Long review. TLDR; Malama Solar has excellent customer service and average prices.
My house uses about 2,000 kW a month (about $850 average monthly bill), so we needed a large system to get us to zero.
We started with sunrun since they're endorsed by Costco. Their reps are nice enough. Their price is not. We were quoted 56 Hanwha Q-Cells (the 2nd best panels available. First is LG but they are not warrantied for salty air) panels, 4 inverters, 4 batteries. A system size of 22.40 kW which gave us an offset of 142%. The large offset is due to living in Kaneohe, so between the rain and shortened solar hours, we would still produce a fair amount in winter. The price for all this was $174,687. A 25 year loan at 4.99% brought our payments out to about $740 a month, and that's with applying our full tax credit to the loan. If we didn't, the monthly would be $1,056. A bit eye-watering.
I reached out to Tesla Solar, RevoluSun, and Malama Solar.
Tesla Solar was the cheapest. I don't have access to the quote anymore, but the build was about the same as sunrun but with more panels since Tesla uses Tesla panels. Tesla panels do not produce as much per panel. Their price tag was about $85,000, nearly half of sunrun's quote. You will get frequent emails about completing steps of the process if you do not do them within a certain timeframe. I found the local rep less than helpful in answering my questions.
RevoluSun did not call me during our scheduled time nor anytime after, so I did not move further with them.
Finally, we have Malama Solar. The process starts with a few questions on their website, and you get a very rough quote and a Google Maps image with panel location overlaid on your house. The next day I had a presentation of our actual proposal. She was very thorough during her presentation and answered all my questions. She even steered us away from some less than favorable options.
We were quoted 46 Hanwha Q Cells (same as sunrun), 2 inverters, and 3 Tesla PowerWall batteries. A 16.79 kW system. I do not have the quote anymore, but the offset was about 110 to 120%. This came out to $113,000, and this was offered with a 3.84% APR for 25 years. The payments with full tax credit application would be $437, almost half our monthly bill! The full amount without the credit would be $625 which is still less than our current.
I asked the same questions about the roof and shed, and Malama Solar was able to work with us to fit all the panels on the new section of roof. They also were able to design the equipment location without moving the shed.
With all these options, we went with Malama Solar. Their friendly and responsive customer service made up for not being the cheapest option. Permitting was a breeze since they took care of that entire process, and we chose customer self supply (CSS) (no feeding excess to the grid, what you make is yours). Once all our ducks were in a row, installation was scheduled for 2 weeks later.
Malama Solar sends you a video to watch to understand what to expect during installation. We only had to move our cars out of the garage for equipment storage (panels, inverters, etc.) and clear the area where the inverters and batteries were going to be.
Every person seemed happy and friendly, and they were more than willing to answer any questions and explain the different parts of the system. Due to the size of our system, all the equipment took two days to install, and day three was hook up day. They have to turn off the power to connect the PV system to the main panel, but that lasted less than an hour.
The crew setup the monitoring portion including firmware updates and all the other technical stuff. Before they left, they showed us on the app our home use and solar generation, and on a partly cloudy day, we were at 12kW producing and using about 3kW.