- Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption: All solar energy systems under 10kw are 100% exempt from Washington state sales tax. If your system is over 10kw sales tax will apply but you are eligible to request a 75% refund from the Department of Revenue after installation. This incentive is expiring June 30th, 2018.
- Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit: Federal tax credit for 30% of the total cost of your system. This is a tax credit applied against your federal tax bill. It can be used in following years if entire credit is not used in first year. Solar energy systems installed on vacation homes or second residences are eligible for credit. The 30% tax credit is until 12/31/2019 and will steadily decrease in following years.
- Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment: This program pays the customer for every kilowatt hour they produce up to $5,000 a year. The max pay rate available is $0.54 per kilowatt hour if you have Washington made panels and inverter. Due to the increase in solar installation most utilities have reached their cap and have either closed their program or decreased their incentive rate. Pacific Power and Puget Sound Energy are still admitting people into their incentive program however their rate has decreased. We are projecting around $0.40 per kilowatt hour. The max is still $5,000 a year though. This incentive is set to expire June 30th, 2020.
With the new year, you may be wondering what the current status of the solar incentives are. Here's a quick refresher of what incentives are still available to you and when they expire.
The Mobile Link is a cellular remote monitoring unit that provides you with real time information about your generator wherever you are. You can access the Mobile Link Dashboard from your computer, smart phone, or tablet. The Mobile Link Unit will notify you of your generator's maintenance needs and if the generator is not ready to run in the event of a power outage. For vacation homes or frequent travelers the Mobile Link can be invaluable tool. The Mobile Link can even be set up to notify your Generac Dealer of failures and error codes. The first year of the Mobile Link service is free with every new unit. To learn more about the Mobile Link features visit their website at www.mobilelinkgen.com. If you're interested in purchasing a Mobile Link unit contact our office at 509-968-4746 for pricing.
While failures are rare it’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking your system’s production monthly. Checking your system monthly will help minimize any possible production lost. There are two easy ways to make sure your system is producing.
1. Your utility bill. Somewhere on your utility bill there is going to be a rate schedule noted “Production” or “Net Metering” or something similar. For that billing period, it will note what your system produced and apply that against what you consumed. This figure will fluctuate through the year. It will be higher in the summer and lower in the winter. However, a production number of zero is an indicator your system is not producing and you will need to contact our office.
2. Your production meter. After installation, you’re going to have two meters. One is a net meter and the other will be a production meter. They should be clearly labeled at your site. The production meter will always move forward; it counts every kilowatt hour you produce from the time your system is turned on through the life of your system. On the production meter, there will be a readout with the systems current production. You can make a note of that amount and then check it every month to make sure the new amount is always more than the previously taken figure. Again, if you ever notice the production number has not increased from the previous month call our office.
If you need help reading your bill or production meter, contact your utility provider.
Of course we don't intend to bore you with all the details of our office work, but we'll share this fact. We design your solar installation based on YOU. Your budget, your goals, your power bills, your available space, your location's legal restrictions, limitations, and advantages...A solar design that you will be happy with because it's not just a boxed mix, it's made from scratch for your situation. Sure, we could have plan A, B or C for you to choose from, and that would take care of a lot of bidding time. But not everything in life is one size fits all, and we want to give you a custom fit. Our customers are all unique and our goal is to give each one a solar installation that will make the most of their investment. Ready for a custom experience? Contact us today with your reason for wanting solar, your preferred location, and your budget if applicable!
You may have noticed some various styles and designs of ground mount solar around Kittitas Valley and beyond. If you've gotten a bid from us for both ground mount and roof mount, you will notice that our ground mount systems are a little more expensive than our roof mount systems. There are several reasons for that but I wanted to zone in on one of those. Our steel structures are designed to last. While wood may be less expensive in the beginning, all wood over time is prone to warping and twisting after being exposed to the elements day after day. Wood will lose its strength and straightness long before steel. One other consideration is fires. Steel would resist combustion while wood would quickly burn and collapse, taking your panels down too. That's why our designs use steel poles or galvanized steel struts. We want your investment to last. So if you can't do a roof mount, consider our steel mounted solar installations: built tough, built to last!
Did you know you need a building permit for most solar installations? You didn't? That's why we are here! To meet the requirements specific to your area and take care of all the permitting needed for your installation with us. You need an electrical permit too, by the way. And speaking of permits and paperwork, we do all the warranty and incentive paperwork needed to get your system started. So sit back and enjoy your summer while we handle the details of your solar or generator installation!
Time to clean your solar panels? Panels don't need much maintenance but sometimes they do get a little grimy, just like your car or house windows, and they will be more effective if they are clean and able to absorb the most energy possible. Treat like glass; wash with water and a soft brush if needed. Do cleaning in the morning or evening when the glass isn't as hot so that you don't risk extreme temperature differences (hot panel/ cold water) that could break the solar panel. Above all, be safe! Don't over-extend from a ladder or other heights and call a window cleaner with the right equipment if needed. Your safety is the most important!
We just completed our second solar installation for our shop. This is 24 panel ground mounted, grid-tied solar PV system. It uses Washington made products to maximize those incentive rates. The ground mount racking is a new design we are offering that was drafted by our own Darwin Wray. We are excited to have our new system up and running for the summer!
Unfortunately, Solar Bill 2346 did not pass this session. This means any additional funding or expansion of the current cost recovery program will not be taking place. If your current utility program was already closed it will remain that way as to retain the incentive rate for already existing solar customers. If you are a Puget Sound Energy or Pacific Power customer, they are still admitting new installations into their program. As these utility reach their cap and allow more installations to enter the program the utility incentive rate will periodically drop on a yearly basis until 2020. It’s hard to predict what those new rates will be but as we get farther into Spring/Summer 2016 we will know more.