SW Washington Solar Guide for Homeowners

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    SW Washington Solar

    Are you ready to join the solar energy revolution? Sunbridge Solar is here to guide Washington homeowners like you in harnessing the power of the sun. Our mission? To transform your home with cutting-edge solar technology, making your life greener and your electric bills lighter. 

    How Solar Works

    Solar energy works through photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert sunlight into electricity. This electricity can be used for various applications, such as powering homes, charging electric vehicles (EV), or storing energy in batteries for later use. 

    When sunlight hits the PV panels, electrons are freed from the silicon solar cells, creating an electric current. Connecting a solar system to an EV charger and batteries ensures efficient use of clean, renewable energy and reduces dependence on fossil fuels.

    Key components of a solar system include:

    • PV (Photovoltaic) Panels: These panels are made up of silicon solar cells that absorb sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity.
    • Inverter: This device transforms the DC electricity generated by the PV panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is commonly used in homes and for charging electric vehicles.
    • Energy Storage: Solar energy systems can be connected to batteries that store excess electricity generated during sunny periods. This energy can be used when solar power generation is low or during peak demand times when electricity costs are higher.
    • EV Charger: Solar energy systems can directly power an electric vehicle (EV) charger, enabling vehicles to run on renewable energy produced by PV panels.
    • Solar Monitoring System: This tracks the performance and efficiency of the solar installation, from energy production and usage to panel performance, allowing users to monitor and optimize their solar system’s output.
    • Net Metering: When the panels produce more electricity than is consumed, the excess is sent back to the grid, turning the electric meter backward and offsetting the cost of energy consumed from the grid during off-peak hours.

    By integrating these components, solar energy systems provide an efficient and sustainable way to generate electricity, reduce reliance on grid power, and minimize environmental footprint.

    4 Major Benefits of Switching to Solar

    Embracing the magic of home solar panels means embarking on a journey of eco-friendly power and financial wisdom. By harnessing the sun’s boundless energy, solar panels transform your roof into a mini power station. 

    Environmental Benefits

    This is not just about generating electricity; it’s about contributing to a greener planet, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, and minimizing your carbon footprint. Imagine the sun’s rays, a natural and renewable resource, providing your home with clean energy every day.

    Financial Benefits

    The financial benefits are equally compelling. Solar panels are a gateway to significantly reduced electricity bills. As they efficiently convert sunlight into electricity, you draw less power from the grid, slashing your energy costs. Over time, these savings add up, making solar panels not only an environmentally responsible choice but also a financially smart one.


    Solar energy systems utilized with batteries can increase resilience during grid outages. In case of a power failure, the stored energy in the batteries can keep the lights on, along with other essential appliances, allowing you to maintain your comfort and safety.

    Increase Your Home’s Value

    Solar panels can boost your home’s resale value. In today’s eco-conscious market, homes equipped with solar systems are often more attractive to buyers. They appreciate the lower energy costs and the sustainable lifestyle that your solar-equipped home offers. This increase in property value is a tangible return on your investment in solar technology, making it an intelligent choice for the present and the future.

    Tap into Washington State Solar Incentives

    As we step into 2024, it’s clear that Washington State is committed to promoting solar energy. At Sunbridge Solar, we’re excited to keep you informed about the latest solar incentives and policies. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business, these incentives are designed to make solar energy a financially viable and environmentally friendly option.

    Sales Tax Exemption for Solar Installations

    One of the most significant incentives is the sales tax exemption for solar installations. Since July 1, 2019, this exemption has made solar arrays more affordable for Washington residents. Qualifying systems, generating up to 100 kilowatts AC of electricity, are exempt from sales tax through December 2029. For larger systems, between 101-500 kilowatts AC, a 50% tax exemption applies. This means considerable savings – for an average home, this could translate into more than $2,000 in savings on installation costs.

    The Federal Solar Incentives

    Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has extended the 30% federal tax credit for solar installations until 2032, which then gradually decreases until 2035. This Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers you a chance to get 30% of your total system cost back in the form of federal tax credits. Even if your tax credits exceed your liability, they can be carried over to the next year, ensuring no loss in benefit.

    Net Energy Metering (NEM) in Washington

    Another significant incentive is Net Energy Metering (NEM). This policy allows solar system owners to earn credits for surplus energy produced and returned to the grid. In Washington, you get a one-to-one credit, meaning you can potentially use as much energy as you produce annually, for free. It’s an excellent way to offset energy use, especially during shorter daylight months.

    MACRS and USDA REAP Grant for Commercial Solar

    For commercial entities, the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) offers tax depreciation for qualifying solar equipment over five years. This can greatly reduce tax liability and speed up investment payback. Additionally, the USDA REAP Grant offers up to 25% of system costs or loan guarantees up to 75% of eligible project costs for agricultural producers and rural small businesses, making it an attractive option to reduce operating costs.

    At Sunbridge Solar, we are dedicated to helping you navigate through these incentives, ensuring you get the maximum financial benefit from your solar investment. Our expertise in in-house grant writing further enhances your chances of securing these incentives. For more detailed assistance and an understanding of how these incentives can work for you, feel free to reach out to us.

    washington state solar powered farm

    The Financial Side: Bills, Costs, and Savings

    Embarking on the solar journey with Sunbridge Solar not only leads to environmental benefits but also brings substantial financial gains. Understanding the financial implications – from initial costs to long-term savings – is key to making an informed decision.

    Reduced Electric Bills

    After installing solar panels, your reliance on grid electricity diminishes significantly. For instance, a Washington homeowner previously paying $150 monthly on electricity saw their bill drop to around $30 post-solar installation. That’s a saving of $120 every month!

    Upfront and Total Costs

    The initial cost of installing a solar system can vary based on system size and home energy needs. While there’s an upfront investment, the long-term savings on electricity bills and potential tax incentives substantially offset this cost.

    Long-Term Savings

    Over time, these monthly savings accumulate, leading to substantial financial benefits. Consider the earlier example; saving $120 monthly translates to $1,440 yearly, amounting to significant savings over the system’s lifespan.

    By switching to solar, you’re not just reducing your carbon footprint; you’re also making a savvy financial decision that pays dividends in the long run. Sunbridge Solar is committed to guiding you through each step, ensuring your transition to solar is as beneficial financially as it is environmentally.

    The Right Equipment for the Long Term

    Selecting superior solar equipment is pivotal for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your solar energy system. At Sunbridge Solar, we prioritize the use of top-tier, high-quality materials and cutting-edge technology. 

    This commitment guarantees not just the immediate efficiency of your solar panels but also their long-term durability and reliability. Our approach involves meticulous selection of each component, from robust panels that withstand diverse weather conditions to advanced inverters that optimize energy conversion. 

    By choosing Sunbridge Solar, you’re investing in a solar system that’s built to last, ensuring consistent performance and maximum energy output over the years. We understand the importance of a reliable energy source for your home, and we’re dedicated to providing equipment that meets the highest standards of quality and innovation.

    Solar Panel Installation: A Step-by-Step Journey

    Installing solar panels in Washington state is no straightforward process, but we make it easy and stress-free. With Sunbridge Solar, every step of this journey is handled with utmost precision and care, ensuring a smooth and stress-free transition to solar energy. Here’s how we do it:

    1. Initial Consultation: Assessing your energy needs and discussing potential solutions.
    2. Site Evaluation: Conducting a thorough analysis of your property to determine the best installation approach.
    3. System Design: Tailoring a custom solar system specifically for your home’s layout and energy requirements.
    4. Permitting: Handling all necessary permits and paperwork to comply with local regulations and standards.
    5. Installation: Meticulous and efficient installation of your solar system by our team of skilled professionals.
    6. Inspection: Conducting thorough post-installation inspections to ensure everything is up to code and functioning correctly.
    7. Utility Coordination: Coordinating with your local utility company for grid connection and net metering setup.
    8. Activation: Turning on your system, marking the beginning of your energy-saving journey with solar power.
    9. Follow-up Support: Providing ongoing support and maintenance advice to ensure optimal performance.

    Real Cost of Solar Panels

    The journey to solar energy is an exciting one, but understanding the financial aspect is crucial. The cost of solar panels can vary widely, depending on several factors such as the size of your home, your typical energy usage, and the specific requirements of your solar system.

    Estimating the Cost

    Initial Costs: The price for a residential solar panel system can range significantly. For example, a standard 5kW system average cost may be anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000 before incentives and rebates.

    Factors Affecting Cost: The final price is influenced by the quality of panels, the size of the system, and additional components like inverters and battery storage systems.

    Long-Term Savings

    Electric Bill Reduction: Consider a homeowner who typically pays around $200 per month for electricity. After installing solar panels, their monthly bill might drop to $50, translating to an annual saving of approximately $1,800.

    Break-Even Point: Depending on the system’s cost and energy savings, the break-even point can typically be reached in 7 to 10 years.

    Leveraging Washington Solar Incentives

    State and Federal Incentives: Incentives like the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which offers a 30% tax credit on the total system cost, can significantly reduce your initial outlay. Washington State also offers various incentives like sales tax exemptions, which can further lower costs.

    Example with Incentives: Taking the earlier example of a $20,000 system, applying the ITC reduces the cost by $6,000. Add state incentives, and the price drops further, making the investment more attainable.

    Investing in solar panels is not only about adopting renewable energy but also about making a financially sound decision. With the combination of long-term savings on electricity bills and available incentives, solar panels are an increasingly attractive option for Washington homeowners. At Sunbridge Solar, we are dedicated to helping you navigate these financial aspects, ensuring your transition to solar is both rewarding and economical.

    How Much Can I Save with Solar Panels in Washington?

    The savings from solar panels can vary based on your energy usage and system size. However, in Washington, homeowners can typically expect savings between $10,000 to $30,000 over 20 years. These savings can increase significantly with the use of incentives and net metering.

    Enhancing Safety and Resilience with Battery Backup

    In an era of increasing environmental challenges, including earthquakes and forest fires, a battery backup system for your solar energy not only provides energy independence but also adds a layer of protection and resilience to your home.

    Critical Protection in Emergencies

    • Reliable Power During Natural Disasters: In regions prone to earthquakes and forest fires, power outages are common. A battery backup ensures that your home remains powered even when the grid fails, providing crucial energy during emergencies.
    • Safety and Preparedness: During such natural disasters, having a reliable power source is vital for safety. Your battery can power essential devices like communication tools, emergency lights, and medical equipment.

    How Battery Backup Enhances Protection

    • Automatic Switch to Battery Power: In the event of a grid failure, possibly triggered by an earthquake or a forest fire, the system automatically switches to battery power, ensuring an uninterrupted energy supply.
    • Energy Storage for Critical Times: The stored energy in your battery can be a lifeline during prolonged outages often associated with natural disasters.

    Cost Considerations with Added Safety Benefits

    • Investment in Security: While adding a battery backup involves upfront costs, it’s an investment in your home’s safety and resilience, especially in areas with higher risks of natural disasters.
    • Tailored Solutions: The size and capacity of the battery system can be customized based on your specific safety needs and energy usage patterns.

    Long-Term Benefits with a Focus on Safety

    • Emergency Readiness: A battery backup provides peace of mind, knowing that your home is prepared for power disruptions due to natural calamities.
    • Sustainable and Safe Energy Use: By maximizing the use of solar energy and reducing dependence on potentially vulnerable grid systems, battery backups contribute to both a sustainable and safer living environment.

    Is Solar Worth It In Washington State?

    In Washington State, the answer is a resounding yes. Despite its reputation for cloudy weather, Washington receives ample sunlight to make solar energy a viable and beneficial option. Homeowners can enjoy significant savings on electricity bills, thanks to the state’s generous incentives and net metering policies. 

    The investment in solar panels not only reduces your carbon footprint but also increases your property’s value. Additionally, with advancements in solar technology, systems are more efficient than ever, ensuring that even on less sunny days, energy production remains robust. Overall, solar is a smart, eco-friendly investment in Washington State.

    solar panel with sun

    Do Solar Panels Work in Rainy Washington?

    Absolutely! Solar panels function effectively in Washington’s climate. While direct sunlight is optimal, panels can produce electricity even on overcast days, as they capture diffused sunlight that penetrates clouds. Additionally, rain can clean panels, boosting their efficiency. Factoring in Washington’s long summer days and solar incentives, solar panels prove to be a viable and beneficial investment for Washington’s residents.

    Try Our Free Solar Calculator

    If you’re considering solar, you can use our free Washington State Solar Calculator to estimate the potential savings and costs associated with your project in minutes before speaking with us.

    Our WA calculator takes into account a variety of factors, including your location, energy usage, and the size of the solar array you’re considering. By inputting this information, you can get an accurate estimate of how much you can expect to save on your energy bill over time, as well as the costs associated with installation.

    Ready to Go Solar?

    There’s never been a better time to switch to solar energy. With Sunbridge Solar, you’re choosing a brighter, more sustainable future. Contact us today at (360) 313-7190 to get started on your solar adventure

    Washington Residential Solar FAQs

    To help you navigate the journey to creating a more sustainable and energy-efficient future, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers about solar panel installation, energy storage, and EV chargers.

    Is Washington a good state for solar panels?

    Yes, despite its reputation for rain, Washington state is a great place for solar due to its extended daylight hours in the summer and incentive programs like net metering and sales tax exemptions.

    How much do solar panels cost in Washington?

    The cost of solar panels in Washington can vary depending on the size of the system and your home’s energy needs, but typically ranges from $12,000 to $30,000 before incentives.

    What incentives are available for solar installation in Washington?

    Washington offers several incentives including net metering, sales tax exemptions on solar equipment, and federal solar tax credits.

    How long does it take for solar panels to pay off in Washington?

    Depending on the cost of the system, amount of sunshine, and available incentives, the payback period can range from 9 to 12 years.

    Can I install solar panels myself in Washington?

    While it’s possible, it’s recommended to work with a certified solar installer to properly size your system, ensure safe installation, navigate permits, and access incentives.

    How long do solar batteries last?

    On average, solar batteries can last between 5 and 15 years, depending on the type of battery, how frequently it’s cycled (charged and depleted), and the operational conditions.

    Can I charge an electric vehicle (EV) with solar panels?

    Yes, solar panels can charge electric vehicles. You can even install a dedicated solar EV charging unit that directly feeds electricity to your car from your solar system.

    Do EV chargers impact the efficiency of solar systems?

    While charging an EV does increase electricity demand, it generally does not impact the efficiency of the solar system. The impact is more about balancing the energy produced and the energy consumed.

    home with solar panels on it in



    Picture of Adam Walters

    Adam Walters

    Adam Walters is a writer and solar industry expert with over a decade of experience. He has written extensively on topics related to renewable energy, sustainability, and climate change, and is a passionate advocate for the transition to clean energy sources.

    Email Adam

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