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Add State and Local Incentives to the 30% Federal Tax Credit
Learn about solar incentives and solar rebates. Find out what is available to you through federal, state and local programs, as well as local utilities.
State and Local Solar Panel Rebates
Combining the Federal tax credit with state incentives you qualify for may significantly reduce the cost of your solar PV system.

Read more good news about these programs and important tips on qualifying below.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
30% of the cost of your Solar Electric System and installation can be deducted from your federal tax bill.

Read more about this credit and what qualifies.





Solar Incentives by State… Click on your state to see what is available.    
Solar States


— You may be able to afford a larger solar PV system than you originally thought!
— You may be able to add the battery backup system you were planning to buy in a year or two



The Good News About Solar System Incentives, Qualifications and Tips
Some solar incentive programs pay you back over time, based on the energy you generate. Other solar incentives are one-time payments of rebates or credits. Incentive requirements and definitions may vary between states.

Incentive types can be specifically for residential, schools, business, or industrial; or inclusive of all of them. Solar incentives are mainly for grid tied systems and are sometimes available for off grid systems.

The incentives may be only for solar photovoltaic (electric), for electricity generated by wind, or for solar thermal (hot water generation). Other types of incentives may incorporate multiple solar technologies.

Programs with yearly or periodic application dates have credits or rebate rates that may be stepped down over time.

To qualify for incentives, your solar system may have to be installed by a licensed Photovoltaic System Installer, and/or connected to the grid by a licensed Electrician. This may be particularly true for Grid-Tie (Grid-Intertied) systems.
Plan ahead and act quickly. Many incentive programs are time sensitive. First-come-first-served programs, such as lotteries, can be spoken for in minutes after the opening of their application date.

Be careful including incentives in your PV system's budget due to requirements and possible deadlines to meet before qualifying.

Always consult a tax professional in regards to your eligibility for tax incentives.





Solar Incentive Glossary
Battery Backup Systems
Battery backup systems can store electricity from the grid or a fuel-powered generator to provide emergency power when the grid goes down. It can also store energy created PV system to power appliances and lights at night after the sun goes down.

Feed in Tariffs,
a Performance Based Incentive, or PBI

(Available for Grid Tied Systems.)
Feed-in Tariffs are typically long term contracts with your local utility for performance-based compensation.

The contracts are typically a 15-25 year purchase agreement at a guaranteed rate. The rate may decrease over time as specified in the agreement. Feed-in Tariffs may ultimately pay for your PV system or even exceed your initial investment depending on the specifics in the contract.

Originally started in Germany in 1990 and restructured in 2000 to include the right to interconnect to the utility grid. It was designed as an incentive to promote cost-effective renewable energy use and advancements in technologies. Due to its success, the current German policy is the cornerstone for the creation of many feed-in tariff programs around the globe.

Green Building Programs
(May be available for Off-grid and/or Grid-tied Systems.)
Green Building Programs are generally for new construction and remodeling, or just adding a solar electric system. The most common incentives are reductions or waivers of building permit fees. Some state or local organizations offer coupons that reduce construction and/or installation costs to homeowners. The home or business owner usually gives the coupon to their program-authorized installer/contractor. Once the system is installed the installer/contractor can be reimbursed for the amount of the coupon by the program's organization.

Grid-Tied PV Systems
Grid tied systems are inter-connected to send energy back to the grid when your solar electric system creates more than you're using; and you can receive energy from the grid when you're using more electricity than your system is generating at the moment. Learn more about grid-tied solar systems.

Loans
(May be available for Off-grid and/or Grid-tied Systems.)
State or local governments may offer low or zero interest loans for renewable energy projects. Terms are typically 10 years or less. If you are going to purchase or remodel a home that you are going to add a solar system to you may also want to see the Energy Star website for information on Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs).

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing may be offered by states that have been authorized to participate in this program. The amount of the loan is determined by a special assessment of your property and is typically repaid over a period of years.

Check with your local banks and credit unions as they may offer renewable energy loans for less than the prime rate. Also consider that mortgage loans and home equity loans can offer several advantages: longer terms, lower interest rates than conventional bank loans, and tax-deductible interest.
Net Metering
(Available for Grid Tied Systems.)
As of January 2012, only four states do not have net metering policies ‐ South Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. These programs are for utility customers who generate their own electricity and feed excess energy back into the grid. Net-metered customers may use grid energy when their electrical demand exceeds their solar electric system's output. Solar electric credit rates are applied to the customer's total electric use and are shown on the utility bills.

The credit rates and rules vary from state to state. Unused solar electric system credits may expire in a specified time period or they may be carried over from year to year. The credits may only be applied to the utility bill or you may be allowed to get a refund check at the end of a designated period, usually the end of the year.

Off-Grid PV Systems
Off grid systems do not feed energy back to the grid. You may be completely independent from the grid or you may be receiving grid electricity to supplement your system (Grid-Assisted). Learn more about off-grid solar systems.

Solar PV System (Photovoltaics)
A solar PV system uses photovoltaic panels (or modules) to create electricity. This powers appliances, lights, and other electric equipment.

Solar Thermal System
A solar thermal system uses panels (or modules) to heat water. The hot water is typically used instead of a water heater for everyday water use, or in a radiant heating system to warm the air.

State and Local Tax Incentives
(May be available for Off-grid and/or Grid-tied Systems.)
  • Personal tax incentives include income tax credits (dollar-for-dollar reduction on what you owe) and income tax deductions (reduces your taxable income).
  • Property tax exemptions, exclusions and credit incentives generally exclude the added value of the system from your yearly property tax. Abatements may reduce a percentage of your yearly property tax over time.
  • State sales tax incentives can be an exemption from or a credit towards the applicable sales tax.
Utility Rate Discounts & Rebates
(Available for Grid Tied Systems.)
Some utilities and state or local programs may offer temporarily reduced rates on utility bills, or one time rebates on the installation of solar systems and purchases of energy efficient appliances and/or HVAC systems.


Updated: 09/24/2016
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Washington Solar Incentives
Updated: 09/24/2016
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INCENTIVE NAME: Solar Easements & Rights Laws
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Solar/Wind Access Policy
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA02R
LAST UPDATE: 12/16/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Net Metering
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Net Metering
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA01R
DETAILS:
Applicable Utilities - All utilities
System Capacity Limit - 100 kW
Aggregate Capacity Limit - 0.5% of utility's 1996 peak demand
Net Excess Generation - Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate; granted to utility at end of 12-month billing period
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits - Not specified
Meter Aggregation - Allowed (up to 100 kW)
WEBSITE: http://www.utc.wa.gov/regulatedIndustries/utilities/energy/Pages/netMetering.aspx
UTILITIES: Alder Mutual Light Co, Inc, PUD No 1 of Benton County, Benton Rural Electric Assn, Big Bend Electric Coop, Inc, City of Blaine, City of Centralia, PUD No 1 of Chelan County, City of Cheney, City of Chewelah, PUD No 1 of Clallam County, PUD No 1 of Clark County, Clearwater Power Company, Columbia Rural Elec Assn, Inc, City of Coulee Dam, PUD No 1 of Cowlitz County, PUD No 1 of Douglas County, City of East Point, Town of Eatonville, Elmhurst Mutual Power & Light Co, City of Ellensburg, PUD No 1 of Ferry County, PUD No 1 of Franklin County, PUD No 1 of Grays Harbor Cnty, Inland Power & Light Company, PUD No 1 of Kittitas County, PUD No 1 of Klickitat County, Kootenai Electric Coop Inc, Lakeview Light & Power, PUD No 1 of Lewis County, City of McCleary, City of Milton, Modern Electric Water Company, Nespelem Valley Elec Coop, Inc, Northern Lights, Inc, Ohop Mutual Light Company, Inc, PUD No 1 of Okanogan County, Okanogan County Elec Coop, Inc, Orcas Power & Light Coop, Public Utility District No 2, PacifiCorp, Parkland Light & Water Company, PUD No 2 of Grant County, PUD No 1 of Pend Oreille Cnty, Peninsula Light Company, PUD No 1 of Asotin County, Port Angeles City of, Public Utility District No 1, PUD No 3 of Mason County, Puget Sound Energy Inc, City of Richland, Town of Ruston, Seattle City of, PUD No 1 of Skamania Co, Snohomish County PUD No 1, Town of Steilacoom, City of Sumas, Tacoma City of, Tanner Electric Coop, Vera Irrigation District #15, Avista Corp, PUD No 1 of Mason County, PUD No 1 of Whatcom County, Cashmere Light Dept.,
LAST UPDATE: 12/01/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Grays Harbor PUD - Net Metering
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Net Metering
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA09R
DETAILS:
Applicable Utilities - Grays Harbor
System Capacity Limit - 100 kW
Aggregate Capacity Limit - 0.25% of utility's 1996 peak demand (increases to 0.5% on 1/1/2014)
Net Excess Generation - Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate; reconciled annually at 50% of retail rate
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits - Customer owns RECs
Meter Aggregation - Allowed in certain circumstances
WEBSITE: https://www.ghpud.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=59&Itemid=76
UTILITIES: PUD No 1 of Grays Harbor Cnty,
LAST UPDATE: 12/09/2014

INCENTIVE NAME: Tax Abatement for Solar Manufacturers
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Industry Recruitment/Support
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA28F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - 43% reduction of state's business and occupation (B&O) tax
Maximum Incentive - None
WEBSITE: http://dor.wa.gov/content/findtaxesandrates/bandotax
LAST UPDATE: 01/06/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Sales Tax Incentive
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA04F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - 100% exemption for sales of forest derived biomass used as fuel;
100% exemption for solar photovoltaic systems 10 kilowatts or less, and solar thermal systems;
75% exemption for other qualified systems
Equipment Requirements - Renewable energy systems greater than or equal to 1 kW and solar energy systems over 10 kW under RCW 82.08.962
Solar energy systems up to 10 kW and solar thermal heat no more than 3 million BTU/day under RCW 82.08.963
WEBSITE: http://dor.wa.gov/Content/FindTaxesAndRates/TaxIncentives/IncentivePrograms.aspx#Energy
LAST UPDATE: 01/06/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Mandatory Utility Green Power Option
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Mandatory Utility Green Power Option
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA06R
WEBSITE: http://www.utc.wa.gov/regulatedIndustries/utilities/energy/Pages/greenPowerProgramsInWA.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 12/09/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Chelan County PUD - Sustainable Natural Alternative Power Producers Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Performance-Based Incentive
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA07F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies; 2015 payment was $0.09/kWh
Maximum Incentive - $1.50/kWh
Terms - Maximum system size of 25 kW - AC
WEBSITE: http://www.chelanpud.org/snap.html
UTILITIES: PUD No 1 of Chelan County,
LAST UPDATE: 06/19/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Interconnection Standards
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Interconnection
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA07R
DETAILS:
Applicable Utilities - Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit - 20 MW
Standard Agreement - Yes
Insurance Requirements - "Additional" liability insurance generally not required for systems under 100 kW. For other systems, requirements vary by system application and/or size; levels established by UTC.
External Disconnect Switch - Not required for inverter-based systems up to 25 kW; Generally required for non-inverter based systems
Net Metering Required - No
WEBSITE: http://www.utc.wa.gov/docs/Pages/InterconnectionRulemaking.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 12/15/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Clark Public Utilities - Solar Energy Equipment Loan
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA29F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - Solar PV: $30,000
Solar Pool Heaters and Solar Water Heaters: $10,000
Loan Term - For all loans $10,000 and under: up to 5 years
For PV loans between $10,000 and $30,000: up to 7 years
Interest Rate - 3.5%
WEBSITE: http://www.clarkpublicutilities.com/index.cfm/our-environment/generate-your-own-power/solar-options/loans-and-rebates/
UTILITIES: PUD No 1 of Clark County,
LAST UPDATE: 02/05/2016

INCENTIVE NAME: Green Building and Energy Reduction Standards for State Agencies
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA14R
WEBSITE: http://www.des.wa.gov/services/facilities/Energy/Commissioning/Pages/default.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 07/16/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Renewable Energy Standard
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Renewables Portfolio Standard
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA15R
DETAILS:
Standard - 15% renewables by 2020 and all cost-effective conservation
Technology Minimum - No
Compliance Multipliers - Distributed generation: 2.0
Facilities operational after 2005 with approved apprenticeship program: 1.2

REC Lifetime - Bankable for one year for future compliance
May be used for prior year's compliance
Credit Trading/Tracking System - Yes (WREGIS)
Alternative Compliance Payment - Penalty of $50/MWh for missing targets

WEBSITE: http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Programs/Energy/Office/EIA/Pages/default.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 11/19/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Okanogan PUD - Conservation Loan Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA120F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - Residential: $10,000
Loan Term - Up to 60 months
WEBSITE: https://www.okanoganpud.org/energy-services/residential-conservation-loans
UTILITIES: PUD No 1 of Okanogan County,
LAST UPDATE: 05/12/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard for Affordable Housing
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Green Building Incentive
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA127F
WEBSITE: http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Programs/housing/TrustFund/Pages/EvergreenSustainableDevelopment.aspx
LAST UPDATE: 12/03/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Snohomish County PUD No 1 - Solar Express Rebate Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Rebate Program
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA146F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - PV: $300/kW-DC
SWH: $500/system
Maximum Incentive - Residential PV: $2,000
Commercial PV: $8,000
Eligible System Size - PV: Up to 100 kW-DC

Equipment Requirements - PV: Must be new, UL-listed 1703 for module and 1741 for inverter, must carry 20-year warranty on module and 5-year warranty on inverter, and 2-year workmanship warranty
SWH: Must be new, SRCC OG-100 rating, must carry 10-year warranty on collector and 2-year performance workmanship warranty, and must offset electric water heating.
Installation Requirements - Systems must be installed by a PUD-registered solar installer. Sites must have documented total solar resource of at least 75%. Pre-approval by the PUD is required.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits - PUD
WEBSITE: http://www.snopud.com/solarexpress
UTILITIES: Snohomish County PUD No 1,
LAST UPDATE: 06/18/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Orcas Power & Light - MORE Green Power Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Performance-Based Incentive
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
SOURCE: Member Contributions
CODE: WA173F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies. Current incentive for systems coming online July 1, 2014 or later is $0.035/kWh.
Terms - Incentive based off of year in which renewable energy system is interconnected.
Eligible System Size - Up to 200 kW
WEBSITE: http://www.opalco.com/energy-services/renewable-generation/m-o-r-e/
UTILITIES: Orcas Power & Light Coop,
LAST UPDATE: 06/19/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Residential Solar Permit Requirements
CATEGORY: Regulatory Policy
TYPE: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
CODE: WA22R
WEBSITE: https://fortress.wa.gov/ga/apps/sbcc/Page.aspx?nid=14
LAST UPDATE: 07/17/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Feed-in Tariff
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
SOURCE: Utilities pay incentives and earn a tax credit equal to the cost of those payments
CODE: WA100F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - $0.12/kWh - $1.08/kWh through 6/30/2020, depending on project type, technology type and where equipment was manufactured
Maximum Incentive - $5,000/year
Eligible System Size - Community solar projects: up to 75 kW
Duration - Max 15 years. Through 2020.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits - Customer-Generator
WEBSITE: http://dor.wa.gov/content/FindTaxesAndRates/TaxIncentives/IncentivePrograms.aspx#Energy
LAST UPDATE: 03/10/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: WSHFC Sustainable Energy Program
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Loan Program
SECTOR: State
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
SOURCE: Sustainable Energy Trust
CODE: WA100F
DETAILS:
Maximum Loan - $1 million
Loan Term - Maximum term is 10 years
Interest Rate - Varies
BUDGET: $7 Million
WEBSITE: http://www.wshfc.org/energy/index.htm
LAST UPDATE: 12/18/2015

INCENTIVE NAME: Pacific Power - Blue Sky Community Project Funds
CATEGORY: Financial Incentive
TYPE: Grant Program
SECTOR: Utility
TECHNOLOGY: Solar Photovoltaics,
SOURCE: Blue Sky voluntary customer payments
CODE: WA100F
DETAILS:
Incentive Amount - Varies
Maximum Incentive - 100% of capital cost
Equipment Requirements - Project must be equipped with electronic monitoring system to collect energy production data
WEBSITE: https://www.pacificpower.net/env/bsre/cpf.html
UTILITIES: PacifiCorp,
LAST UPDATE: 03/16/2016

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