2013 Hawaii Business Top 250: Haleakala Solar
In 1969 James Whitcomb was the quintessential surfer dude. The long-haired, environmentalist-type moved to Hawaii for the surf and the sun and always dreamed of saving the world. After stumbling upon a homemade solar water heater, designed by his amateur-inventor landlord, Whitcomb discovered the power of the sun and the possibilities it created for a cleaner world.
nspired by this moment of happenstance and fueled by his enduring passion for renewable energy, Whitcomb decided to take a shot at saving the world -- or at least igniting a significant change. With nimble hands and a penchant for mechanics, Whitcomb built his first solar system and began a journey that would lead to Haleakala Solar.
More than 35 years later, Haleakala Solar stands as one of the most seasoned solar energy companies in the state as well as one of the few companies to have been around long enough to back up a 25 year warranty. Whitcomb, the founder and CEO, takes pride in living the lifestyle he sells to his customers. “Our buildings are extremely well insulated, we use modern and efficient air conditioning systems and LED lighting – I even have the same solar hot water heater in my home since 1978,” he says.
Approaching its fourth decade of conducting business in the islands, Haleakala Solar continues to prosper in the highly competitive renewable energy sector by ensuring its customers receive the highest level of care and by diversifying its services. Today the company offers far more than solar system installation, with an expanded focus that includes maintenance, engineering, contract and financial services. The staff also places a special focus on educating customers to select the best product and payment plan for each unique situation.
Haleakala Solar’s dedication to Hawaii goes beyond environmental aspects and customer service and reaches into the community as well. While growing his business, Whitcomb focused his recruitment specifically within the Hawaii workforce, with nearly all of the company’s 200 employees hailing from Hawaii. Additionally, more local jobs will be created in the coming year as the company continues to expand. The planned showrooms in Kauai, Hilo and Kona, bring the company total to six showrooms and five operation centers across four islands.
Each year as the renewable energy market continues to grow, Whitcomb embraces a renewed commitment to the environment and the state.
Says Whitcomb: “The solar industry here in Hawaii should be for the benefit of Hawaii.”
Haleakala Solar - Maui
70 E. Kaahumanu Avenue
Kahului, HI 96732
Haleakala Solar - Oahu
2700 South King St.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
Haleakala Solar - Oahu
98-104 Kanuku St. #101
Aiea, Hawaii 96701
Haleakala Solar - Kauai
3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy.
Lihue, HI 96766
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