Washington Solar Rebates, Incentives, and Tax Credits

Washington has some of the lowest electricity rates in the country with the U.S. Energy Information Administration reporting an average price of 7.8 cents/kWh.

Why so cheap? Well Washington has invested in many hydroelectric plants that can deliver relatively low cost energy but do have their share of environmental costs such as the destruction of aquatic ecosytems for dam construction. The Washington solar industry is definitely growing and we encourage you to consider installing a home solar power system to offset some of electricity needs. Take a look at the rebates and incentives currently offered.

 

Net Metering

Washington State law states that utilities must credit the excess electricty you generate from your home solar power system at the full retail rate (some utilities are only required to credit at the wholesale rate). If your solar system generates more electricity than you use, the utility will credit your account. This credit can be carried-over month-to-month but not annually. On April 30th of every year, any remaining electricity credits will be granted to the utility.

 

Production Incentives

  1. For electricity produced using solar modules manufactured in Washington state: 2.4
  2. For electricity produced using a solar or wind generator equipped with an inverter manufactured in Washington state: 1.2

These multipliers result in production incentives ranging from $0.12 to $0.54/kWh, capped at $5,000 per year. Ownership of the renewable-energy credits (RECs) associated with generation remains with the customer-generator and does not transfer to the state or utility.

Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption

  • 100% sales tax exemption on home solar power systems greater than 1KW
  • Applies to labor and services related to the installation of the equipment, as well as to the sale of equipment and machinery

Utility Loan Programs

 

Utility Rebate Programs

Example 

Location Seattle, WA
Av. Monthly Electricity Bill$70
System Size5 kW
Estimated Electricity Production (Using NREL tool)5,172 kWh
Estimated annual electricity useage12,000 kWh
Cost / Watt (installed)$7.00
Cost Breakdown
Total Cost
Rebates$35,000
Washington Renewable Energy Production IncentivesBetween $0.15/kWh and $0.53/kWh (see production incentives section for details) – 10 year program$775 to $2,741
Federal Tax Incentive (calculated after state rebate)$10,500
NET COST Year 1$21,759 to $23,725
Cash Flow
New Av. Monthly Electric Bill$40
Monthly Loan Payment on $24,500$163
Tax Saving-$54*
Production Incentives$64 to $228
NEW MONTHLY NET COST Year 1
-$79 to $85

* Tax savings will decrease as the principal is paid down. Please consult your tax preparer.


 

Wow, you can actually make money off your system! Due to the highly variable nature of the production incentive rates we highly recommend filling out this free evaluation form, so that we can put you in contact with a trusted Washington solar installer who can provide you with a tailored quote.