announce on the commercial on **** radio station at all one bit.  To me its 100% false advertisement as to for me that is.  They said I didn’t have to worry about anything what so ever and all I keep running into with everything was a wall.  Well after talking to sales person telling him its no where near when you explained it to me and my husband what so ever.  So his response very harsh was, well if we go back to the so call drawing board it will push back another 2 months.  I was just so frustrated because
everything we talked about is not way near what this sales person said it was going to be like at all.  Well after all that I just agreed cause I didn’t want anymore delays.  Well after all that it took them another 2 months of hustling to get them even start the panel installation.  Well after no return calls I decide to ask questions to this company and apparently my account was assign to a manager in the company.  And the way I found out was a phone call from the sales person, him telling me that I can no longer call him and that I have to deal directly  with the company myself.  I would like to put in the comments he said to me but it wasn’t nice.  Well, I did talk to someone who (maybe a manager?)  and discussed when will the panels be installed and system start going and earning energy power.  Well, he said soon.  After bugging them, they finally set a date in March to install the panels.  The company also upgrade the panels from 240 kw to 290 kw since I was going thru so much with them.  They also said they will waiver the tax to my account for all the hardship I was enduring for the past 5 months or so. The day
of the installation, it was loud noise of drilling, pounding, etc., I decided to go outside to see how they are doing. 
As I walked up the street to see, I notice they were installing the panels on the wrong side of my roof.  I just could not believe this I just wanted to cry, because just before they started I asked the electrician if I could look and the plans on where the panels were going to be installed and thought the installation personnel knew where they were going to install the panels.  So when I took a smoke break from the noise, I was upset and walked up to the electrician and said they are installing the panel on the wrong side of the roof.  So he climbed up and stop work and told them that the installation they already did was incorrect and showed them the plan.  I called the company and told them I want in writing that any leak what so ever they are going to repair my roof and damages it causes.  So I did get a statements indicating any leaks for 10 years.  After changing all the markings where the panels were to be installed, they were drilling and pounding again.  I decide to look again on what they were doing, and when I came out shatters light bulbs were in my open patio.  The electrician left to replace the bulb, but
safety wasn’t on his mind.  For one thing, he should have stop work again and made sure all bulbs were secure or removed them and sweep up the all the shatters glass up.  But instead he went to the hardware store to purchase new ones to replace the ones that fell from the light fixture.  So I made them stop work to check each bulb just in case more wouldn’t fall to the ground and shatter all over.  Then they started to continue to install the panels.   After all was done, a person I think name ****** came to the house for the final
payment with the warranty for the solar panels and my roof and final payment was made. After 4 days someone from Kumitkit called me and told me I had a balance of almost $1500.00 to pay and I told them it sounds like the tax part of the panels and mention to her that it was waive by the managers at Kumitkit company, and to talk to the person ****** who completed our contract on the solar panel.  I was really upset and every time I hear that commercial on ****** I change to another station cuz it just makes me sick.
Then when I started to get my bill from ********* ifs not like other people tell me what they are getting.  So I then called the kumukit company, they said to send a email to them so I did.  Again no response from them so I called and the person who got my email he said he gave it to another department, because he said the system is working up to 90% of its capacity, but I told him my electric bill is getting larger.  He said I was using 150% more than estimated.  I was upset again.  I told him how did this happen?  He said apparently the sales person in the beginning didn’t estimate the use of my split a/c unit but I did show him it and told him I want to use my split a/c unit and to count it in the estimate that’s why I went to solar.  Now my bill is $298.00 this month.  I cant believe I work so hard to get everything and this company just seems it doesn’t even care at all.  I never got a call from them I was doing all the calling to them. I even told the person, I cant refinance again, because he mention maybe we can give more panels at the cost I purchase the ones I have now.  But I told I refinance my equity loan to get the panels to save electricity cost and this is all they can offer me after all I went through for 7 months. I hope something can be done quickly.  At the closing of the contract, they said if I recommend someone on their company I can get a gift card for $100.00 from them.  Well how can I recommend a company who gave such heart aches. 

Desired Settlement: to decrease my electric bill like they advertise and without anymore cost.

Business Response:

Dear Ms. ****** ******,
We have recently received several emails and telephone calls from you complaining  about the amounts you are being charged on your Hawaiian Electric Bill, and your  allegations that the KumuKit™ Solar PV System that was installed at your Lumiiki  Street home in March 2014 from Hawaii Energy Connection is not reducing your  utility bill.  On July 15, 2014, we received an email from you stating (copy and paste):
hello there can you help me why my elect bill keeps going up? when we  started this survey and you did a analyse and calculated the amount of  panels i need to cut my elect to 0 and i even took a extra one to be safe  but my bill keeps going up. did the person do a incorrect analyses? i keep  other people who got a kumu kit and there bill is 17.00 but my bill keeps  going up. something is wrong cuz i havent done anything different. please  call me at ******* to find out why my bill isnt going down. mahalo 
*****
Upon receipt of this email, support case #**** was created to review your account,  and an *** technical support representative replied to you in writing, saying that  we would “get back to you on this soon.”
On July 17, 2014, our technical support department initiated a full analysis of your  KumuKit™ system’s production and ******** ******** ******* utility usage. It is  typical for a full analysis of this kind to take up to two weeks for completion.  On August 5, 2014, we received another email from you which read:  hello there i havent heard from anyone from your company its been a  while. As the company’s customer service manager, I receive copies of support emails, and when I read your email of August 5, 2014, I took the initiative of securing a copy of
the analysis that was produced for you, and called you in order to go over it. In our
telephone conversation, I informed you that:  Ms. ****** ******
1. Our analysis shows that your household usage of energy has increased 194%  since our sales representative prepared your sales agreement, dated January  9, 2014;
2. I explained that your system was designed to produce a specific daily amount  of energy based on your average annual usage from your electricity bill  history, and options were offered on a sliding scale of production and price.  You chose the option offering “daily kilowatt hours” at 36.540. (See copy of  your Sales Agreement dated January 9, 2014, enclosed);  

3. I explained that the targeted “daily kilowatt hours” amount of 36.540 is  written on the sales agreement that you signed January 9, 2014;  

4. I explained that the system installed will produce the targeted “daily kilowatt  hours” of 36.540, however, if you increase your energy use by adding  appliances, occupants, or other items that use more energy, you would be  exceeding the amount of energy produced by your KumuKit™ and would be  using additional billable power from ******** ******** *******;
5. I also explained that your KumuKit™ solar electricity system has actually  been achieving the targeted production rate of 36.540 kWh per day, and infact on most days this and last month, was surpassing this amount. While  you were on the phone with me, I did an instant calculation of your July 2014  KumuKit™ production, and informed you that your system actually produced
an average of 41.032 daily kilowatt hours – fully 12% more than the agreed- upon target. You informed me that you have been using your “split air conditioning unit”  regularly since installing your KumuKit™ system, and you claim that you informed  your sales person that you were planning on doing this. I personally spoke with  your original sales person, **** *****, and he says you did not say you were
planning on adding air conditioning to your household energy use, and it was not  accounted for in your proposal.  You also informed my colleague by telephone on August 8, 2014, that you have  purchased an additional refrigerator-freezer since installing your KumuKit™ system.  Adding both air conditioning and a second refrigerator-freezer to the mix of  appliances in your home has definitely increased your energy usage. Ms. ******, during our telephone conversation, you stated that you were not the  “professional” in the process of acquiring your KumuKit™, and that we should have  somehow anticipated your increased usage. Based on my investigation, our  telephone conversation, and the documents pertaining to your account, I feel  confident that we have done our best.
Ms. ****** ******
Additionally, your original proposal was discounted by $1,448.29 by **** ***** in  order to accommodate your $30,000 budget, and costs for meter work at your  residence was written off by Hawaii Energy Connection in the amount of $1,400.00  If you would like to explore the option of expanding your system’s production  capacity by increasing the number of PV modules on your roof, please feel welcome  to call me. We have a policy of honoring our per-watt-price that was offered at the  original time of sale (for add-on panels), an option that you might find reasonable  for your needs. I’ll be pleased to provide assistance.

Mahalo, 

3/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: KumuKit Kit solar company failed to provide the energy savings services it initially promised this consumer. I would like a replacement solar syste. I purchased a solar system from KumuKit Kit, and it was installed in May 2013. This system included 21 panels and was purchased for thousands of dollars. I was told by a company sales rep my electric bill would be maximum of $75.00/month with the design I agreed to. I have paid $18.00 the first month after installation. For the next 8 months my bill has been almost the same as before I installed the solar. The company 's staff including electiicians, computer support staff, manager, receptionists - all provide different explanations as to my this is not working. I'm told rainy weather, positioning of oanels on roof, faulty wiring, inverters. A manager laughed at me on the telephone when I brought up the issue of moving the panels to the garage roof. Telephone calls are not answered by the owner of the company. The owner of the company came to my residence , and I was told I would get a copy of a computer image showing that 15 out of 21 panels were not working. I have yet to receive that copy. I was told that four panels would be put on the front of my house after approval from my Associations's Design Commitee. The meeting was on 1/30/14. Telephone calls to the owner of KumuKit Kit x3 have gone unanswered.

Desired Settlement: New solar panels upgraded that actually work and bring down my electric bill as primed to $ 75 or less. Plus repayment for the electric bill I have been paying the last 8 months.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 8, 2014/02/25) */ Contact Name and Title: **** *******, COO Contact Phone: ************ Contact Email: *****@hawaiienergyconnection.com Hawaii Energy Connection (HEC) Chief Operations Officer (COO) was working directly with Mrs ********* prior to receiving this complaint and together they developed an agreeable solution. The good news is that we have now taken the next steps to implement solution and are awaiting approval from HECO to make the needed changes. On behalf of the employees who strive to provide great service and support to all of our customers, I apologize that we were unable to meet her expectations the first time, but HEC remains committed to supporting her system with technical support and honoring the terms of our warranty. Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 10, 2014/03/02) */ (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.) I accept your company's apology, but as of this date I do not have a new system and am still waiting. Until Ithe solar system is repaired and I see an electric bill that is reduced every month as promised by your company I will not be totally satisfied.

11/13/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I PAID MY DOWN PAYMENT 3 1/2 MONTHS AGO. PROVIDED ALL PAPERWORK AND INFO THEY REQUESTED INSTALLATION DID NOT START YET.STILL ASKING FOR MORE INFO 5/31 Met with ****** ********(**) to start process 6/5 credit card charged $6520 7/4 ** asked for HOA contact number 7/5 Gave office# and ***** # 7/5 ** said waiting on MECO approval and HOA 7/8 ** said he talked to ***** * office. 7/9 Sent the paper work that was needed to get approved, I told him that I was already approved. 7/14 Gave ** MECO acct# 8/23 sent MECO email to check on process. Few days later I get a call from the company that I went through to get approval(****** Sun), from Maui electric, Asking if I am still wanting to install a PV system. 8/30 Sent ** email telling about being contacted by ****** ***. Did not get reply from **. I called MECO and they said that I did not need to get anymore approval from them until the installation is done. 9/5 Called Kumu Kit(Hawaii Energy Connection, I told them that I was dealing w/**. They took awhile to confirm this. They said they had sent a letter to the HOA office a month earlier. I checked w/office and they said they did not receive anything. I gave **** *** the fax number to the office, and asked ***** from the HOA office to call me if they received a fax from kumu kit. Towards the end of the day, I called ***** to ask if she got a fax, she said no. I called **** *** and gave the number to the HOA office and to the person who is responsible for PV systems installed in The complex. 9/6 I received a call from ***** saying that he was contacted by kumu kit and everything is good to go from this side. 9/12 I received a email from ** asking for the letter of approval from the HOA. I replied saying that there is no letter. 9/18 Called **** *** asking to talk to someone to help me to get this moving. I left my number and did not get any response

Desired Settlement: Installation of PV system.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/10/04) */ ref: Better Business Bureau Activity Report #******** Aloha Mr.**** Thank you for the comments you submitted to the Better Business Bureau with regard to your contract with Hawaii Energy Connection. Our senior management team have discussed your report at length and are disappointed that we have not met your expectations with regard to your installation. We, too, are frustrated with the length of time it has taken to get approval from MECO and your HOA. However, we do have good news--your installation kit has been shipped from Oahu and your installation team is standing by ready to install once DPP approves your permit (the final step in the process). As I told you in our last telephone call, our sales representative on Maui has experienced a personal tragedy and is no longer with the company. I will continue to keep you informed. In the last six years, KUMUkit has installed well over 4,000 solar systems and we've had less than a handful of negative reports filed with the BBB. We have taken each one of these reports--including yours--very seriously and have pledged to double our effort to prevent the problems you encountered. Finally, as a result of your comments, everyone in the company--from the Managing Partners on down-have renewed our pledge to make Hawaii Energy Connection a more customer-focused company. Sincere best wishes to you from the men and women of KUMUKit. ******* ******* ********** ******* cc: Better Business Bureau Consumer Response /* (3000, 12, 2013/10/23) */ Panels have been installed but a component was missing delaying the completion of my system. The panels were not installed according to diagram required by the association. The configuration is wrong. The diagram was included in email sent to ***** on 7/09/13. The HOA has not said anything about it but if they require me to meet the specifications, I expect Hawaii energy connection to rectify the problem. Problem have occurred in every step of the way. Business Response /* (1000, 16, 2013/11/11) */ Contact Name and Title: **** *******, *** Contact Phone: 808 ******** Contact Email: *****@hawaiienergyconnection.com Hawaii Energy Connection (HEC) continues to work diligently with the customer to resolve his concerns. Unfortunately, the customer is dissatisfied despite the fact that our primary point of contact to our Maui customers is an independent sales representative and he had a personal tragedy during this sale, the following efforts by HEC: When the installation subcontractor ran into some unexpected problems, HEC paid $1,700 out of pocket to complete the installation. The *** has apologized on behalf of HEC to the customer and accepted full responsibility for the delays. Our subcontractor has completed the installation and it is our understanding that the system has passed inspection and there is no further action required on our part. Finally, as stated in our sales agreement, HEC will stand behind the product and our installation with any support that our customer may require. Consumer Response /* (3000, 18, 2013/11/13) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) There was no mention that the panels were not installed according to the diagram from the HOA. The diagram was emailed to the HEC representative on 7/9/13. I expect HEC to relocate panels according to the diagram from the HOA, if needed in the future.

12/7/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Company has not fixed two micro inverters which failed. Has been over two months! Purchased Kumu kit II-October, 2010 for $******. Have one micro inverter that has produced 0 kw and one other that is currently now producing 0 kw. 1/6 of my panels are not working properly. I have talked to ****** the tech rep and have also emailed company and ******-I don't even get a return phone call now. The first month ****** said he would have someone come out and replace micro inverters but no has ever showed up to resolve problem.

Desired Settlement: Replace two micro inverters shich are not producing energy.

Business Response: Consumer's Final Response /* (-5, 5, 2012/12/07) */ Micro inverters were replaced-24 hours after filing complaint w/ BBB. Thanks for your help on this matter. I have been calling and emailing them for 10 weeks with no success. Don ****** XXX-XXX-XXXX