Incentives & Rebates
The fact is that solar energy systems can be expensive. The capital investment required to generate a substantial portion of your electricity or heat can exceed the price of a luxury automobile. Keep in mind that a professionally installed solar energy system is an investment that will provide a steady return in the form of clean energy for decades. Yes the energy you produce is more expensive than what you can buy from your electric utility, but energy you produce yourself has many non-financial rewards that gives it greater value for both you and the world.
Governmental and utility incentive programs help to reduce capital expenses and/or add to the value of energy generated to help make solar energy more cost competitive with traditional sources of energy.
The best source for detailed information on incentive programs in the US is the Database for State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
One local incentive program to consider if you are planning to install a grid-connected system is the Member Owned Renewable Energy (M.O.R.E.) program. The M.O.R.E. incentive pool is funded by voluntary member donations to provide a production credit to local renewable member generators. The incentive amount is currently $0.035/kWh for systems coming online July 1, 2014 and later.
On a state-wide level, look into the WA Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Program. The actual production incentives range from $0.12/kWh to $.54/kWh, as the incentive rate is higher for modules and inverters manufactured in Washington. The incentive is capped at $5,000 per year for each Member Generator and $100,000 per year in total incentive payouts for OPALCO. Once the OPALCO annual cap is exceeded, all member production incentive payments will be decreased proportionally.
Under the Renewable Sales and Use Tax Exemption, there is a 100% exemption for solar photovoltaic systems 10 kilowatts or less and a 75% exemption for other qualified systems. The tax exemption applies to labor and services related to install the equipment, as well as the sale of the equipment and machinery. This expires June 30, 2018 for systems 10 kW or less and January 1, 2020 for other qualified systems.
There is also a Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. A taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States and used as a residence by the taxpayer. For more information and details see www.dsrefireusa.org or www.energystar.gov/taxcredits
Please contact us to schedule a site visit to assess your solar resource and determine the best system(s) for your home or business. We will provide a detailed financial planning worksheet to illustrate the financial costs, benefits and payback economics of your proposed system.