Washington offers some of the best solar incentives in all of the United States – current incentives pay for 80% of your total system cost. Homes with good sun exposure will generally pay off in 4-7 years giving you about two decades of free electricity. Here's how it works.
50% Paid for by Washington State Incentive
Every year you will receive a check for the energy you produce – until you reach 50% of your system cost or 8 years whichever comes first. With our competitive prices almost all of our system owners will reach 50% first.
Passed into law in July 2017, the Washington State Production Incentive gives you $0.21/kwh for all the energy your system creates.
For example, half of your $30,000 system will be $15,000. And your system will most likely produce around 12,000 kwh/yr with good sun exposure.
12,000 kwh/yr X $0.21/kwh = $2,520/yr.
This means you’ll get a check every year for $2,520 until you’ve received $15,000.
The law provides a set budget (currently around $27,000,000) and every time a new solar energy system is installed, its full anticipated incentives are immediately allocated from that total.
30% Paid for by Federal Tax Credit
In effect until 2020, the solar tax benefit is a dollar for dollar credit that allows you to reduce your taxes by 30% of your system cost.*
For example, if your solar energy system was $30,000.
Let's say in April you owe $10,000 in taxes.
$10,000 - $9,000 = $1,000.
Now you only owe $1,000 in taxes.
What’s better is that if you don’t owe that much in one year you can roll it over to the next. In the same example, let’s say you only owe $6,000 in taxes this year. You can apply $6,000 this year and the extra $3,000 next year.
* Consult your tax preparer to confirm these solar tax benefits.
20% Paid for by Energy Savings
The remaining 20% of the system will be paid for by electrical savings. This is money you don’t have to pay the utility company because you’re producing your own energy.
For example, if your system is producing about 12,000 kwh/yr and the typical cost for electricity in Washington is $0.10/kwh.
12,000 kwh/yr X $0.10/kwh = $1200/yr. That’s $1,200 you’re not paying the utilities every year.
Over the life of the system, your electrical savings will pay off your principle, and then save you about $29,000 in electric bills.
Net metering makes the utility company work for you – essentially becoming your battery. Excess power you make goes back onto the utility grid for credits. Build up lots of credits in the sunny, summer months to use in the winter months. Either way all the electricity you produce receives the Washington State Production Incentive.
Increasing Your Home Value
According to the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), a cost appraisal for your home takes into consideration all the present and future assets of the property and its improvements. Therefore, the value of the property includes the value of the electricity and any WA state incentives that the system will earn in the future for anyone buying your property, which is significantly more than your original investment.