State Legislation Would Boost Incentives for Solar Owners

Proposed legislation in Olympia could increase the incentives available for solar installations in Washington state if approved by lawmakers during this year’s special session.

House Bill 1048 would bring an end to the outdated Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Program on June 30, 2017, and would replace it with a new program designed to increase incentive caps for utilities and offer new incentives for homeowners, businesses or government entities who own solar installations or participate in community solar projects.

Under the proposed program, utilities would be able to claim a minimum annual credit of $100,000 up to a half a percent of the utility’s total power sales. This credit would be made available for utility customers to apply toward qualifying solar systems under the new program.

The new cost recovery program for solar owners allows for incentive payments starting at 15 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh) and increasing from there based on a set of factors primarily based on whether system components were manufactured in the state of Washington. A maximum incentive rate of $1.08 per kWh would be available for projects with an inverter and solar panels manufactured in Washington.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, HB 1048 has been designated necessary to implement the budget, which means it will be considered as part of the budget approval process. A companion bill in the state Senate, SB 5499, similarly seeks to re-establish healthy solar incentives.

Solar Washington, a solar advocacy group, is supporting the so-called Solar Jobs Bill with a sign-on petition and offering information and suggestions on contacting legislators on its homepage.

Three Months Left to Cash In On Snohomish PUD Solar Incentives

If you have been considering going solar and happen to live anywhere between Lynnwood and Stanwood — that is, Snohomish County — you might want to go green before the greenbacks are gone.

Snohomish County PUD has announced that their Solar Express program will be sunsetting on June 30, 2017. This means residents of Snohomish County and Camano Island have just three months to get their residential or commercial solar project submitted in order to receive up to $2,000 in incentives for residential installs and $8,000 for commercial installations before the incentives expire.

The specific rebate Snohomish PUD offers for solar projects is $300 per kW. Projects must meet certain requirements, one of which is that the installation site must capture at least 75 percent of direct sunlight when taking into account orientation, shade, tilt and other factors.

If you would like to get more information about the expiring program, visit the Learn About Going Solar page on the Snohomish PUD website. If you would like a free estimate on your project from Solora Solar, give us a call at (425) 366-8953 or tell us on our contact page.

If you don’t live in Snohomish County but are curious about incentives, give us a call. In minutes, we can usually tell you the federal, state and local incentives for which you may qualify.