Does Solar Power Work In The Pacific Northwest?
4 Reasons Why Solar Is A Safe Bet
We get this questions a lot. Does solar power work in the Pacific Northwest? The short answer is that solar power does work in Oregon & Washington.
Thanks to a smart solar power panel incentives, improved technology, and solar-friendly utility programs, Oregon and Washington state is now one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the United States (Forbes).
In this article, we will go over 4 reasons why solar power works in cloudy areas of Oregon and Washington State. Learn why solar is a smart financial investment, today.
1) Long, Sunny Summer Days
Summers in Oregon and Washington state are sunny and clear. Daylight hours can stretch from about 5 AM to 10 PM. These long, clear sunny days produce large amounts of solar energy. This solar panels then provides free, clean energy for your home or business.
When you produce more solar energy than you need you will send power back into the utility grid. This is called net-energy metering, or NEM. This allows your utility to reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed to produce energy (see #2).
Western Oregon and Washington are famous for their long, rainy winters. However, during the summer the long, sunny skies make solar power more attractive financial investment.
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2) Net Energy Metering
The summer is the best time for solar power in Oregon and Washington and net energy metering (NET metering). When your home is producing more solar power than it is consuming, the excess electricity is then used by your neighbors! You will be rewarded energy credits that you can save over the sunny summer for the cloudy winter months.
You can think of this as “spinning your meter backward.” The below image shows how net energy metering works.
Thanks to Net Metering
Your electric utility must pay you for any extra solar power you produce at the same energy rate that they charge you.
Northwest summers are so long and cool, so it’s possible to produce more energy than you consume. In this case, the energy credit passes to the following month(s) so you can use it in the cloudy winters.
As you produce more excess energy, your energy credits accumulate on your bill. Remember, you are only paying the utility the net amount of energy consumed/produced. And remember, the more energy efficient your home is the better. Read out tips to reduce your energy consumption!
The law requires that every kWh (kilowatt-hour) of electricity you produce be reimbursed to you. At minimum, the power company must pay you at the same rate they charge you.
Have a Summer Home?
You may be eligible to install solar power on your summer home and apply the energy credits the home you most use. This is a great way to add value and sustainability to your investment properties. Message us to learn more about solar for your summer home.
2) Excellent Solar Power Incentives
Solar incentives are a combination of cash-incentives and state and federal tax credits. When combined you may see a payback as quick as 6 to 10 years on equipment warrantied to produce power for 25 years.
And don’t forget paying little to zero every month on your power bills.
4) Cloudy Solar Power
Our cloudy Northwest winter months are not to be compared to the sun-soaked summer, but solar panels do produce power through the clouds. With careful attention to energy efficiency, it is possible to send surplus energy to the utility grid even in the winter.
On average, you will draw more power than you use during cloudy, but in the end, it is the total power your system produces for the calendar year.