Are Solar Panels Worth It In Washington State?

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Are Solar Panels Worth It In Washington State?

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    Is Solar Worth it in WA?

    We get asked the question this question a lot. The short answer is yes! Solar panels are worth it in Washington state for the average Washington resident. The long summer days in Washington have the potential to make up for the dreary winter days in terms of energy collection.

    Especially when you factor in Washington state solar incentives and other rebates, adding a solar system can help you save significant amounts of money throughout the year.

    Is Solar Worth The Cost?

    The average gross cost of installing a standard 5kW solar energy system in Washington is just over $14,000, although with various incentives applied, this cost can drop dramatically. On average, the payback period for installing a solar energy system is about 9.4 years, and the average 20-year savings are over $17,600.

    There are also increasingly attractive financing options becoming available as solar panels and renewable energy gain popularity and mainstream acceptance. Financing a solar energy system and making your payments on time can also help boost your credit score, which will help you in the long term as well. Contact us to learn more about financing

    What are the Washington Solar Incentives for 2021

    The average gross cost of installing a standard 5kW solar energy system in Washington is just over $14,000, although with various incentives applied, this cost can drop dramatically. On average, the payback period for installing a solar energy system is about 9.4 years, and the average 20-year savings are over $17,600.

    There are also increasingly attractive financing options becoming available as solar panels and renewable energy gain popularity and mainstream acceptance. Financing a solar energy system and making your payments on time can also help boost your credit score, which will help you in the long term as well. Contact us to learn more about financing

    26 Percent Federal Tax Credit

    The federal government has offered a tax credit to help offset the cost of installing a solar in Washington state. In 2020, owners of new residential and commercial solar energy systems can deduct 26% of the total cost of the system from their federal tax liability amount. However, you will want to act fast if you plan to take advantage of this tax credit. In 2021, the deductible amount will go down to 22% of the cost, and from 2022 onwards, there will be no tax break for residential solar energy systems and only a 10% deduction for commercial solar energy systems.

    This tax credit is quite straightforward. Whenever you receive the final invoice for your solar energy system, simply calculate 26% of the cost, and then you can deduct that from your federal tax liability. If that amount exceeds your federal tax liability for that year, you can rollover unused credit to the next year.

    Sales Tax Exemption on Solar Installs

    Since July 1, 2019, all solar energy equipment for systems smaller than 100kW is exempt from all state and local sales tax as well as any applicable use tax. The Washington State sales tax rate is currently 6.5% and depending on where exactly in Washington you live, the local tax could bump that rate up to between 7% and 10.5%. On an average-sized system costing $14,000 solar energy system, you could save up to nearly $1,500 in taxes with this exemption.

    Net Metering

    Net metering is an incredible way to save money on your energy bill. It works by allowing you to essentially sell any excess energy that your solar power system produces back to the grid. Your local utility company will install a special meter at your home that works both ways, so when your solar panels produce more energy than you can use during the long and sunny summer days, your meter will start to count backward as the energy flows back into the grid.

    If you produce more than you use for the whole month, your utility account will be credited to reflect that, and you can use the credit against your bills during times of the year that your solar energy system does not produce as much energy as you need.

    How net metering in Washington state works.

    how solar net metering works in Washington State graphic

    This system is especially beneficial in Washington, due to the relatively mild weather. Moderate summer temperatures mean that you will not need to run the air conditioning all day every day, which will help keep your energy consumption low as your energy production is high. Washington winters can be chilly, but not as cold as other parts of the country where heating bills can be extremely high.

    Commercial ONLY Solar Incentives

    For businesses, there are a few extra incentives available to you. They are the USDA REAP Grant and MACRS Accelerated Depreciation.

    Is Solar Worth It To Cut Down Trees?

    While it’s always unfortunate to cut down trees, sometimes it can be necessary to optimize your home or business for solar energy system installation. It’s important to weigh the benefits of keeping the tree, such as shade for keeping your home cool during the summer, privacy, sentimental attachment to the tree, and so forth, against the benefits of removing it.

    Removing a tree can maximize the amount of sun that hits your roof or solar array, and that can boost your production significantly, which will, in turn, reduce your energy bills. However, remember to account for the cost of removing the tree as well, as that should always be done by a professional arborist.

    At Sunbridge Solar, we offer free on-site evaluations of your property to help you determine the most cost-effective scenario, whether it’s removing the tree or leaving it in place. We can provide quotes for both scenarios, including the estimated energy output and savings.

    In the vast majority of cases, the benefits of installing a solar energy system at your Washington home or business handily outweigh the alternatives, for two main reasons:

    Lock-In Energy Prices

    By installing a solar energy system that’s tied to your local utility grid, you can lock in your current price of electricity. Each year, the cost of electricity rises by an average of 3.75%, so locking in your energy rate now will keep your costs consistent for years to come and save you money.

    Reliable Renewable Energy

    Solar is also reliable renewable energy, so as long as the sun continues to shine, you will have a free and unlimited supply of clean energy that is good for the environment and will never be depleted.

     

    So, Are Solar Panels Worth It In Washington State?

    Find out if solar is right for you. Contact us today to speak with our solar specialist and get started. We offer free on-site consultations and will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision in a no-obligation environment.

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    Adam Walters

    Adam Walters

    Adam has over 8 years of experience working directly with Portland-area solar installers and supporting companies. Over his years, he has worn many hats and gained a holistic understanding of local PNW solar markets.

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