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BBB Accredited Business since

Alternate Energy Inc.

Additional Locations

Phone: (808) 872-9592 Fax: (808) 847-7594 803 Ahua St., Honolulu, HI 96819 View Additional Email Addresses

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This company offers sales & installations of solar water heaters, mitsubishi ductless-split air conditioning and photovoltaic systems.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Alternate Energy Inc. 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 raised the rating for Alternate Energy Inc. include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 6 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

6 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 5
Total Closed Complaints 6

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Alternate Energy Inc.
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: August 03, 1993 Business started: 08/19/1993 in HI Business started locally: 08/19/1993 Business incorporated 01/28/2000 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:

State of Hawaii Department of Taxation
PO Box 1425, Honolulu HI 96806
Phone Number: (808) 587-4242
The number is W20478626-01.

DCCA Professional & Vocational Licensing
335 Merchant St STE 301, Honolulu HI 96813
Phone Number: (808) 586-3000
The number is C18028.

DCCA Professional & Vocational Licensing
335 Merchant St STE 301, Honolulu HI 96813
Phone Number: (808) 586-3000
The number is C26041.

Type of Entity


Business Management
Mr. Bruce Ekimura, President, Owner Mr. Mike Ito, Dir. of Marketing
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Bruce Ekimura, President, Owner
Customer Contact: Mr. Mike Ito, Dir. of Marketing
Business Category

Solar Energy Equipment & Systems Dealers Solar Energy System Design & Installation Contractors - Solar Energy Air conditioning & Heating Contractors - Residential

Products & Services

Alternate Energy Inc. sells the following brand(s): Mitsubishi Electric, Solene, Sunverge, HESS, Sun Bandit, Quickmount, IronRidge, ChargePoint, SunEarth

Alternate Energy Inc. offers the following product(s): Home Energy Storage Solution sales and installation, HVAC sales and installation, Photovoltaic sales and installation, Solar water heating sales and installation

Industry Tips

Additional Locations

  • 60 E Wakea Ave Unit 109

    Kahului, HI 96732 (808) 872-9592

  • 803 Ahua St.

    Honolulu, HI 96819


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

8/28/2015 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Per a letter from ******** ******, Alternate Energy had acquired them in April 2015. As an exisitng customer, my purchase agreement, warranty, and disclaimers would be honored by Alternate Energy.In an article in ******* ******** ****, the acquisition of ******** ****** by Alternate Energy was reported and ***** ******** stated in the article that "We will also honor the warranties held by ******** ****** customers" with no caveats.In a follow up letter just sent by Alternate Energy, they are now stating they have no obligations to ******** ****** customers and to not contact them via phone or email. They also go on to say you can send them a letter, but they are not required to respond.Something seems very wrong with this chain of events.I do not have a warranty issue at this time, but it seems disturbing a company can make such claims and renege on them at any point with no explanation other than basically "we did not agree to that" even though they did say that in a public forum.

Desired Settlement: Public explanation of the situation and why Alternate Energy is not responsible for honoring ******** ****** warranties. Since we are not privy to the sales agreement, this may be complicated.

Business Response: Mr. ****** is not a customer of Alternate Energy, Inc.

Alternate Energy, Inc. (“AEI”) will honor all contracts that AEI signed with AEI’s customers for PV projects with ******** panels, but 
cannot honor contracts for such projects that ******** signed with ********’s customers.  Despite earlier statements by ******** and in the media, there was in fact no acquisition of ******** by AEI, or any other assumption by AEI of ********’s obligations concerning ********’s customers.  AEI therefore must disclaim any contractual, warranty, or other obligations concerning any ******** customers.

1/22/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: After Alternate Energy replaced a thermostat in my water heater, a salesman (****** told me that the company offered a solar water heater maintenance program for $300. This quotation was given in December and before a $150 rebate program began on January 5. ***** did not say that this quotation was affected in any way by the rebate so I thought that I could get the maintenance at $300 less the $150 instant rebate. I left a message for ***** to call me to schedule the work but he did not return my call. When I called the company and spoke to him, he asked me if he had given me a quotation and I told him he quoted $300. He told me that he would have to check to see if I could get the work done at $300 less the $150 rebate. When he did not return my call, I suspected something was wrong. I spoke to ****** at the company and mentioned the quote that ***** had given me and she said that the maintenance program was $500 and with the $150 rebate, my cost would be $350. ****** said that ***** gave me the wrong cost estimate and that he did not know what the actual price was. I am not concerned that ***** did not know cost items because he quoted me what it would cost for the replacement of the thermostat and even told me that I should purchase 3 temperature gauges online as it would be cheaper than having his company do it. He seemed to know quite a bit about pricing. I feel like a victim of "switch and bait". When ***** did not call me back, I mentioned to my wife that I suspect that the company will raise it's price to take advantage of the $150 rebate. I suspect the company will deny this and assert that ***** quoted me the wrong price. Even if he did, a reputable company would admit it and give the customer the quoted price.

Desired Settlement: I would expect the company to honor its quote of $300 for the preventive maintenance program and apply the $150 instant rebate for a total cost to me of $150.

Business Response:

Dear Mr. *********,

First of all, we apologize for this mix up and uncomfortable experience. We will definitely honor the price of $300 for a solar water heater maintenance service less the Hawaii Energy instant rebate of $150 (A total of $150 out of pocket).

To clear up any other confusion, ***** is one of our front desk representatives. He recently joined our team and is quickly getting up to speed with our services and products, including becoming familiar with these prices. I hope you can accept our sincerest apologies.


**** ***
Alternate Energy Inc.

Consumer Response:  
Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.


***** *********

7/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service
5/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Shoddy workmanship caused leakage to our roof. Company is filing an insurance claim although damage was not caused through any strong wind, storm, or inclement weather, it was caused solely due to poor workmanship. Product_Or_Service: Photovoltaic Panels

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Replacement Replace roofing due to damage done due to both poor workmanship and unnecessary drilling of holes on the wrong side of the roof of which we were never notified during or after installation.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/04/30) */ Dear BBB, We apologize to the homeowner for this inconvenience, and have been trying to work with them to resolve this matter. Here is the summary of what has happened: A roof leak was reported to us five years after the initial installation. We met with the customer and brought roofing contractors out to access the repairs needed. We obtained estimates and offered to perform and pay for the repairs that we caused in FULL, but the customer refused and wanted the *entire* roof replaced and all the perimeter and existing vent flashings (not related to the PV installation) replaced to copper at ten times the cost of the estimated repairs (this is not realistic and they wanted a LOT more out of a simple repair). We really want to work with this customer and admit to our faults on this workmanship and take responsibility and be accountable, but if we are asked to be taken advantaged of, this is where we put our foot down and draw a line. Unable to resolve the matter with the customer, we asked our insurance company to help mitigate a settlement. Our insurance company has entered into discussions with the owner\'s insurance company, and they currently hired a forensic architect to access the situation to assist them in determining a course of action. The situation is currently being handled by our and the customer\'s insurance companies at this point. Sincerely, Alternate Energy Inc. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/05/02) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Let me go over Alternate Energy's response item by item. We reported a roof leakage almost 4 years after the initial installation date of May 2010. We first called our roofer who determined that the leakage was due to a lack of flashing when the modules were installed. We were also informed that there were many holes that were patched on the opposite side of the roof, as if they were going to place the modules there but realized it was the wrong side of the roof. We had absolutely no knowledge of this because neither the working men nor Alternate Energy ever informed us of this error. Alternate Energy sent out field representative **** to assess the damage to the roof. He was met by our roofer and together they went up on the roof and agreed on what the problem was and how to go forward with the repair work. **** said he will present his finding to the company and get back to us. **** was very personable, cordial, and pleasant to deal with. We asked that our original roofing company be used because of the type of the materials we used and we not only trust his work but also have a limited life time warranty with them. Yes, we did ask that the whole roof be repaired we are of the understanding that because of the materials we used; copper flashing, heavy duty felt, stainless steel nails, and more, would compromise the integrity of the roof. We are only asking that our roof be returned to its original condition prior to the errors made during installation. Copper flashing was used originally so we are not asking them to replace anything that did not already exist. An estimator from United roofing company came to look at our roof, no other roofing company came to check our roof or was ever involved. We were never quoted any estimates from different roofing companies nor did we ever discuss anything close to it. All we were told was that our roofer's estimate was too high. After Operations Manager ***, who was our only source of communication, everything took a different turn. We had to initiate all communications. The next time *** called was to inform us that a claim was made with Island Insurance and we would be receiving a call from them. We definitely are not trying to take advantage of them we are merely asking them to do what they claim they want to do, and I quote "...admit to our faults on this workmanship and take responsibility and be accountable...". We take being responsible and being accountable to mean returning things to their original condition prior to whatever errors were made. That is all we are asking for, nothing that anyone who have invested heavily into a quality roof wouldn't ask for. I don't know who from Alternate Energy responded for the lack of a name but we have communicated exclusively with Operations Manager ***. For a company that really wants to work with their customers there certainly is a lack of communication, leaving the customer in the dark. /there wasn't much effort put forth to resolve this matter and it appears they are hoping we will give in to their resolution. Today, Friday, May 2, 2014 we called our insurer State Farm Insurance and was told they were never contacted by First Insurance. We initially contacted our insurer when Island Insurance Called to let us know they would be handling the claim made by Alternate Energy. They asked that we call our insurer so they could work together. This completely puzzled us as to why insurers were involved. A day later we get a call form Island Insurance to let us know they were not the insurer at the time of the incident so first Insurance would be handling things from now on. To this day we have not had any communication with First Insurance, nor have we heard from *** since April 25, 2014. A Forensic Architect for a roof leak? I went to google it and there was no matches for forensic Architect in Hawaii. There are also brown water spots on our kitchen and living room ceiling due the leakage which Alternate Energy is responsible for. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2014/05/08) */ Update: We are working with **** from First Insurance. He is waiting on an updated estimate from ******* ******* to get back to him. The reason for the Insurer to be involved per the question in the *******'s response is that we did not completely understand the history of this specially constructed roof and ********'s follow up with the manufacturer. Our insurer finally made this clear to us after speaking to the roofer himself. We originally urged the insurance agencies involved to put this on high priority but apparently, they could not get in touch with the right parties, wrong contact details, etc, so we apologize for this as well. Please understand this was out of our hands. In regards to the 'forensic architect', this is what we were told by the insurer. We will accept full responsibility and resolve this as soon as possible. We do not want to drag this on any further while inconveniencing the *******s. This is taking too long. Once we hear back, I will contact the *******'s and resolve this right away. I have reached out to **** from First Insurance by phone to put a high priority and urgency to this issue and also followed up with an email. We understand how urgent this is and want to make this right. **** ***, Director of Marketing Alternate Energy Inc. Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 11, 2014/05/13) */ (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.) I am happy to report that through the efforts of First Insurance Agent **** ****** our problem is on the way to being resolved. Through agent ****'s work we were finally able to come to a very workable agreement as to how to proceed to repair our roof and related problems. I also believe that once **** *** became involved the process was speeded up and given a higher priority, which we really appreciate. Thank you BBB for sharing our concerns and thank you to Alternate Energy and First Insurance Company for working together in helping to resolve this matter to everyone's satisfaction. Thank you all for your time, ****** *******

1/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Failure of company to contact me regarding the $500.00 referral fee for referring a customer. I referred Mr. and Mrs. ****** ***** to Alternate Energy and the Sales Person Mr. ***** **** assured them that I would be getting the referral fee of $500.00. They did purchase a system which I recommended. As of this date 12/30/2013 I have not received any phone call or check from the company regarding this referral fee.

Desired Settlement: $500.00 referral fee

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/01/06) */ Dear ****, First of all thank you very much for referring our company to your friends and family. We sincerely apologize for the delay in getting your referral check out to you in a timely manner and we hope there was not any confusion with the way our referral system works. Please let me explain how it works. Steps for eligibility: * Purchased a PV system from AEI - confirmed * Up-to-date payments with AEI - confirmed * Must work with referring AEI project developer - confirmed * Submit a completed W-9 form to AEI - not received - you can download this form from - * When your referral's system is installed and paid in full, we proudly deliver your $500 check Your referral's installation was on Dec 13, 2013 and we did not receive payment in full until Dec 30th. The only step you need to take care of is sending us a completed W-9 form. Again, we apologize for this inconvenience and are happy to send you a referral award as soon as possible! Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 7, 2014/01/08) */ (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)

5/20/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: defective materials and/or poor workmanship. Installed 20 photovoltaic panels on 4/3/2013. Total cost: $26,088.50 ($14000.00 paid o/a 3/22/2013 and remainder on 4/5/2013 by check). After my followup on why I haven't received website used to monitor my energy/savings which I was told would be emailed to me within a week after installation, I finally received on 4/18/2013. Found out only after AEI workers showed up at my door on 4/20 and told me they came to "fix" 3 inoperable panels/optimizers was I aware that I had a problem. (lost of money since 3 panels did not produce energy which results in electricity saving). No one informed me that website also shows if panels were not operating properly. I was only told that through this website I can "see" how much energy was being produced and cost saving. Emailed sales agent (***** *******) on 4/21 w/ copy to owner (*. *******)of problem and may be too early for their action but no one contacted me yet. Mr. ******* usually responds within 1 day.


Business Response: Business' Initial Response /* (1000, 7, 2013/05/06) */ First of all we would like to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused. As of 04/20/2013 the (3) panels in question are operating. A check will be mailed out for the savings potentially lost during the 17 days. The amount will be determined at a later date. On 05/06/2013 at 3:55pm a message was left, on the phone number provided, to discuss how much savings was lost.