Washington state is famously gloomy, with its overcast seasons and tendency to rain for most months of the year. Sunshine isn’t something that usually comes to mind when thinking about Washington, but the city of Richland is actually in an ideal area for solar energy generation. Richland receives an average of 196 days with clear skies yearly, which goes a long way towards making up for the dreary months.
But to determine if solar panels in Richland are a good idea, you need to consider a few things. Do you have high electricity bills? How much sunlight does your roof receive in a day? How much will solar panel installation cost you specifically? Do solar incentives make the switch worth it?
What Does Your Energy Consumption Look Like?
The best place to start is to assess your home’s eligibility for solar by looking at your recent electricity bills. Solar performs at its best as buffers for electrical systems in homes with high power requirements.
Under “billing period” there should be a figure marked kWh (Kilowatt-hours) used. If your figure is over 500 kWh per month, you’re probably a good candidate for solar. It’s generally not recommended for someone below 500 kWh per month to invest in solar. The minimum cost for hiring a full-service contractor outweighs the savings your array would generate if your kWh is below 500. A figure over 500 would put you in a good place for your savings to quickly compensate for your installation services.
The bottom line is that you should account for the money you’ll have to put into solar before assessing the value solar would give to you.
Your Home’s Access to Sunlight
Another important step to see if solar is worth it is to assess your roof. South and west-facing roofs are ideal since they will receive the most amount of sunlight on this side of the hemisphere.
During peak hours especially (typically from noon to early afternoon, when the sun is brightest), your panels will need direct sunlight. If your system’s access to sunlight is blocked, its efficiency can suffer. Even a few hours of shade a day makes a big difference. Taking a look at an irradiance map will give you an idea of the variations of sunlight exposure roofs receive.
Take a look at how much space your roof has for a full array of solar panels. For every 15 watts of solar energy produced, you will need about 1 square foot of roof space. Rooftops with things like chimneys, skylights, and vents will lower the amount of space available to place solar panels.
Can My HOA Deny Solar?
One crucial thing to note for residential solar installations is whether the homeowner’s association (HOA) in your area has specific requirements regarding solar panel systems. Under Washington state law, HOAs cannot prevent you from installing solar panels but they can prescribe particular requirements.
How Much Does Solar Cost?
Solar panel installation in Kennewick typically costs between $3 to $4 per watt on average. For a typical residential solar panel system with a size of 5 kilowatts, the total cost would be around $15,000 to $20,000.
However, the actual cost may vary depending on factors such as the type and brand of solar panels, installation fees, and any additional equipment needed, such as batteries or a generator. It is recommended to speak with our local consultant to get an accurate estimate.
Solar Incentives in Richland, WA
Under applicable laws, the Federal Investment Tax Credit is currently at 30%. Depending on the size of your solar system, these incentives will lower the net capital cost by thousands of dollars through reductions in income taxes due from you. In addition, Washington state provides a sales tax exemption for solar energy systems. This includes the purchase of machinery, equipment, and installation of solar energy systems. This state exemption is available through 2029, making the near future an ideal time to act on your interest to switch to solar energy.
This section will break down a few common inquiries regarding Richland solar energy. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of if you want to install solar panels in your home.
Solar panels do not have a battery but function via a grid system. Not only does this maximize users’ savings, but makes solar installation easy for Walla Wallasolar companies to mount, wire, and generate a flow of energy. Once the power goes into the inverter, electricity is converted from the sun into your home. Whatever isn’t used is simply exported back into the grid.
Walla Walla’s weather is dull and cloudy the majority of the time, but their summer days are long. Days can last up to 17 hours in June. Washington is infamous for rainy, soggy autumn days, yet solar panels work effectively in winter and cool weather. Modern panels pick up a lot of ambient light, meaning that they will produce electricity even on cloudy days.
So, Is Solar Worth It in Richland?
We think so–and so do the over 350 households that have made the switch to solar in Richland. This alone shows that solar panels work in the city at the very least. In all of Washington state, there is enough solar power generation to power 32, 929 homes. At the very least, we recommend looking at what it would cost you to invest in a solar array.
There are many Richland solar installers, all with varying prices and service levels. But with the potential to save big money through tax incentives and long-term savings, we think it’s advantageous to make the switch if you can handle the upfront cost. Contact us today to get started!