HECO: Some homes cannot use solar powerUPDATED 7:00 PM HST Oct 14, 2013Video Transcript
iphone or android and send in your ulocal pics. Paula? It's a solar quandry. If you are thinking about getting a green system, you might want to listen to this... Some homeowners are crying foul over a recent move by Hawaiian Electric to put the breaks on new photovoltaic systems in some neighborhoods. KITV4's Catherine Cruz joins us now with more... Some are calling it solar limbo. And hundreds of customers are stuck in it. Imagine shelling our for a new solar system... Only NOT being able to reap the benefits. - William Walker 7:46 -7: 50 - "Oh yeah, We are definitely very frustrated," William Walker is in a power pickle.. paying on a 35 thousand dollar loan for his system --PLUS his power bills. - William Walker 8:07 -8:14 - "Now, we are looking at months, or maybe years before we get this resolved," This couple dipped into their savings for a new system only to be told Hawaiian Electric is putting off new hookups in certain areas-- including theirs. - Ronald Hayashi 3: 22 - 3 :32 - "We don't know. Meanwhile here we expected our system to be online and saving us money because we still are HEco customers, instead we are stuck in limbo," The couple decided to have a system installed at their Kunia home because of health problems that require Janet Hayashi to stay home. She's upset at the process. - Janet Hayashi 5: 22- 5:25 - "We had no input. We had no say," Ray Ichihara put a 9 thosuand dollar down payment on a system but then got a call from his vender with bad news. - Ray Ichihara 12:00 - 12: 05 - "I just want them to start the work and so I can get some benefit out of what I am paying for," Ichihara wanted to hear for himself what industry leaders are saying about the problem. Hawaiian Electric appeared at a legislative briefing and laid out what they say is a safety issue with so many people on one circuit feeding power into the grid at one time. - Scott 17:00- 17:15 -"You have so much electricity and it has no where to go. So for a brief period of time you have voltage spikes which could blow up appliances and it oculd cause safety issues to people who are working on the system at the time. SO there are potentially very serious issues," - CRUZ last take "HECO is willing to grandfather customers who submitted their applications before Sept 6th, but that only means a little more than 200 homeowners will get a break." Meanwhile solar companies complain they are seeing a downturn in business and some are preparing to l ayoff workers. - Rep . Chris Lee 25:01 - 25:14 -"That's the reason why we are having this hearing to get to the bottom of this as fast as possble to avoid any layoffs and people can continue to get solar installed, and HECO can move ahead with their plans to be renewable into the future" For the immediate future, the payoff for solar hookups and the added costs , are up in the air. Hawaii Electric has several studies underway looking at how it's system capacity needs to be expanded. Only three of them may be complete by the end of the year.