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Incentives and Credits

Tax Credits for Solar Power

Federal, state and utility incentives have moved residential, commercial and community solar power into the fast lane. Because of greater demand production and innovation have advanced rapidly and the cost of solar installations have plummeted. And as rapidly as the market is changing, so too are the incentives. Below is an overview of current solar incentives, credits and more.

Don’t worry about having to figure out if you are eligible or how to apply, because, as part of your NW Wind & Solar Advantage, we’ll take care of those details for you!

Federal Tax Credit – 30%

December 18, 2015, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, H.R. 2029 was signed in to law to extend the expiration date of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2019. The ITC allows taxpayers, who own a home in the U.S. and who reside in that home, to claim a federal tax credit for qualified expenditures related to the installation of a solar PV system.

Percentage of maximum allowable tax credit by placed in service dates:

  • 30% for systems placed in service through December 31, 2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service on January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020
  • 22% for systems placed in service on January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021

Washington State Incentives, Credits, Grants and Group Buy Programs

Net Metering

Net metering is a contract between you and your utility company, which states that you will sell excess power produced by your PV system to your utility company at retail rates. And once this reserve is depleted you will pay your usual rates for your electricity.

Utility companies use a net metering fiscal year that starts in May of the current year and runs through April of the following year. In the Northwest, solar PV systems typically build up a reserve of kWh in the summer and use this reserve during the winter months.

Production Incentives

The Washington State Legislature created the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program in 2006. It was designed to build Washington’s solar manufacturing sector and assist home and business owners and community facilities in the cost of installing solar PV systems. To date the program, which is set to expire in 2020, has been extremely successful.

Production Incentives in Washington are…

  • Paid out by the state
  • Managed by your utility
  • Paid in addition to net metering rates
  • Vary in amount depending upon if you purchased made in Washington equipment (modules and inverters) or equipment made out of Washington. Rates become variable when utilities hit their incentive cap.
  • Base Incentive rates range from $0.15 kWh to $0.54 kWh
  • In effect until June 30, 2020
  • Computed during a fiscal year that runs from July through the following June
  • Capped at $5,000 per individual or household.

Washington Renewable Energy Tax Credits

Solar Sales and Use Tax Exemption

The state sales tax exemption, SB 5882, for solar installations has been extended, depending on equipment type and size through June 30, 2018 or January 1, 2020.

Systems capable of producing 10 kW or less (usually residential properties) will receive 100% tax exemption, both state and local, on installation, machinery and equipment for solar thermal systems and are set to expire June 30, 2018.

Systems capable of generating over 10kW will receive 75% refund of state and local sales taxes paid for installation, machinery and equipment and are set to expire January 1, 2020

MACRS or Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System

Typically, this incentive is only available to rental or business properties who can depreciate their assets over a period of five years.

Utility Grants

Programs may be available from your local utility for renewable energy grants. Visit your local utility’s website or contact them directly.

Federal Grants

Rural Energy for America Program or REAP, provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding of the total eligible costs of purchasing or installing renewable energy systems and making improvements to energy efficiency for qualified farms and rural businesses.

Demonstration Grants

Solar 4R Schools, developed and managed by Bonneville Environmental Foundation, is a nationwide program to provide schools with lesson plans, science kits and solar PV arrays creating a real-world experience with renewable energy technologies.

Group Buying

Solarize Northwest

NW Wind & Solar has partnered with Northwest SEED and Solarize Northwest (formally Solarize Washington) to offer communities the opportunity for a seamless experience for making the decision to purchase and have a solar PV system installed on their home or business while enjoying the power of cost savings with group purchasing.

Northwest SEED vets the solar installation companies so home and business owners don’t have too. Because solar panels (modules), inverters and racking are bought in bulk, they are able to achieve discounted rates on energy system components. As an approved installer, NW Wind & Solar can offer a below market installation rate due to the close proximity of all installations and the small window of time when installations take place.

NW Solar Now! Workshops

Periodically, NW Wind & Solar holds their own free solar workshops in specific neighborhoods or communities to offer group purchase benefits. To see where we are holding upcoming workshops visit our website’s Upcoming Events or our Workshop Registration page.

Your NW Wind & Solar team will provide you with a full service project, applying for and certifying all incentives available. What are you waiting for, experience the NW Wind & Solar Advantage today!