Hawaiian Electric Co. and its sister companies did not fare well in a new opinion poll that showed nine out of ten residents believe the utility has slowed rooftop solar installations to protect its profit.
The poll, commissioned by a group of solar companies, also found strong support for solar energy as a way to combat Hawaii’s high electricity prices.
The survey was conducted by Honolulu-based polling firm SMS, and paid for by The Alliance for Solar Choice, whose members include SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sungevity, Sunrun and Verengo.
Of 405 adults in Oahu, Maui and Hawaii counties that participated in the web-based poll, 90 percent said they strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement that Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co. and Hawaii Electric Light Co. are "slowing rooftop solar growth to protect its profits."
When asked about their attitude toward solar energy usage, 94 percent said Hawaii should have more homes with rooftop photovoltaic systems. Just 2 percent said there should be fewer PV systems and 4 percent said the current levels were adequate.