A tale of two grid defectors: Why some are quitting electric companies in Hawaii

This story was published on PBS NewsHour on April 11, 2015.

Dave Greene, who is living off the grid in Hawaii, stands in front of his house. NewsHour photo by Saskia de Melker Dave Greene, who is living off the grid in Hawaii, stands in front of his house. NewsHour photo by Saskia de Melker

In Hawaii, the combination of sky-high electricity prices and abundant sunshine have made installing solar panels enormously popular. In fact, the state has the highest percentage of rooftop solar users in the country.

And while most of those who have installed panels still remain tied to the local electrical grid in order to store the energy they produce and get energy when there’s no sunshine, some residents have also installed their own battery storage system to move off the grid completely.

In the video above, learn more about how two men in Hawaii have cut manged to cut ties with local utility providers and live off the grid.

Whether as a hobby or as an experiment in energy independence, both agree it’s only a matter of time before more people make the switch to also become grid defectors.

Video by Saskia de Melker