The opinion article can be read here. An excerpt is copied below:
The state credit is supposed to be capped at $5,000 in a single year, but some have gamed the system by installing multiple circuit breakers and inverters, advising consumers that each constitutes a separate system to reap multiple tax credits back.
The proliferation of photovoltaics to harness solar energy in Hawaii has become the proverbial double-edged sword: PV businesses have flourished and energy consumers are becoming increasingly “green,” but legal vagueness over tax benefits has opened the industry to shadiness, costing the state the nearly $174 million in lost tax revenues. This was already a problem at the start of the year, when lawmakers were urged to tighten PV-installation laws to restrict tax generosity — but they failed to act.
Solar power has become a booming, key component in Hawaii’s admirable push toward natural and renewable resources. The idea now is not to kill the goals, or progress being made, on Hawaii’s clean energy initiative. It should be to encourage consumers and businesses alike to do the right thing, but minus a greediness that comes at such palpable expense to the state’s economy.
There is widespread agreement that many are gaming the system. It is up to state lawmakers to quickly acknowledge this, clarify its definition and intent for a $5,000 credit cap for a PV system, and start phasing down solar tax credits.