Solar energy is growing in Clark County, with over 7,000 residential and over 300 commercial projects currently built or underway. This is caused by a growing population wanting more clean energy, effective solar incentives, and decreasing solar panel costs.

 

2020 Washington State Solar Power Incentives

Washington State offers many different types of solar incentives, which help mitigate the upfront costs of installing the system. Here are brief summaries of the 2020 Washington state solar incentives:

Sales Tax Exemption on Solar Installations

Solar energy systems under 100 kilowatts are exempt from all local and state sales taxes. That means that, depending on where in Washington you live, you can save up to 10.5% on the total cost of your solar energy system by not paying for the sales tax.

Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The federal government also offers a tax break on solar energy systems. If you make enough income to qualify for federal tax liability and own the property on which the solar energy system will be installed, you can deduct 26% of the total cost of the system from your federal tax liability in 2020. In 2021, the deductible percentage goes down to 22%, and in 2022 and beyond, only commercial solar systems will be eligible for a 10% deduction.

USDA REAP Grant for Solar

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers guaranteed loans and grant funding to eligible rural small businesses as well as farmers who earn at least half of their gross annual income from farming operations. These grants and loans can be used for solar energy installation as well as installing other renewable energy systems and improving the overall energy efficiency of the farm or business.

Net Energy Metering

Net Energy Metering allows you to essentially sell any excess power that your solar energy system generates back to the grid. This is a very practical arrangement for Washington residents, as often their solar energy system will generate more than enough power on the long sunny summer days, and the credits earned from that excess power can be applied to energy bills throughout the winter when solar energy generation is reduced.

Is Solar Power Worth It in Clark County?

In short – yes. Washington experiences quite long days in the summer which are often sunny, allowing the generation of plentiful solar energy. To determine if solar is a good idea, you’ll simply need to compare costs and savings.

 

Costs

The average cost of installing a solar energy system in Washington ranges from about $12,000 to about $17,000, with the cost per watt averaging about $3. However, as outlined above, there are several incentive programs in place that can help reduce the upfront cost.

Savings

Once you’ve earned back your initial investment in the solar energy system, you are purely saving money. The average payback period is less than 7 years in Clark County, with a net 20-year savings of over $20,000.

Adding a Battery Backup System

A battery backup system creates energy resilience, meaning that even if the power grid goes down, your system will be able to sustain itself.

Have Questions? Ask A BIA Member

Have a question about solar for your home, new construction, or a large commercial building? Our local BIA of Clark County Member, Sunbridge Solar, will answer any questions or concerns you may have. Give them a call today at (360) 313-7190.

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