Washington goes solar with SunPower®
Does solar power work in Washington? You bet!
The state of solar power in Washington
More than likely, if you live in the Olympic rain shadow, you’ve doubted the viability of solar energy in Washington State. If so, you’d likely be surprised to know that even the cloudiest parts of the Evergreen State receive more solar energy than Germany, the most solar-productive country in the world.*Business Pulse, Casting Positive (Sun)Light On Small-Scale Solar Energy In the State of Washington (Mar. 21, 2019). https://businesspulse.com/casting-positive-sunlight-on-small-scale-solar-energy-in-the-state-of-washington/
Washington is a complex state in terms of calculating days of sunshine since different regions of the state have such distinct climates and seasonal variations. To hear that the state averages of 165 sunny days per year (compared to the U.S. average of 205)*Best Places. Washington (accessed August 12, 2021). https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/state/washington sounds high for Seattle residents but low for those in Yakima or further east.
While the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) currently ranks Washington 36th in the nation*Solar Energy Industries Association, Washington Solar (June 15, 2021) https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/washington-solar for solar power, the state’s progressive policies and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards have made it a pivotal area for clean energy.
How much solar power does Washington produce?
Washington State currently produces 258.2 MW of solar energy each year. Though the production rates seem low compared to solar havens like California and Nevada, the SEIA expects the state to almost quadruple its solar output in the next five years.*Solar Energy Industries Association, Washington Solar (June 15, 2021) https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/washington-solar
What are the advantages of going solar in Washington?
When you get solar panels for homes in Washington, you'll enjoy countless financial and environmental benefits. The state’s low installation costs and aggressive incentives result in a shockingly short payback period. On average, you can expect to recover your installation costs in five to six years. At the same time, a 5 kW home solar system can result in lifetime energy savings of more than $50,000.*Solar Reviews, Washington Solar Rebates and Tax Credits Calculator (Accessed August 11, 2021) https://www.solarreviews.com/solar-incentives/washington
In addition, investing in a solar system can help protect the natural beauty of the Evergreen State for generations to come. Even a small residential solar system can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) also found that solar systems can improve local air quality as well.*EnergySage, Environmental Benefits of Solar (June 9, 2021) https://www.energysage.com/solar/benefits-of-solar/environmental-benefits-solar/
How much does solar cost in Washington?
The cost of a home solar system can vary due to a range of factors, even in the same state. These include:
Household energy needs
Quality of the solar panels
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In Washington, we found that the cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $13,250 to $14,900, or in other words, from $2.65 to $2.98 per watt. And that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
Throughout the United States, the average cost of solar panels for a home has decreased by 80% over the past decade. Solar energy projects can vary as well, including large-scale ventures like comprehensive installations or power farms and small consumer installations for individual homes.
As a Washington resident, you may benefit from various incentive programs if you purchase and install a solar energy system.
Homeowners who purchase their system as opposed to leasing it, can get a federal tax credit of up to 30% of the total cost of the solar installation.*Tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
The state provides a substantial solar energy system sales tax exemption along with flexible solar easement laws that help you navigate the installation process with your neighbors.
Washington’s three investor-owned electric utilities—Avista Corporation, Pacific Power & Light Corporation and Puget Sound Energy—have net-metering programs. Net metering is the process through which your utility company “buys back” (usually through credits on your electric bill) any surplus electrical power that your solar panels generate and send to the grid.*The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
What’s the best way to go solar in Washington?
If you’re ready to transition to solar in Washington, you can count on lower electricity costs, reduced CO2 emissions, and impressive federal and statewide incentives. However, not all solar systems are the same. Your system's quality, appearance, and durability will vary based on the solar provider you choose.
Further, the system size and the number of panels you need will depend on several factors, including your budget, the size and pitch of your roof, and your specific energy needs.
Be sure to find a reputable contractor who can make going solar simple for you with online consultations, all-in-one solar and storage solutions, and high-efficiency solar panels. Your provider should also assess your needs and recommend an installation that best suits your energy and savings goals.
If you’re ready to get started, we’re happy to help. Simply request a free consultation with SunPower below and we'll follow up with a quick call to schedule a time. You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.
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