Sunday, February 25, 2024

Solar Tax Credit Information for the 2023 Tax year -- Useful Resources

 Let's start out with the disclaimer that you must rely on your trusted Tax Professional.   They will be the one answering an audit questions, not us.    But also be aware, I suggest even if you are farming your taxes out that you read through this and try to Grok it.   

HINT: Don't let your eyes glaze over, there is a lot of information here, but I have put it into a really actionable format.   It's not that hard, except for the Hawaii N-342 claim for multiple system based on wattage.   Hawaii provides the calculator online to properly fill this form, and most likely your accountant can do it.   It's totally not intuitive, but the formula works.

I want to start out with a major change:   The Feds had a decades old policy on energy efficiency for insulation, air-conditioning, capped it at $600 total per property, per lifetime of the property, this was pretty sad and annoying.   Well they just changed it.   And now it is 30% of total cost, up to $1200 per year.    Big thing for efficient Air-conditioning, and esp. PV Air-Conditioning.

If you do your own taxes, and this blog post doesn't get you to to the finish line on the Hawaii N-342, I can charge you $150 to do the form for you, and you will remain responsible for it since we are not licensed tax accountants.

It can be an advantage to split your credit claim into 2 different years if the contracts or work really did happen in 2 different makes it less likely that they will delay payment or audit you if you are submitting a smaller number in any particular year.

If your tax person makes a mistake it can do:

1) Get you less than you deserve

2) Get you audited if they fill out the forms wrong, or especially if they don't use the Calculator on Page 2 of the Form N-342 (revised 2023) for your State Hawaii return, and turn in the number of forms N-342 that you need to get the maximum benefit.   The number of N-342 forms shall be dictated by the size of your PV system in total wattage (they actually want kilo-watts or 1000 Watts).   You must know the Wattage, it may be listed on your proposal or Quickbooks statement, if not ASK us.   

Here is the latest N-342 for 2023 -- They did update it in 2023, only the instructions, the N-342 is exactly the same as in 2020.

Hawaii Instructions N-342.   The Hawaii credit is better than the Federal Credit, but is more complicated.

Hawaii Form N-342

Federal Instructions for 5695

Federal Form 5695

It took me a few hours to bone up on the Tax Credit forms for Federal and State, since I had not done so for years.    I also had to spend hours with my personal and business expert tax preparer to figure out how to claim on a  Solar PV Air-conditioning system for myself (Hint it gets broken into 2 pieces, the PV array, and then the air-conditioner itself..    I also did another Large PV Aircon in 2023. 

A close look at the annotations below and if need be, a call to Steve should clear up how to handle the tax credits on:   But please send the link to this page to your tax person and read the instructions through to, then if you are stuck, call Steve.

1) Solar PV Air Conditioning

2) Solar PV Electric Power

3) Solar Integrated with Battery Storage

4) Solar Attic Fan

5) Solar Hot Water

Its 9:30 PM so I am going to post this up now and add more later

Thursday, February 22, 2024

PV Solar Upgrade Special Program -- Upgrade Legacy Solar to Modern Solar, and There Is A Huge Difference

You have a "Legacy" Solar System?  Like over 12 years old?   You can't tell how well it's working or if it's even working at all?  This is a NEW PROGRAM not offered before.

Now is the perfect to replace them with the new technology, more efficient, more savings.   And a fresh 25 year warranty.    The new technology is ------- 7th Generation 7 IQ Microinverters.

These new systems have awesome monitoring and reporting capabilities.   You can see exactly what they are doing, even down to a per panel basis. 

Interested?  Enquire by Email Here

Let’s say you had a $35,000 car, and you had 70,000 miles on it and it was started to nickel and dime you with a bunch in repairs.    If the dealer came to you and said, heh, for $2000, we will give you a new car, with a 25 year warranty……WOULD YOU TAKE THAT DEAL?


7IQ Upgrade – (4) Bullet Points to Understand it – It’s a complete component rebuild on the roof.      New Inverter on the Roof, New Wiring on the Roof!

  1. You can get the Government to pay for up to 65% of your upgrade.  
  2. Protect your family from Inflation!
  3. We re-use your existing panels, we can replace panels too, but that gets pricey.
  4. The micro-inverter company is offering special packages to contractors to help replace the legacy, large, heavy, bulky, and un-monitorable Central inverters.
  5. Our package includes all new wiring on the rooftop, bigger wires and more efficiency, less I-squared-R line losses.
  6. Your warranty, which is probably long gone on the central inverter, is replaced with a fresh 25 year warranty!!!
  7. The new MICRO-Inverters are "Battery Ready", The old legacy equipment will never be "Battery Ready."   But you don't need to get batteries to get this uprade, it;s just a better option for the future.    Call Steve to discuss, battery costs and quality and longevity have taken huge strides forward.    And Enphase has rolled out their "Plug and Play" battery system, that is designed from the beginning to work seemlessly with the new 7IQ Inverters!
  8. The new monitor called a Gateway (EMU/Envoy) reports your production data in near real time (15 minute intervals).   You can fully monitor what is going on, and we can too.

The 7IQ Upgrade program is like getting that NEW CAR, at 10% of the cost!
Interested?  Enquire by Email Here

We have done around 180 of these upgrades and we have 180 very happy customers!  

Up until 2024, Enphase would only offer their contractor the special packages to replace their oldest and first microinverters, that were killing the owners and their company with warranty cost. 

Now they are more aggresive, and are trying to take over the OLD central inverter market share.  

If you don’t know what kind of system you have, just enquire

We expect some stuff to break, as that is just the way Murphy works, and we will cover all miscellaneous small part breakage, up to $400 per customer.   We have never had to charge an extra fee because "too many parts broke".

Interested?  Enquire by Email Here

Additional Benefits:

  1. Safety First: Emphasize the safety aspect of the Enphase micro-inverters, which operate at lower voltages compared to traditional central inverters, reducing the risk of electrical hazards.
  2. Modular Design: Highlight the modular design of micro-inverters, which allows for easy expansion or maintenance. Unlike central inverters, if one micro-inverter fails, it doesn't affect the entire system's performance.
  3. Enhanced Shade Tolerance: Micro-inverters optimize the performance of each solar panel individually, making the system more resilient to shading issues compared to central inverters.

Revitalized Benefits:

  1. Optimized Solar Output: Ensure maximum efficiency and power generation by upgrading to Enphase 7th generation micro-inverters. Combat annual degradation and cosmic-ray damage with cutting-edge technology that shields against energy loss.
  2. Streamlined Technology Upgrade: Upgrade from outdated, cumbersome central inverters to the sleek and efficient Enphase micro-inverters. Bid farewell to the hassle of servicing old technology and embrace a future-proof solar solution.
  3. Real-Time Performance Monitoring: Gain control and peace of mind with real-time system monitoring. Track each panel's performance, ensuring your solar setup operates at peak efficiency. Receive immediate alerts, allowing swift response to any issues.
  4. Robust 25-Year Warranty: Invest confidently with Enphase's 25-year warranty. With over 5000 installations and zero failures, experience the reliability of 7th generation micro-inverters. Even apparent issues were swiftly resolved through simple firmware updates.
  5. Proactive System Oversight: Benefit from Pacific Energy's vigilant oversight, conducting thorough system reviews multiple times a year. Receive timely alerts for any irregularities, ensuring your solar investment continues to thrive.
  6. Tax Credits for Immediate Returns: Seize the opportunity to invest in yourself. Secure significant tax credits swiftly, potentially reducing the net cost to as low as $1000 to $3000. Allocate your money wisely and watch your investment grow.
  7. Inflation-Proof Investment: Shield yourself from inflation, especially in the energy sector. Embrace 7th generation micro-inverters as a robust defense against rising energy costs and position yourself for long-term financial stability.

Friday, February 2, 2024

2024 Sale! Solar Hot Water Tuneup, Good Through Feb 28, 2024


2024 Solar Hot Water Tune-Up: Enhance Efficiency, Extend Lifespan

Why Solar Tune-Up? Ensure peak efficiency, prevent costly repairs, and maintain warranties. A critical service to be done every 3 years.


  • Peak Efficiency: Save on energy costs

  • Avoid Costly Repairs: System changeouts can cost $5,000 to $6,000, with panel changes up to $2,000 each

Easy Scheduling: Simply email [] or call (808) 265-5971. We'll make it happen!

Limited-Time Sale Price: $300 (Tax Included) (Regularly $525 + tax)

  • Cash Discount: $270 (with on-the-spot receipt)

Why is it Crucial? Failure to maintain can lead to a ruptured house piping system, costing $12,000 or more for repairs.

What's Included:

  1. Sacrificial Anode Rod: Prevents rusting
  2. Pressure & Temperature Relief Valve (P&T): Avoids bursting pipes
  3. Pressure Relief Valve: Protects panels and pipes
  4. UV Coating: Preserves rooftop insulation
  5. Pipe Resealing: Strong leak protection
  6. System Flush: Ensures optimal performance

Additional Services:

  • Check on system components
  • Inspection of controllers, pumps, and temperature sensors

Why Choose Us?

  • We replace crucial parts, not just anode changes (like the other guys)
  • Complete system check for reliability
  • Thorough flush for optimal performance

Don't Miss Out on Added Value!

  • Solar Attic Fan: Additional $150 discount
  • Comes with a 25-year warranty
  • Net cost after tax credits in asphalt shingle is around $380

Schedule Your 3-Year Preventive Maintenance Today! Email or call (808) 265-5971.

Limited slots available. Act now to secure your spot at this unbeatable price!

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Saturday, April 29, 2023

The New Technology for Solar Hot Water, the STECA Controller and Pump and Sensors

 The STECA Controller is the newer technology and offers benefits to both the system owner, and the servicing contractor.

The STECA is the brains of the Hot Water Solar, The 120V Grundfos pump is the heart of the system.    The brain need information input, and that comes by 3 new temperature sensors.

These components describe the "120V Conversion" STECA upgrade.

1) STECA Controller

2) Grundfos Pump (or it might be a 120V TACO pump)

3) Unique Ohm Thermistors (aka temperature sensors).

Using the programmability of the Smart Controller (your solar company will set it up for you), and the Three Temperatures that get displayed, it is easy to see exactly what the system thinks is happening, and the decisions made on how to operate at optimal efficiency. 

ALL the other hot water solar controllers have NO DIGITAL DISPLAY and no temperature outputs.   You have no idea what it thinks the system temperatures are, and no idea of how it is trying to control the system.   All the others are "Dumb Systems" that require guess work to fix problems, and guess work can be expensive!

The STECA also has a "Vacation Mode" which prevents the system from overheating when you are away for 3 or more days


Steca TR 0301 U

3 inputs, 1 output

  • Compact, multipart designer casing
  • Graphical LC display with backlighting
  • Animated representation of the systems and operating states
  • Non-verbal menu navigation

Steca TR0301 U picture 3D.jpg


The Steca TR 0301 U controller was specially developed for the North American market based on the Steca TR 0301 basic controller. With its special certification (ETL label) from a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) in the US, the controller meets the safety standards and minimum requirements of the North American market.

A feature of the Steca TR 0301 series of controllers is the animated graphic display, which offers a complete visualisation of the solar energy system's operating status and solar circuit.

The clearly arranged display ensures easy operation using pictograms. The controller was jointly designed with an internationally renowned design centre. The controller is used for monitoring and controlling solar thermal systems with one collector array and one storage tank. In addition, the controller performs important system monitoring and safety functions to ensure safe and long-lasting operation of the entire system. The numerous additional functions of the Steca TR 0301 U also include a maximum storage tank temperature function, a tube collector function, an anti-freeze function, a holiday and storage recool function as well as a choice of temperature indications in either degrees Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F). The operational safety of the system is supported by a sophisticated fault diagnosis. The multi-coloured LCD backlighting ensures quick and safe location of occurring errors and facilitates quick troubleshooting.

The Steca TR 0301 U controller is supplied with a pre-fitted US mains connection cable and a preinstalled, pluggable pump output.


Technical drawing: Steca TR 0301 U 3 inputs, 1 output

Product features

  • Compact, multipart designer casing
  • Maximum storage tank temperature
  • High level of operational safety through fault diagnosis
  • Temperature display °C / °F
  • Collector overtemperature disconnection
  • Spring clamp terminals allow rapid and easy installation


  • Graphical LC display with backlighting
  • Animated representation of the systems and operating states


  • Non-verbal menu navigation
  • Side switch for manual, auto, off


  • Holiday (storage tank recooling)
  • Interval / tube collector
  • Anti-freeze
  • Display storage tank top


Product data sheet

  •  Steca TR 0301 U productdatasheet DE · pdf · 1,015 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U productdatasheet EN · pdf · 1.015 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U productdatasheet FR · pdf · 1,015 MB


  •  Steca TR 0301 U manual EN · pdf · 2.190 MB

Product pics, technical drawings, etc.

  •  Steca TR 0301 U product pic 3D · jpg, 300 DPI, high quality · 0.687 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U product pic 3D · jpg, 72 DPI, web quality · 0.223 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U product pic · jpg, 300 DPI, high quality · 0.512 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U product pic · jpg, 72 DPI, web quality · 0.177 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U product pic drawing · jpg, 300 DPI, high quality · 0.719 MB
  •  Steca TR 0301 U product pic drawing · jpg, 72 DPI, web quality · 0.343 MB

Technical data

 TR 0301 U

System voltage
120 V AC, 60 Hz
System voltage optional
240 V AC, 60 Hz
1.07 W [0.001 HP]
Temperature control class
Energy efficiency
1 %
Number of inputs
3 x temperature (Pt1000)
Number of outputs
1 x switch output relay (R1), max. 400 W / 0.5 HP (120 V AC) or 800 W / 1 HP (240 V AC)
Line cord
75 inch, 3 x 18 AWG at 221 °F
Turn-on temperature difference
16 F
Turn-off temperature difference
8 F
Ambient temperature
0 °C [+32 °F] … +45 °C [+113 °F]
Degree of protection
IP 20 / DIN 40050
Dimensions (X x Y x Z)
160 x 157 x 47 mm [6.30 x 6.18 x 1.85 inch]
350 g [12.35 oz]
Temperature sensors 2 x Pt1000
1.5 m [59 inch] silicone cable without bushing (measuring range up to +180 °C [+356 °F])