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Hawaiian Island Solar, Inc.

Phone: (808) 261-9740 Fax: (808) 259-8610 View Additional Phone Numbers 111 Hekili Street  Ste. A-462, Kailua, HI 96734

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This company offers a complete line of solar equipment and provides installation, service and repair on new or existing components.

Reason for Rating

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

Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of No Rating. The reason is as follows:

  • This business has no rating at this time because BBB file information is being reviewed and/or updated.

Additional Locations


    111 Hekili StreetSte. A-462

    Kailua, HI 96734


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)

4/28/2015 Problems with Product/Service
3/26/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: water heater broke leaking hot water in supplied damaged, hazardousemergency contact information not available called kailua office since call back

Desired Settlement: fix the problem

3/18/2015 Problems with Product/Service
3/12/2015 Problems with Product/Service
3/11/2015 Billing/Collection Issues
11/27/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
10/16/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: They do not want to return calls about warranty issues only want to charge you more money and the worst customer service I have ever dealt with. I spent a lot of money on my solar water heater and solar vent fans with them and time for warranty they do not return calls and dodge the work as they want you pay them again. What a rip off I will tell all my friends about this and I personally will never call them for anything ever again. I even left message for the owner to call me back and they said at 1900 he would call but he never did. Another great customer service moment for this company.

Desired Settlement: Just for everyone to know how bad this company treats the customers.

Business Response: On September 3, 2013 ****** ****** had (2) Attic Fans motors replaced. He called last week to report one of his motors were not working. The manufacture's warranty states for NEW attic fans a 5 year warranty, their warranty does not state anything about warranties for only fan motor replacement. We told him we would follow up with the supplier/manufacture and get back with him. We called both suppliers on island and they had no idea about a warranty for only a fan replacement. We then called the manufacture on the mainland and they took 5 days to get back to us. As soon as they got back to us we called Mr. ****** and explained the warranty to him. He cut off our customer service representative each time she tried explaining the manufactures warranty and she couldn't get him to understand the situation so she transferred Mr. ****** to me hoping I could calm him down & explain the situation to him. As soon as I picked up the phone he started yelling at me and would not let me explain a thing. I then told him I would get the owner of HIS in contact with him and told him the owners office hours since the owner works in the field. The owner, **** *******, called Mr. ****** back twice that afternoon and each time Mr. ******* called him Mr. ****** told him he didn't know what he was talking about and he never called us. We could no longer help him at that point if he is refusing that he even called our office. I have e-mails from our customer service representative and from the owner of Hawaiian Island Solar stating they tried reaching out to Mr. ****** with no luck.


Consumer Response:  

I am rejecting this response because:


****** ****** 

Still more lies first the lady I was talking to when she was telling to pay more money first she hung up on me on our last call when I was done with them.  And the owner never did call me at 7 p.m. like I was told. I just hope they don't do this to other customers as I will spread the word best I can with word of mouth.  And I don' t lie like this company and the must be ok with it seems he never called at 7 p.m.

Business Response: Mr. ******

This is ***********, owner of Hawaiian Island Solar. The girls in the office did follow proper protocol by following up with the suppliers and manufactures on the attic fan warranty. As stated in the first response, they only provided warranties on brand new installs, not motor replacements.  It is out of their control how long it  took for someone on the mianland to get back to them with the proper information. They also were not trying to get money out of you by informing you of costs, it was just for your information so there were no surprises. I also did phone you twice the evening (October 10, 2014) after the misunderstanding. When I called, you responded, "you must have the wrong number, because I never called you." We have gone above and beyond to try and help you with this situation, we'd like to move forward continuing to help you, but cannot without your cooperation.

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

Additional Notes

Complaint: Solar panel installation caused leak through roof onto ceiling. Ceiling damaged and company putting off fixing ceiling. 5-28-2014- company came to fix solar panel fixture causing leak through roof. This is the second time water leaked through same fixture. 6/6- company came to take pictures of damage. Was told someone would call to schedule fixing of ceiling in a few days. No call. 6/13- called solar company to follow up, still waiting on owner to approve fixing. Was told they would call back when they talk to owner. 6/20- called solar company to follow up. Was told owner was contacted but has not approved fixing yet. 6/30- called by solar company, owner would like to come see damage himself before approving ceiling to be fixed. Every appointment made, we have been given a three hour window where we have to wait for someone to come. They already have pictures of damage.

Desired Settlement: I would like ceiling fixed soon, as we have other renovations scheduled and important events planned. I don't want to have wait at home for them to come "take a look" at the damage for three times before fixing it, and was also told they may not even fix damage, depending on owner and if he approves it. It is their fault and they should be fixing error ASAP. I would like others to know what we are going through when making a decision on what solar company to go with.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/07/11) */ On 5/28/14 Hawaiian Island Solar sent a technician out to repair the area between solar collector and roof that was causing a leak on the customer's home. The repair was made and we informed the customer we would schedule another appointment to repair any damages made. There is usually a 2-3 week time frame wait between fixing of leaks and a repair to the damage caused to ensure the leak was properly sealed. We wait for some rain fall and weathering from the sun to make sure the sealant stuck before repairs are made so there isn't continued damage to the new repairs. This was communicated over the phone to the customer. The customer did send in photos of damage via e-mail but you could not see the damages via photo or determine the proper way to make repairs at all over the computer so we scheduled an appointment to have the President of HIS take a look at the damages himself in person. This was also communicated with the customer. It is company policy to give a three hour time frame because we cannot determine driving distance from each job site or predict traffic flow on the island. Also communicated with customer. The date we had scheduled to make repairs, we called in the morning to confirm and the customer said to cancel because her husband made the repair. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/07/14) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) My husband did repair the ceiling himself because I needed it done already before giving birth. I would like to add that we did not provide the pictures of the damages, I had to wait 3 hours for someone from the company to come to take pictures of the damages that the president did not approve of. Also, the day the president was to come look at the damages, the appointment was at 9 am. I got a call at 930 am saying that the president could not make it and would have to reschedule for the next day. That is when I told them to cancel coming because my husband had already fixed the damages. Poor poor customer service!

4/11/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Hawaiian Island Solar wants $450 to replace failed equipment.Problem is, they won't guarantee that will fix the problem and have stopped communicating. 2-3 months after the installation of 11 panels to an existing 15 in August 2013, the PV monitoring system started reporting failure of communicating with Enphase microinverters in the system. After two service calls to Hawaiian Island Solar (HIS), their technician determined a failed Enphase Envoy unit. After several emails, HIS offered to sell me a replacement for $450 - problem was, they stopped communicating with me after I insisted that they had to agree to take the Envoy unit back (I would not have to pay $450) if that did not fix the problem. My last email to HIS was 4 March 2014 - I have not received a reply since. I will be glad to provide copies of the email correspondence.

Desired Settlement: I want HIS to replace the Envoy unit. If that fixes the problem, I will gladly pay the $450. I just don't understand HIS' position: why should I have to pay for a replacement Envoy unit, if that doesn't fix the problem? Doesn't HIS have the technical competence to determine exact cause of the failure? Good troubleshooting procedures means that HIS should have a "test Envoy unit" on hand to perform troubleshooting with - this way, they can definitively pinpoint the problem source. In summary: I understand that the Envoy unit was originally installed in 2012, and further, that it is out-of-warranty. I will be glad to pay $450 for a replacement if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't fix the problem, I expect HIS to continue troubleshooting.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/04/08) */ Contact Name and Title: ****** **** Contact Phone: ***-**** Contact Email: ***** On 8/13/13 we installed (11)SolarWorld-270 with M215s to Mr. *** ******'s existing (15) PV panels installed in 2011 and 2012. In November of 2013 it was reported by Enphase the system was not producing. We sent out an electrician on November 29, 2013 to establish a connection/ +(web). It wasn't until January 2014 we received a call from Mr. ****** stating that he is unable to monitor his system. We then sent out the same electrician, January 9, 2014, who determined the customer, needed a new envoy. We contacted Enphase and they let us know they would not be sending a RMA replacement because the customer's Envoy 1 year warranty had already expired. We then advised the customer that we can replace his Envoy unit, but we will have to charge him $450, the cost of material, due to the expired warranty. Over the phone, Mr. ****** communicated to us he would let us know what he would like to do going forward and that was the last communication we had from him. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/04/09) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Hawaiian Island Solar's ("HIS") response is not acceptable - particularly with regards to the claim that I had not communicated with them since the replacement cost of $500 ($500 was the actual number quoted by Mr. **** ***** as an estimated cost in an earlier email) was made known to me. Specifically, I have an email in which I communicated with a Mr. **** *****, salesperson for the company, that spans the period between 2 Dec 2013 - to 4 Mar 2014. I stated that the $500 replacement offer was unacceptable - unless that fixed the problem. I asked for acknowledgement that if the replacement EMU did NOT fix the problem - that I be refunded the $450. I asked for a response to that - and I never got one. I would be glad to forward the email. I currently have two phone messages from HIS - one from Mr. **** *****, and another from a Ms. ****** ****** - I intend to call them back and see what they have to say. I really don't want to engage in a war of words about who got what emails and made which phone calls - I would rather spend the energy on fixing the problem. To this end, if HIS is offering a replacement EMU for $450 - that would be acceptable - as long as it is clearly understood that if that does NOT fix the problem, I will not be charged the $450, and that HIS will continue to troubleshoot the problem. Let me restate: I will pay the $450 for a replcement EMU as long as that resolves the problem. HIS will take back the replacement EMU - and not charge me $450 - if it does not fix the problem - and in that case - HIS will will continue to troubleshoot my problem. Aloha, *** ****** Final Business Response /* (4000, 10, 2014/04/10) */ In Mr. ******'s previous e-mail, he stated that the charge for the replacement EMU was $450.00. We spoke with Mr. ****** 4/9/14 and confirmed 4/10/14 for one of our technicians to come and replace his EMU unit. It was in this phone conversation that we also confirmed the price of $450.00 and also that if they EMU unit did not work; we would come and remove it, resulting in no charges. It is this reason that I do not understand where Mr. ****** is trying to go with his response addressing $500.00. From our phone conversation yesterday, everything was addressed. To confirm, the price for the EMU unit will be $450.00, we are sending out a technician to replace the unit. If in fact the unit does not resolve his problem, we then will return, remove the EMU unit, and refund Mr. ****** his payment. Nowhere did we ever say if the EMU did not work, he would have to still pay the $450.00. Furthermore, **** ***** is an independent sales representative for Hawaiian Island Solar, not an employee of Hawaiian Island Solar. Thank You Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 13, 2014/04/11) */ (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)

3/12/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Leaking solar hot water heater. Called in to report on Monday afternoon (2-3pm), info taken and told someone would call. 4 days and no reply. Leaking solar hot water heater. Called in to report on Monday afternoon (2-3pm), info taken and told someone would call. 4 days and no reply. Called in on Tuesday night and left a message on voicemail. Waited on Wednesday - still no return call. Called in around 11am to follow-up. Nobody claimed to have listened to the voicemail message. I was told that nobody could come address my leaking water heater until Saturday. MORE THAN 1 WEEK LATER! Subsequently I have left 3 messages and 1 e-mail for the owner (**** *******) with no reply.

Desired Settlement: I wanted to speak with the owner so she could prioritize my situation and have someone come to my house sooner rather than later so I didn't have to wait around during a 3 hour window when someone may show up. Company failing to return my calls is a good indication of poor customer service.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/02/21) */ We installed a hot water solar system for **** ****** on 2/26/2010. Our office says the first time they were aware of a service issue needed for Mr ****** was on 2/10/14. The employee took a message and forwarded to our scheduler, who happened to be out for two days. When our scheduler returned on 2/12/14, she scheduled a service appointment for our first opening we had (2/15/14). When I (**** *******, CFO) first read my email of his concern on 2/12/14, I immediately checked with my schedule to be sure he was scheduled. Because he was already scheduled, I did not return his email due to the fact his problem was taken care of (his complaint was no call back and at the point I read email call was done). On 2/15/14, the owner, **** ******* personally went to his home and replaced the drain valve and a hose cap under warranty. His leak is repaired. **** ******* Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 7, 2014/02/24) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I called Hawaiian Island Solar between 2 and 3pm on 2/10/14. I spoke to a man who took my information and told me that someone would contact me "shortly". He never told me that the scheduler was "out". My expectation was that someone would contact me that day, since it was only 2 or 3pm. I waited patiently. Nobody called me on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, I called Hawaiian Island Solar again and left an urgent message for someone to call me since I still had a leak and that nobody had contacted me from my initial call from the previous Friday (2/10/14). On Wednesday 2/12/14, I was expecting a call sometime in the morning. When I still hadn't received a call by 11am, I called in yet again (3rd phone call to Hawaiian Island Solar - with ZERO return phone calls). The call was answered by the same man that I spoke to on the previous Friday. I explained that nobody had contacted me, and that I had also left a follow-up message on Tuesday night. He never indicated that the scheduler was "out". He apologized that nobody had contacted me and transferred me directly to the scheduler. Stating that the scheduler scheduled my service appointment when she returned on 2/12/14 is really stretching the truth. The truth is that I had to call 3 times to get anywhere. Nobody indicated that anyone was out of the office. When I complained that the company failed to respond to my service problem in a timely manner (I waited 4+ days and STILL nobody called me, I had to call back in) nobody told me that anyone was out or sick, or anything. That is when I requested to speak to the owner of the company. I was given the name **** ******* as the owner of the company and I left a message for her to contact me. She never returned my call. I called again the next day and was transferred to her voicemail and I left another message. Again, no return phone call. I called again and when they tried to transfer me to her voicemail, the voicemail system indicated that it was full and would not record a message. I called back again and let them know that ****'s voicemail was full and it wouldn't take a message. I was given 2 e-mail addresses, one for **** and one that would go to a group of people (including ****) and I sent an e-mail only to **** shortly after lunchtime on 2/13/14. When I didn't receive a reply on the morning on 2/14/14, I sent an e-mail to both **** and to the group address. Both of my e-mails were professional, even though I was very frustrated. A few hours later, someone named ***** **** sent back a 3 line reply, where she asked where I received no help form the company. That was really a poor response. No reasonable person would have been happy if they were in my shoes with a leaking solar water heater and would have certainly been infuriated with an e-mail reply that asked "Where have you received no help?". This reply to BBB is basically an excuse. The company failed to respond to my original call in a timely manner. Waiting 4 days is more than reasonable. Still nobody returned my call even when I left another message and then I get e-mails back asking where I received no help and accused me of being unprofessional.

1/2/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: After installing a PV system, HIS failed to seal the opening in my roof. Result: water damage to my interior ceiling. HIS scheduled 2 rapairs, no show The installers did not adhere to plans for system layout and the result was 3 panels hanging 1/2" off the roof. They insisted it was installed according to approved plan. The plan they showed me looked nothing like what was on my roof. They returned to fix the layout, said they repaired holes in the roof due to move. Don't think this happened. I'm too old to go climbing on the roof to check. The hole for the conduit was not patched resulting in rain damage to my ceiling. HIS returned to patch the hole, then scheduled repair to my ceiling. I called the day before to confirm, since I had to take off from work. The company owner showed up to patch the hole. I told him the ceiling needs to be repaired, I scheduled this over 3 weeks prior. He called ****, the fixit guy & told him to come to my house with ceiling paint. 3 hours later he showed & said it would take hours to complete the job. I scheduled for today 8/24/13, asked for email confirmation, still no show. My experience with HIS has been a disastrous, exasperating failure. I had to beg for my receipt for payment, my Enphase doesn't work-my original complaint to patch the leak included a request to fix this. This request has been totally ignored. I receive NO reports of my solar production. I always need to make multiple contacts to get attention. Horrible!

Desired Settlement: Repair my ceiling, that simple.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/09/10) */ On 9/10/12, we installed a photovoltaic system for ****** ********. ****** called us in June 2013 complaining about a leak from her roof. On 6/28/13 we scheduled two technicians to assess and repair the leak. We found the seal on the conduit run penetration was not sealed properly at the initial install. Our technicians then sealed the penetration the proper way. They also assessed inside of house and found ceiling to have water stains on it from our leak. They informed her that our scheduling department will be calling to schedule our drywall employee to make the repairs. On 7/1/13, our drywall employee painted the water damaged area. On 7/30/13 ****** called back dissatisfied with the paint repair. We scheduled our drywall employee again to repair ceiling as customer wants for 8/24/13 and 8/25/13. Our drywall employee came to the warehouse morning of 8/24/13, and claimed our gates were all shut; therefore he had no access to the work truck and supplies needed. I was not aware of this situation until later that same evening, I checked my emails to find an email from ****** stating nobody showed up today. I then called my drywall employee to confirm, and to learn what happened - I was under the impression my drywall employee worked all day at this job. I then replied to ****** by email explaining what had happened and apologized to her. Also told her that the employee will be there the next morning to continue the repair. I did not get a reply from ******; but being the situation it is, I had my drywall employee return that morning 8/25/13 to make the repairs. ****** was not home - my employee waiting couple hours and ****** did come home, but now did not want repairs completed that day. We called ****** the following morning and scheduled the repairs for 8/31/13. Her ceiling did get completely repaired at this appointment. We also sent our electrician 8/31/13 to check her PV monitoring system - He found the bridge that is needed to be able to monitor a PV system, unplugged from the wall. He plugged back in, checked system over, and made sure the monitoring was now indeed working. The monitoring of a PV system, is for analyzing the system only. It can not cause your PV system to not work properly - just doesn't allow the consumer to be able to see the systems production. Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 7, 2013/09/11) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) HIS did paint my ceiling to my satisfaction. I believe the company owners are sincere in wanting their customers to be satisfied. Their problem is in their hiring practices and failure to follow up. They hired clowns with no loyalty to the company and are now having to face the aftermath. The account by the company is not totally accurate. The initial install was a nightmare and they came out several times to make it right. The technicians did not assess my ceiling damage when they repaired the roof. I scheduled a repair for my ceiling at the time of my call regarding the leak. I also spent $155 to be informed by the air conditioning repair person that the leak was due to the PV installation. I was not reimbursed for this. When the drywall person showed up, he told me he did not have ceiling paint with him so the painting would probably not cover the stain and would not match the color of my ceiling. I told him I would try to live with it and if I found I couldn't, I'd call for another repair. I tried to ignore it for 2 weeks, found I couldn't, and scheduled another repair. The 2nd visit was from a repair person who said he was there to repair a leak (?). He took a look at the painted ceiling & said he could see the paint did not cover the stain & did not match the rest of the ceiling. He sent the drywall guy over again. The drywall guy didn't show up for 3 hours, painted the ceiling with a glaring bright white ceiling paint. I told him I would call to schedule a painting of the entire ceiling. When no one showed up on 8/24 by 9:00 AM, I placed several calls to HIS. I also subsequently sent a couple of emails. It was responded to at 9:30 PM that day. No phone call was ever placed to my home, no apology was offered until I asked for it. I do not regularly check email & did not see the email until the afternoon of/ 8/25. The drywall guy showed up at 12 noon on 8/25. I wasn't home. Why would he start a job on Sunday afternoon when it was scheduled for 1-1 1/2 days? He called my cellphone & when I returned his call, he offered no explanation or apology for not showing the day before. In the email sent on Saturday NIGHT, ****, the owner's wife, said I should deal directly with her in the future. HIS never called me about the no show; I needed to initiate the call. When I called her about the fiasco, I left a message because she wasn't in, then had to call her back 2 hours later because she never called me. For subsequent calls, she was never available and never called me back. Her employees screened the calls for her. I never spoke to her again. The guy who came to address the monitoring issue did not say anything about the bridge being unplugged. He said the unit needed to be restarted. The discrepancies in our accounts is probably due to the fact that **** never spoke to me after the initial call I placed to ask what happened about her workman not showing up for the scheduled appointment. She simply did not have the story straight. Because of my skepticism, I asked ****, the owner, for a statement that seals on my roof would be guaranteed against leaks. I am still waiting for that. There were many unnecessary penetrations in my $30,000 roof. I do not consider this matter quite settled yet because of this. No follow through again. Final Business Response /* (1000, 11, 2013/09/27) */ Below please find my response: September 25, 2013 ****** ********* ******* ******* Pl Waipahu HI 96797 Re: Roof Warranty Dear ******: Enclosed please find a check #***** in the amount of $155.00 for reimbursement of monies you spent with your A/C conctractor. Also, this letter is to confirm your warranty coverage for all roof penetrations made by Hawaiian Island Solar Inc related to the PV installation on 9/10/12. This warranty is for all PV related penetrations, including area of penetrations that were initially placed in the wrong location. Warranty is as follows: All work performed by HIS is covered und a 5-year workmanship warranty including all work and penetrations, including parts and labor. We will honor the start date of the warranty the date of the final leak repair date: August 1, 2013. Thank you, **** ******* Business Manager

8/27/2012 Problems with Product/Service
8/24/2012 Problems with Product/Service
6/12/2012 Guarantee/Warranty Issues