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Posted: Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 10:55 AM HST

New solar installation rules likely to raise costs

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) New rules for solar panel installation is expected to raise the cost of installing the systems.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Hawaii's Board of Electricians and Plumbers will require that electricians handle bonding and grounding the system. Those are safety measures that keep people from getting shocked, by diverting current into the earth.

Solar energy system contractors previously handled that step. Hawaii Solar Energy Association executive director Leslie Cole-Brooks says solar panels are now made so that an electrician isn't needed to ground and bond the systems safely. She says rules change will make installations slower and more expensive.

Building inspectors and electrical contractors had testified to the state board that they were concerned about safety.

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