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Washington Solar Panels Pricing and IncentivesHow much do solar panels cost in Washington?
Written by Taylor Freitas
Edited by Caitlin Ritchie
Last updated 08/24/2022
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Solar power in Washington
Like its Pacific Northwest neighbors, Washington is an up-and-coming state in terms of solar energy adoption. The Emerald State currently has enough solar installed to power more than 30,000 homes, with more installations under development.
If you live in Washington, solar could be a good investment for your home Investing in residential solar panels allows you to save on electricity costs and reduce your environmental footprint. Read on to learn more about installing solar panels in Washington, including the approximate costs, benefits, incentives, and how SaveOnEnergy.com® can help.
Washington solar panel cost
The cost of solar panels in Washington depends on a few key factors, such as how many solar panels you choose, the efficiency of your panels, and local permitting costs. According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Tracking the Sun report, in Washington solar panel system price per watt ranges between $2.42 and $4.13 per watt, with system sizes ranging from 5.8-kW to 13.4-kW, resulting in a system cost range between $13,953 and $55,457. The Washington median solar panel system price per watt is $3.05, and median system size is 9kW, resulting in a $27,415 median system cost.
That price may seem high, but that cost estimate is before factoring in solar tax credits and incentives that can help you save on your solar panel installation. Most homeowners make their money back on their solar panels within six to nine years.
|Price Per Watt||System Size (kW)||Cost|
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Washington solar panel incentives or rebates
There are several federal and state solar incentives available to help offset the expense of buying and installing solar panels.
Currently, the most notable incentive is the Residential Clean Energy Credit. Formerly known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), it offers a 30% tax credit to Americans who install solar panels on their primary or secondary residence from 2022 to 2032. Homes, houseboats, RVs, and rental properties all qualify, as long as you live there at least part of the year. The credit decreases to 26% for 2033 installations. There is no cap on the amount a resident can claim.
There are also several state and local solar incentives available in Washington. Here are a few notable programs.
|Renewable Energy System Incentive Program||Under this program, Washington residents and businesses can receive a financial credit for every kilowatt of energy their solar system generates.|
|Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption||Consumers who purchase and install a solar panel system will be exempt from paying sales tax on the system.|
|Net Metering||Net metering programs allow solar owners to sell their surplus electricity back to the power grid in exchange for credits that they can use during times of lower solar production.|
|Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants||This program offers grants to schools, higher education institutions, local governments, and state agencies that install solar systems.|
Why choose Washington solar power right now?
Whether you’re interested in saving money or protecting the planet, there are plenty of reasons to choose solar panels in Washington. Here are three reasons why now is a good time to invest in solar power in Washington.
Lower energy costs
Producing your household’s power from solar panels is a great way to reduce your monthly energy costs. With home solar, you don’t need to rely on electricity from the public grid and can instead power your home with the solar energy your panels generate. In the end, this can save you more than $100 per month, depending on how much energy you typically use and the electricity rates in your area. Electricity rates across the country have risen recently due to seasonality and the rising cost of power sources like natural gas. You can keep your energy costs low by investing in home solar.
Increase energy independence
With solar panels, you don’t have to rely on the public electricity grid to power your home — which helps you take a big step towards energy independence. As a result, you don’t have to worry about losing rising electricity costs when there’s extreme demand on the grid. Most consumers who go solar choose to remain connected to the power grid in order to draw electricity at night or when it’s cloudy. However, off-grid solar is legal in Washington. If you choose to disconnect from the grid, you can establish even more energy independence.
If you’re looking to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, solar panels are a great option. Solar is a renewable power source that doesn’t emit harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. By powering your home with solar energy, you can greatly reduce your environmental footprint.
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
After making the decision to go solar, you’ll need to determine whether you want to buy or lease your solar panels. There are good arguments for each option, but if you’re looking for the most long-term financial benefits, you’ll want to purchase your panels outright.
First, in order to qualify for the federal tax credit, you must buy your solar panels. You won’t be eligible for the credit if you lease your panels or sign a solar power purchase agreement (PPA). On top of that, purchasing solar panels is a smart investment in your home, increasing its resale value by $15,000.
However, leasing makes solar power accessible to more households, which is a win for these families and the planet. There are several instances in which leasing makes more sense than buying, including if you can’t afford the upfront costs of solar panels or you rent your home. Solar PPAs are another option that are similar to leasing, allowing you to pay a monthly fee for green energy generated on your property.
Lastly, community solar projects are another way to access solar power in Washington. As part of these programs, multiple homes share solar panels, with each residence getting a percentage of the output. We can help you find community solar options in your area.
Washington solar panel companies
As the solar industry continues to grow, Washington residents can choose from several reputable solar panel companies. Before you decide, it’s a good idea to get familiar with how solar works and the history of the industry. SaveOnEnergy can also help you find a Washington solar panel company. We are an unaffiliated energy marketplace that partners with top-tier solar companies offering customized solar options. To receive more information about solar in Washington, fill out this form or call 866-420-6556.
The history of solar power in Washington
Solar continues to grow in popularity across Washington, with almost 30,000 installations completed. However, there’s still a way to go before the Emerald State becomes a top solar-producing state. At the moment, Washington ranks 37th in the nation for solar power generation.
Excitingly, community solar projects are beginning to flourish in the state. Several Washington utility companies offer community solar, including Clark Public Utilities, which generates 319 kW of electricity per year and provides solar energy for 700 participants.
Important solar installation factors to consider
In many cases, solar is a worthwhile investment that can provide short-term and long-term savings. However, there are a few important factors to consider before signing up for solar:
- State and angle of your roof: The Department of Energy advises that solar panels work best on south-facing roofs that have a slope between 15 and 40 degrees. Your roof should also be in good condition and not need to be replaced soon.
- Sunshine levels in your area: Similarly, solar panels produce the most energy when they receive high amounts of sunshine. If you live in an especially cloudy region, solar panels might not be a good option.
- Homeowners’ association (HOA) rules: According to Washington’s solar rights law, HOAs cannot prevent a homeowner from installing a solar system on their property – as long as it meets certain conditions. Make sure to check with your HOA to find out its specific rules.
Solar power FAQs
With an average cost of $3 to $5 per watt, an average-sized solar system would come out to between $11,160 and $46,500 . You can use the federal tax credit and Washington solar incentives (such as net metering) to offset part of the cost of solar panels in Washington.
Under the right circumstances, solar can be a good investment in Washington. How much you’ll save will depend on factors like how much electricity you use, the weather conditions at your home, and available incentives in your area.
Solar is a renewable resource that doesn’t release carbon dioxide when produced (in contrast to traditional fossil fuels). When you move to solar, you’ll cut down on the amount of carbon that your home releases into the environment, helping you lead a cleaner and greener lifestyle.
Although there are more solar panel installers entering the market, finding one that you trust doesn’t have to be difficult. SaveOnEnergy can help you find a good solar panel installer with high quality solar options. Fill out the form above or call the number on this page to discuss Washington solar installers with an energy expert.