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Smart Energy Hawaii

Phone: (808) 373-4559 Fax: (808) 373-1740 View Additional Phone Numbers 238 Sand Island Access Rd Ste M3, Honolulu, HI 96819

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This company offers solar energy systems installation services,Energy efficiency and Solar Air Conditioning.

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


    238 Sand Island Access Rd Ste M3

    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)

8/24/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have had difficulty with this company from the very beginning. They promised installation of my solar air conditioning system in June; it was installed in September of 2014. In August of 2015, it broke. After three months of it not working and not being fixed,I finally hired an electrician to check out the system and he discovered that it had been installed incorrectly, which caused the motherboard to burn out. This year it broke again in July. After three weeks the part came, but the system still does not work. I have been asking to meet with the owner of the company to talk about replacing my system or refunding my money for the last week, and I am still getting the run around. This is a very frustrating situation, as I spent over $14,000 for a system that breaks every time it gets hot, then the company puts me off for weeks, then months during the hottest time of the year on a system that just is not worth it.

Desired Settlement: I would either like a different air conditioner (as this one is really a lemon) or I would like my money back so I can deal with a company that has a more reliable reputation.

Business Response:

I just(UL) answered her email with the time when ***** can meet.  I don't recall what occurred at the beginning of the install as the project manager then has moved on. However I do know about the August 2015 and July 2016 one.  Yes, she said she did have an electrician come and check out the wiring as it sparked.  We did not know about that, that I am aware of until recently.  In 2015, I had 2 techs go out.  The project manager then was very busy but did go out and when he was not able to correct it, gave her his portable a/c while waiting for the part to come in. The part comes from the Mainland and it did take long. As soon as it arrived, I did send a tech out to fix it and he did get it up and running.

This time was a different complaint then the last. A tech was sent out right away and thought there was something with the wiring as well.  I sent a C-13 to check it out and he did not see anything wrong with it.  He also told me there is PV wiring in there too. We then sent an associate HVAC specialist and he diagnosed, with the manual, what was supposed to be the breakdown. Unfortunately we have to order it from the Mainland and the company had taken some time in getting back to me but once that was established, it was shipped 2-day air and the HVAC tech went out to replace it.  

I understand her frustration.  She has told me both times about her dogs being hot and this time her window A/C was broken as well.  I also understand what she has said about the product.  While we too have discontinued using the ComfortStar for slow service, we have installed many others, at least 30, before discontinuing carrying that line.  I have had 2 other situations with this product which have since been handled, terminatedly.  I am sorry that hers may be a lemon.  However, I do want to say that in 2015, due to our inefficieint phone system, ******* came to our office and yelled at me thinking I was avoiding her calls.  Which I was not and I had a part-time co-worker there to explain as well.  She did yell on the phone this year too, more out of her frustration.  And there was a mishap when the C-13 went to her house.  I acknowledge and note her logging a complaint with BBB but I do feel we have done our best to service her.

Consumer Response:
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because: I informed you in 2015 about the incorrect electrical installation, which was done by your company. If it is not up to code (see the remark about the PV) it is because of the way your contractors installed it in the first place. Yes, I expressed frustration, but I also apologized for my frustration at the time. The technicians did come promptly, but the amount of time it has taken to correct the situation just drags on and on and on. This year the technicians left gates open and the airconditioner running hot air for 8 hours while I was at work through their negligence. It took three months to correct last year, and one month and counting this year, with no end in sight. I tried to make an appointment to see ***** Thompson starting on August 8, and he did not try to do anything until I filed a complaint with the BBB. 


******* ****

Business Response: Though it may appear that the only time an appointment was made was once a complaint was logged, that is not the case.  If our inter-office communication

is needed, I will forward it on.  I do recall on the 9th of August finding out the part did not correct the situation as our HVAC tech went on the 8th and relayed
the news that night.   The request for an appointment, I believe, came the next day, the 10th,  via phone as the customer felt the owner would say no.  

And though the electrician apologized for the a/c being on, he did think he turned it off and he said the gate was open.  It's hard
to say what occurred but I'm glad the dogs were safe.  

Yes I'm sure there will be a resolution.  What it will be is not my decision.  It was never the case that it would not be resolved.  As mentioned, we are doing
our best to work with the customer.

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. I have an appointment to speak with the owner of the business on Friday, August 16. I do not consider this situation resolved.


******* ****

Business Response: They all met and are resolving the issue.

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.


******* ****

6/29/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Improper installation of solar panels caused damage to my roof and attic, leak and mold discoloration were noted from 2 different leaks. Misrepresentation, false promises, ineptitude and obvious incompetence appear to be their normal business practice. It feels like I am dealing with Irish Travelers. Attempting to have the company repair the damage, has been an extremely frustrating and tedious process due to blatant failure to respond and indifference. The Project Manager responsible for scheduling and approving repairs - Spencer M******, - would not return phone calls, nor would the receptionist Edwina put me through to speak to him directly. Many false promises yet no follow through occurred after numerous phone calls over several months. The original saleman - Guy N******** - had helped us obtain an appointment for the first leak to be resealed, although no repair work was completed by the company for the mold damage from the initial leak. Mr. N********'s assistance appeared to finally prompt their office to send "workers" to repair the second leak. When young workmen arrived, they had no ladders or tools - and borrowed ours. They took pictures and the leak was supposedly again resealed, yet still, the mold damage was left unrepaired. More phone calls not returned and false promises made by Edwina that we were "on the list" and "more would be done." Months later, more phone calls from us and a handyman - Hector - was sent to inspect the damage and schedule repair - yet he stated he refused to work on roofs - so why was he sent? He stated he would be talking and working with Spencer, Hector never returned. More phone calls from us - receptionist Edwina continued to stall by saying we are on a list but again refuses to put me through to the project manager Spencer for scheduling. In April 2016, Sakura T*******, part owner assured me she was concerned and would personally make it right and promised to send someone to inspect that week. Ms. T******* claimed Spencer was no longer with the company and was the source of the problem in holding up my repair. Later that week **** O'G****** came for an inspection and made mention of several tasks that needed to be done. A workman named Ray came but stated it was raining and he was not able to complete the repair but would come back in a week after his vacation. 2 months later, still no Ray. More calls to the company and Mr. N********, and Edwina finally called stated she would schedule Spencer to complete the repair - this is the same Spencer whom Sakura T******* had assured me was no longer with the company and who was supposedly primary reason for the lack of progress in resolving my problems for the past year. Misrepresentation documented. Ultimate insult and final straw.

Desired Settlement: Send a competent professional with this own tools to repair the damage they have caused.

Business Response:

Our chief administrative officer spoke with Mrs. ******.  Ray is scheduled to go back there tomorrow morning and put a flashing on that we couldn't do because of the rain and to help out from what **** ******* mentioned, put screws in some loose boards in the attic so no one trips.  This was not because of our installation, it was just a help flow.

We understand the upset from not responding in a timely fashion.  However, there are incorrect statements within the complaint.  These have been gone over with Mrs. ******, like never forwarding the call to Spencer.  He was informed about the calls but he is hardly in the office to received phone calls.  There is no need to go more into it, but suffice it to say, that it has been discussed and it has been worked out that a flashing is going to be put on to prevent a leak, which was the fear, as there was no leak.

Consumer Response:

Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

Smart Energy is denying the fact there were in fact two leaks after installation of their system and despite repeated attempts from us - there were ZERO return phone calls from there project manager for repair of the second leak or the damage that resulted from both leaks.  The leaks and resulting damage had been documented by their own staff in photos gathered by their own employees.  


** ******

3/11/2016 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Have been trying to get warranty replacement on installed ******* microinverters for photovoltaic system installed earlier by the company. After a number of calls as early as Nov 2015, was finally given an replacement installation date on 2/4/16. This date came and went with no contact from the company, and no call back on requests for contact/information from them. ****** DCCA shows that their business registration expired on 11/2/15.

Desired Settlement: Installation of promised warranty replacements for ******* microinverters.

Business Response: I called ***** ***** yesterday, 2 March and explained what occurred and will be calling back once

I have it confirmed that our crew can go out, possibly Friday, 4 March.  Unfortunately, the person
acting in our stead that ***** spoke with did not communicate clearly to myself as the Director of Administrations 
what was being or needed to be done.  I have taken over this particular function about 2 - 3 weeks
ago and have gotten all materials turned over to me and some of  the particulars.  

Also, it is true that Smart Energy has been dissolved.  Our company is now ***** **** ****** ***,
doing business as Solar Cool ******. One of the main principals of Smart Energy is the owner of
Solar Cool and we are still servicing our customers of Smart Energy ******.  Our office number is the same - ********.

Respectfully submitted,
Edwina S*******
Director of Administrations

10/22/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Upon seeing an advertisement for this company, my husband made an appointment . This was in July of 2014. Our unit was not installed till December of 2014. It was a very rushed job in my opinion.Unit was not properly working and 3 visits were made to fix the problem, (resolved). In August of 2015 I got an electric bill for over 2000.00 Made contact with the sales person and their office called and I made arrangements to have company come and check to make sure everything was in working condition. In the mean time, I worked with **** and resolved issues with ****. As of today, October 2015, I have had calls 3-4 times by ***** ****** but no one has been coming to services us as promised.

Desired Settlement: I'd like for this company to send the electrician that needs to check up on their unit to make sure that it is not their unit that is eating up my electricity . I have done my best to no avail.I'm not satisfied as a customer. I have done my followup with **** and done my part as suggested by ****. Please help.

Business Response: Aloha~
   Yes this did occur.  I think a miscommunication occurred however.  On the 1st of October, I called again and spoke with Mr. ******.  He told me of the upset they had as our
company did not show back up, nor call, and kept them waiting.  Also in this conversation, I did ask if he wanted us to someone and he replied that it wasn't necessary.
I then told our project manager what occurred. 
   We will get someone out to check the electricity and what we also want to offer is a discount for the annual maintenance.
Edwina S*******
Director of Administrations

11/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: In December 2013 Smart Energy / ***** **** installed a PV system for my home. In March 2014, they installed a ********* Solar Cool system in my home (solar assisted A/C system). The system was supposed to provide A/C at a fraction of the electrical cost of a "standard" system. That turned out to be not the case. Primarily because they sized the downstairs cooling unit a size too small. It has to run all day and still doesn't keep the house cool. They agreed it was undersized and told me they would schedule an upgrade. I have been calling them / e-mailing them for months now and they say they'll get to it but they never do.... Lately, they haven't been even returning my calls.I also got a letter from my Homeowner's association saying they hadn't installed the PV system in accordance with their PV application and the Homeowner's association bylaws.

Desired Settlement: Upgrade the downstairs unit to the proper size and correct the installation mistakes that were made on the PV system.

Business Response: Aloha,

     We have taken a bit in getting the material needed to upgrade the undersized system for financial reasons.  I sent Mr. ****** an email late afternoon on the 6th of November
explaining that the other part has been ordered and due to arrive in about 10 days and that our Project Manager would be contacting him as soon as possible thereafter.  
Mr. ****** informed me that he had not seen my email until after he sent in the complaint and that an install scheduled after the 3rd of December works better for him.
****** ********
Smart Energy Hawaii/***** **** ******

9/22/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Contractor told customer all approvals for system install were received. Customer later discovered system not approved and unusable. On August 13, 2013 I agreed to purchase a home solar panel (PV) System from Smart Energy Hawaii. Also on this date I submitted a Net Metering Agreement request to ******** ******** ******* through smart Energy Hawaii. I secured a loan through ******** ******* **** in the amount of $36,230.35, the purchase price of the system on Sept 26, 2013. In early December I received a letter from **** informing me that my Net metering agreement was received and was pending Approval. I informed the Smart Energy representative of this. He informed me that he would deal with **** and I was told in December that everything was good to go and that the Smart Energy rep had been in contact with **** and that everything was approved and we could proceed with the install. I paid them half of the purchase price up front and they installed my system and it was activated (Dec 24, 2013), I then paid them the remainder of the purchase price. In January I received a letter from **** (Jan 13, 2014) informing me that my NEM agreement was not approved, and is pending an interconnection study and whatever follow on actions are necessary. This means to avoid penalties I have to turn off my new PV system. I contacted Smart Energy about the situation and have been given nothing but excuses and the runaround for 7 months when asked how they plan to compensate me for this issue. Each time I contact them, I am met with "we are talking to ****", and "we just need another week", or "we will give you an answer on Friday". They do not follow through and the issue is not resolved. I have since discovered that at least two other people are in the same situation as me, installed systems that cannot be used. I found their reviews on **** when I added mine. I have also learned that the company representative ******* ******* no longer is employed by Smart Energy. At least one of the other victims of this issue had the same salesman who told them everything was approved. Smart Energy has tried to play it off as one rogue salesman. I pointed out to them that they cannot play it off, as at the time he was acting as an agent of the company and they are responsible for his actions.

Desired Settlement: 1) Smart energy to cover my electric bill until such time as I have an approved NEM agreement and can activate the system. The system was specifically sized to eliminate my power bill. or 2) Removal of the system and replacement of my roof and a purchase price refund.

Business Response: From: ****** ******** *************************************
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2014 4:42 PM
To: ***** ** *****
Cc: **********************************
Subject: Case # ********* *** ***** ******

Hello *****,

I wasn't sure if I was to respond using the link or directly to your email address. I choose the latter using the link's format:

This is the first letter we received regarding this complaint. The confusion of why this occurred has been resolved. In the past 2 years, there have been major policy changes for homeowners to install PV from ****. These changes have affected the community as well as the industry. These changes occurred right when this individual was to have his system installed. However, with regards to this particular issue, we have been in consistent and thorough contact with our customer, which has taken numerous and constant follow up communications by several of our staff and our COO and CEO, in liaison with **** reps and their Executives. The last communication to the customer was to let him know that our COO had gone beyond the call of duty by requesting a personal meeting with two **** Executives who are Senior V.P.s. The CEO had personally met with the two **** executives/Senior V.P.s, and finally collectively resolved the customer's issue, that his Net Metering Agreement has been approved. The customer was sent a letter directly to him by **** at the COO's and CEO's request, informing him of the good news which he should have received, as we had received a cc'ed copy of this letter. That letter is attached to this email. ******** ******** *******, Inc. (****) is a 3rd party utility company that delivers electrical grid service to the customer's/homeowner's grid, thus we're not affiliated with them. We do, however, try to keep up with them and their changes as any resident in the state of Hawaii.

Should any further information be needed, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be glad to assist in any way possible.

****** ********
Customer Care Consultant

a division of 21st Century Technologies
***** ******** Office
***** ******** Fax
Email: ****************************
Web: ********************************

Consumer Response: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
While most of what she said is technically true, the fact remains that sales representative for Smart Energy Hawaii told me that he had personally verified with **** that all required permissions from **** had been received and I was approved to install my system. The sales Representative and I specifically discussed the "transition period" and I was told I "made it in under the wire". When I pressed Smart Energy on the matter they implied it was one rogue salesmen, they dropped that line when I told them that meant nothing, as he was acting as a representative of the company at the time. Smart Energy's reply makes it sound as though they have gone far out of their way to assist me and that I am the one being unreasonable.

Is it really that unreasonable to want a company to not stonewall me for 9 months. Is it really that unreasonable to want to use the $36,000 system they sold me? Is it really that unreasonable to expect some sort of compensation for their mistake that has cost me approximately $2000 in electrical bills that should have been negated by the unused PV system?

12/18/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Solar PV was installed in Sept 2012. I would like a status on my permit, ie has it been inspected and why in over 1 year there has been no follow up. Per email below I released final funds to complete the install. Smart Energy Hawaii received payment but has not delivered on system inspection or permit status. I may have a Solar PV system that is unsafe, has not been inspected and putting my family and home at risk. From: ************** <***************************> Date: Friday, November 2, 2012 1:43 PM To: ************* <********************> Subject: Aloha ***** Good afternoon sir! Hope all is well.... Just wanted to check in and see how the system is doing? Also, I was thinking about getting that "ridge vent" done to my house - what has your experience been with that? Additionally, I think we should have ********* release that last 10% of the loan payment - so that you get the receipt for your taxes this year?!?! Normally that is held until the inspector comes out and gives approval to close the permit - then the funds are realesed to us....trouble is they are overwhlemed and you might not see until after the year end. Thereby getting the tax credits next year! Know that if for some very unlikely reason you do not get the "all clear" from DPP - we will do whatever it takes to make it ok and get it approved no matter when that is. Thanks, ************** Energy Consultant I recently contacted Smart Energy Hawaii regarding my concerns and received one phone call and one email, attached below. I responded to the gentleman and have received no responses at all. Aloha ****, We have made attempts to schedule an inspection with the city but during this time inspectors have been disregarding our inspection requests due to an overwhlming amount of previous requests. When final requests are sent out it is with the inspectors discretion whether or not they will show up. This has been an ongoing issue that we are trying to resolve but we are at the mercy of city/county. If you have any questions ************ Best, ************** Project Coordinator

Desired Settlement: I am requesting that my permit status be reviewed and my system be inspected properly.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/12/17) */ I was not able to access the website at this time thus the email. Unfortunately, it is true that we have not closed the permit completely as of yet. There have been numerous requests for the electrical inspection. And we will be continue to put in the request. There are inspectors that call and confirm the time and date of the inspection. Some do not and we put in another request. The building inspection is the only inspection that was done and closed. The electrical inspection is the one we are awaiting so the permit can be completely closed. From what I understand, an action that has been suggested and proven effective is utilizing the Mayor's Complaint Line with regards to getting a permit closed. The number to that line is ********. I hope this helps and we will put in another request as well. Aloha, *************** Director of Administrations a division of 21st Century Technologies ************** Office ************** Fax Email: **************************** Web: ******************************* Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 9, 2013/12/18) */ I am not satisfied with the response from Smart Energy Hawaii. I have been left out of the loop as far as my PV system inspection is concerned. My system was installed in September 2012. I am not happy with the way Smart Energy Hawaii did not tell me that my system was not inspected, and my permit was not closed properly. I submitted final payment under the assumption that my install would be completed properly. Smart Energy Hawaii in no way notified me of the status of my permit until I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I have received 2 emails from Smart Energy Hawaii stating that the Dept of Plans and Permits is overwhelmed, and I will be updated when an inspection has been requested. I have not received any emails stating that any other inspections have been submitted. I would like to request the complaint is filed as unresolved. Thank you very much. Thank you, *************

Customer Review(s)