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

Sales Tax Exemption

A sales and use tax exemption for purchases and installation of solar energy systems that produce at least one kilowatt (kW), but no more than 100kW AC of electricity is available July 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2019.

Washington State Production Incentive

Waitlist status awaiting funds. See WSU Renewable Energy Program Website for details

The Washington State Legislature created the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program in 2006. It was designed to build Washington’s solar energy sector and assist home and business owners and community facilities in the cost of installing solar PV systems. In July, 2017, Senate Bill 5939, known as the Solar Jobs Bill, was passed to ensure that the solar industry remains strong and continues to grow in Washington.

Production Incentives in Washington are:

  • Paid out by the state
  • Managed by WSU and your electric utility
  • Paid in addition to net metering rates
  • Dependent upon if you purchased made-in-Washington equipment (solar modules) or equipment made outside of Washington
  • Closed to new participants when their electric utility hits its incentive cap
  • Based on rates that range from $0.06 kWh to $0.21 kWh
  • Computed during a fiscal year that runs from July through the following June
  • Capped at $5,000 per individual or household under 12kW, each year, for eight years or until 50% of the system cost is reached, whichever comes first
  • Capped at $25,000 for systems over 12kW, each year, for eight years or until 50% of the system cost is reached, whichever comes first
Fiscal year of system ceritification Base rate residential-scale Base rate commercial-scale Base rate community solar Base rate shared commerical solar Made-in-Washington Bonus
2018 $0.16 $0.06 $0.16 $0.06 $0.05
2019 $0.14 $0.04 $0.14 $0.04 $0.04
2020 $0.12 $0.02 $0.12 $0.02 $0.03
2021 $0.10 $0.02 $0.10 $0.02 $0.02

A fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. We are currently in fiscal year 2018 until June 30, 2018. Certification of a new system may take up to 30 days from date of submission. We encourage applicants to submit your application when the renewable energy system passes final electrical inspection. Learn more about new incentive rates here.

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.

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 Spark Northwest (formally 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.

Spark Northwest 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, we are able to achieve and pass on 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 our own free solar workshops in specific neighborhoods or communities and we offer group purchase benefits for people who attend and who purchase a new solar PV energy system. To see where we are holding upcoming workshops, visit our website’s Upcoming Events or our Workshop Registration page. If you have a group or organization who is interested in learning about solar, please contact us, we’d be glad to set up a workshop specifically for you.

With NW Wind & Solar, you can expect exceptional customer service from first call through install and beyond. What are you waiting for? Experience the NW Wind & Solar Advantage today!