Washington Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Washington Rebates and Incentives Summary

Washington state has given the country so much—including grunge music and Jimi Hendrix. The state also is internationally recognized as a hotspot for the arts, housing such famous institutions as the Pilchuck Glass School—founded in part by internationally renowned glass sculptor, Dave Chihuly. The state also has a diverse geography—from its temperate rainforest bordering the Pacific Ocean, to cloud-scraping Mt. Rainier, too vintner-perfect, semi-arid lands.

The state has long been an advocate of sustainability and energy efficiency. To help its residents and businesses take advantage of the state’s solar and other renewable energy resources—which include wind and geothermal—the state offers residents and businesses numerous incentives, including tax breaks, net metering and performance-based incentives. And the state’s utilities offer additional rebates and low-interest loans for renewable energy projects.

According to the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, “Washington has few fossil fuel resources but has tremendous renewable power potential.” Utilities in the state already produce the majority of power used in the state through hydroelectric dams. For instance, of the nearly 9 gigawatt hours of electricity produced in Washington in May 2010, nearly 7 GWh were produced by the state’s hydroelectric generators.

Despite being a northern state, roughly half of Washington gets an average of 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of sunlight per square meter. This is mainly in the south and central region of the state, but sunlight extends up to its northern border—making the region ideal for solar power. The rest of Washington, which includes its main population center, Seattle, gets an average of 4 kWh of sunlight per square meter, which is still good for solar installations and is akin to other northern states like Maine and New York.

The state has focused much of its sustainability efforts on energy efficiency and green building practices. That’s likely because 60 percent of the state’s population resides in Seattle, which is not known for its sunny days. The state’s renewable portfolio standard, which requires 15 percent renewable energy by 2020, isn’t nearly as ambitious as California’s goal of 33 percent renewables by 2020, but the state is still ahead of many states.

Washington was the second state—following Colorado—to pass its renewable energy standard through a ballot initiative. Under the law established by the 2006 ballot measure, utilities serving more than 25,000 customers in the state must obtain at least 15 percent of their electricity from new renewable resources by 2020.


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Avista Utilities (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs


Avista Utilities Home Improvement and New Home Construction programs offer a variety of incentives encouraging residential customers to save energy in their homes. The rebates listed apply to residential homeowners in Washington who heat homes primarily with Avista electricity or natural gas. Incentives vary depending on technology, and generally apply to both existing and new construction homes. Interested customers should review the website for more information including individual equipment requirements and to access application forms.

Avista Utilities (Natural Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs


Avista Utilities Home Improvement and New Home Construction Rebate programs offer a variety of incentives for residential customers to save energy in homes. Offers apply to residential homeowners in Washington and Idaho who heat homes primarily with Avista electricity or natural gas. Incentives vary depending on technology, and generally apply to both existing and new construction homes. Interested customers should see the web site for more information including individual program requirements, specifications, and all application forms.

A $800 incentive is available for the builder of

Building Energy Code


Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The State Building Code Council revised the Washington State Energy Code (WESC) in February 2013, effective July 1, 2013. The WESC is a state-developed code based upon ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

Changes to the state energy code are submitted to the State Building Code

Chelan County PUD - Residential Weatherization Rebate Program


Chelan County PUD offers cash rebates to residential customers who make energy efficient weatherization improvements to eligible homes. Eligible measures include efficient windows doors as well as insulation for walls, floors, ceilings, and attics. Offer applies to existing single and multi-family homes of up to ten units in Chelan County with electric heat.

Application must be submitted within 90 days of completed work. Customers who complete work without a licensed contractor will be subject to a mandatory inspection of installed measures. Incentives are paid directly to customer by check.

City of Seattle - Community Power Works Loan Program


Community Power Works, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Program, offers loans and rebates for eligible energy efficiency improvements to homes.  In addition, Community Power Works partners with Seattle City Light to offer energy assessments at a reduced rate of $125 for homeowners. 

Once a home is assessed, customers select energy efficiency improvements, choose a contractor from a pool of approved contractors, and apply for financing.  Loan amounts are calculated after factoring in other rebates and incentives.  Loans are available from two lending partners. 

Clallam County PUD - Residential Efficiency Rebate Program


Clallam County PUD offers a variety of rebates for residential customers for energy efficiency improvements. Eligible measures and incentives include window upgrades, insulation, air and duct sealing, heat pumps, and high efficiency water heaters. All windows, insulation, weatherization measures, heat pumps, and duct sealing must be approved by the PUD prior to installation and must be installed by a participating PUD-approved contractor. These incentives are awarded to the installer and then subtracted from the installation bid price. See the website listed above for more details.



Clark Public Utilities - Residential Heat Pump Loan Program

Clark Public Utilities offers loans of up to $20,000 for heat pumps. Loans will help customers cover the up-front cost of installing a highly efficient heat pump in a residence. All electrically heated homes, including manufactured homes, are eligible for the heat pump financing program. Customers have up to seven years to repay the loan at a 3.5 percent interest rate. The utility charges a $225 loan processing fee for loans under $5,000 or $350 for loans $5,000 or more, which can be paid up front or folded into the loan. Customers will be billed monthly for loan payments, separate from

Clark Public Utilities - Residential Weatherization Loan Program

Loans of up to $15,000 at a 3.5% interest are available through Clark Public Utilities' Weatherization Loan Program. The loans can pay for the average local cost of eligible measures, based on recently completed projects. Customers have up to seven years to repay the loans, but monthly payments will be at least $25. There is a $225 processing fee for loans under $5,000 and a $350 processing fee for loans $5,000 or more. Customers will be billed monthly for loan payments, separate from energy bills. Customers pay the weatherization contractor directly for optional measures or extra costs not

Clark Public Utilities - Solar Water Heater Rebate


Clark Public Utilities offers a rebate of $500 to customers who install a solar water heating system. Customers must own the residence or business where the solar water heating system is installed and must have an electric water heater. 

In addition, Clark Public Utilities offers a loan program for eligible solar water heater equipment. For additional information, call Energy Services at (360) 992-3355.

Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants


Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants are available to higher education institutions, local governments, public K-12 school districts, and state agencies to lower their energy costs. 

Washington State Department of Commerce awards grants on a competitive basis through two rounds of funding. Commerce announced the awardees of Round One Funding,  with 52 projects selected totaling $10 million. The program guidelines for the Round Two competition will be incrementally updated and available later this fall, with applications due next spring. Applications are scored based on energy savings and leverage

Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard for Affordable Housing


The Washington State Department of Commerce created the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard, a set of green building criteria that is required for any affordable housing project applying for state funds through the Washington State Housing Trust Fund (HTF) beginning in July 2008. The standard is based on a point system which awards points for a variety of sustainable building practices including:

  • Site location and neighborhood planning;
  • Water conservation;
  • Energy efficiency and the incorporation of renewable energy technologies; and
  • Environmentally-conscious

Grays Harbor PUD - Net Metering


Grays Harbor PUD's net-metering program differs slightly from what is required by Washington state law in that Grays Harbor PUD reimburses customers for net excess generation (NEG), at the end of each year, at 50% of the utility's retail rate. State law allows utilities to require customers to surrender NEG to the utility, without reimbursement, at the end of a 12-month billing cycle. Grays Harbor PUD has voluntarily gone beyond the state requirement in order to encourage customers to use renewable energy systems.

Washington's original net-metering law, which applies to all electric

Green Building and Energy Reduction Standards for State Agencies


On January 5, 2005, Washington’s governor signed Executive Order 05-01, directing state agencies to adopt green building practices in the construction of all new buildings and in major (over 60%) renovation of existing buildings. Beginning in 2005, building projects over 25,000 square feet must meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Silver” Standard, or be certified by a credible third party. The Department of General Administration (GA), now part of the Department of Enterprise Services (DES), was required to develop and implement a review process to make sure that

Interconnection Standards


The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) adopted interconnection standards for distributed generation (DG) systems up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity in 2007, and revised these standards in July 2013. The rules apply to the state's investor-owned utilities (Avista, PacifiCorp, and Puget Sound Energy), but not municipal utilities, public utility districts, or cooperative electric utilities. 

The revised standards provide for three separate levels of interconnection based on system capacity and other requirements. The first level, Tier 1 systems, applies generally to

Lewis County PUD - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Note: Incentives for weatherization equipment will be discontinued at various times during 2015. See program website for most up to date information. 

Lewis County PUD offers rebates for a variety of residential technology upgrades. Eligible upgrades include insulation for the inside the residence, cost of installation for windows and exterior doors, and appliances .  Interested customers should have an energy audit performed before any work is authorized and seek pre-approval to be eligible for incentives. Additional information and equipment requirements can be found on the utility’s web site

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option


In May 2001, Washington enacted legislation (EHB 2247) that requires all electric utilities serving more than 25,000 customers to offer customers the option of purchasing renewable energy. Eligible renewables include wind, solar, geothermal, landfill gas, wave or tidal action, wastewater treatment gas, certain biomass resources, and "qualified hydropower" that is fish-friendly.

Beginning January 1, 2002, each electric utility must inform its customers on a quarterly basis of the voluntary option to purchase green power. The details of each utility's program must be approved by the state,

NW Natural (Gas) - New Homes Stand Alone Incentive Program


Builders with new construction projects in NW Natural’s Washington gas service territory are eligible to receive cash incentives from Energy Trust of Oregon for gas heated homes that receive Energy Star or Earth Advantage certification. Starting in February, 2016 an Energy Performance Score (EPS) incentive will be available for all newly built homes heated by NW Natural. Builders are also eligible to receive an incentive for installing a tank water heater. For more information on the incentive program for builders, see the program web site.

Orcas Power & Light - MORE Green Power Program


Orcas Power and Light (OPALCO), an electric cooperative serving Washington’s San Juan Islands, provides a performance-based incentive for residential and commercial members who generate energy from photovoltaics, wind, micro-hydroelectric and other small-scale renewable energy sources. The Member Owned Renewable Energy (MORE) Program is funded by voluntary member donations to provide a production credit to local renewable member generators. 

Incentive payments will be paid per kilowatt hour (kWh) of production, with a rate based on the year in which the system is interconnected. In 2014,

Puget Sound Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs


Puget Sound Energy's (PSE) Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs offer a variety of incentives for customers who purchase energy efficient appliances and equipment. Rebates include furnaces, boilers, air-source heat pumps, ductless heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, insulation, energy audits, clothes washers, light fixtures, appliance recycling, refrigerators, equipment conversions, water heaters, and heating equipment upgrades. Some rebates vary according to the capacity or efficiency of equipment. Please contact PSE’s Energy Advisors or go to pse.com/rebates to find specific

Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment


Note: Some utilities have reached their cap for incentive allocations under the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment program. Some of these utilities have reduced per-customer incentive amounts in response, while others have closed the program to new applicants. Interested customers should check with their electric utility on the availability and level of incentive payments.

In May 2005, Washington enacted Senate Bill 5101, establishing production incentives for individuals, businesses, and local governments that generate electricity from solar power, wind power or anaerobic

Renewable Energy Manufacturing Program


Note: The initial application deadline for the Renewable Energy Manufacturing Program was June 30, 2016. Applications will be accepted following that date only if there are remaining funds available for interest cost subsidies.

The Washington Economic Development Finance Authority (WEDFA) and the Washington State Department of Commerce (Commerce) are jointly offering a two-part financing program for renewable energy manufacturing projects. The first component is bond financing through WEDFA, and the second component is an interest cost subsidy from Commerce. Projects must qualify for WEDFA

Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption


In Washington State, there are sales tax exemptions for the sale of equipment used to generate electricity, as well as for the sale of "hog fuel," defined as wood waste and other wood residuals including forest-derived biomass. It does not include firewood or wood pellets. Hog fuel must be used to produce electricity, steam, heat, or biofuel. Hog fuel is fully exempt from sales tax, though the buyer must provide the seller a completed sales tax exemption certificate and must complete an annual tax incentive survey. The exemption expires June 30, 2024.

The sales of equipment used to generate

Residential Solar Permit Requirements


Washington's State Building Code sets requirements for the installation, inspection, maintenance and repair of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. Local jurisdictions have the authority to issue building permits, or exempt systems from building permit requirements. Through an emergency rulemaking procedure, the State Building Council adopted revisions to the residential building code effective July 1, 2014. These amendments specify that installations meeting standard requirements are exempt from the roof covering specifications in the code, meaning they do not require an engineering report

Richland Energy Services - Residential Energy Conservation & Solar Loan Program


The City of Richland provides low-interest loans to encourageit residential customers to pursue equipment upgrades and home improvement measures that will increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Loans can be taken out for up to 10 years with interest rates ranging from between 3% and 7%; the interest rate generally decreases with shorter loan payback periods. Interest rates can also be reduced by choosing equipment and measures which exceed the program's minimum efficiency standards. Individual measures have maximum loan amounts, and the maximum loan per customer for multiple measures

Richland Energy Services - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Richland Energy Services (RES) provides a number of rebates encouraging energy efficiency for its residential customers.  Rebates exist for Energy Star home appliances, HVAC equipment and improvements, and also window and insulation upgrades.  Rebates for insulation upgrades vary according to the prexisting insulation levels present in a home.  For detailed information on specific rebates and requirements, see the incentives form provided by RES.  For further information or any questions, please visit the program website listed above or contact RES directly.

Seattle City - Solar Permit Requirements


Seattle has created a guide to help home and business owners install a solar electric system. The guide gives advice and outlines important steps to take to install a solar PV (photovoltaic) system.

The guide includes electrical, building, land use, and set-back yard permit requirements. Any solar electric project must obtain an electrical permit secured by an electrical contractor. An electrical permit fee is approximately $190 if you system size is less than 7 kW.

A building permit is required when the array weight is 1,000 pounds or more, the installation is structurally complex, the project

Seattle City Light - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Seattle City Light provides rebates to its customers for energy audits and purchasing and installing energy saving clothes washers and dryers, heat pump water heaters, and ductless heat pumps. SCL rebates are limited offers. Funds and dollar amounts may change. Additional details regarding program requirements and incentive amounts are available on the program website.  

Seattle HomeWise: Weatherization


The City of Seattle offers free weatherization services to residents who meet income qualifications. Services are available to both homeowners and renters, and may include energy audits, insulation, heating systems, air sealing, bathroom fans, and more. The City also offers low-interest loans to low- and moderate-income residents through its Home Repair Loan Program

For income qualifications and more information, visit the website above.

Snohomish County PUD No 1 - Solar Express Rebate Program


In March 2009, Snohomish County PUD introduced the Solar Express Program. This program provides rebates to support residential and commercial installations of solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar water heating (SWH). 

This rebate program provides $300 per kilowatt (kW) of installed PV, up to a cap of $2,000 for residential premises and $8,000 for commercial premises (as determined by the PUD rate class). A flat rebate of $500 per system is provided for solar water heating. 

Interested customers must get a site assessment and bid from an approved installer, and get PUD approval prior to

Solar Easements & Rights Laws


Washington's solar easement laws are similar to those in many other states. The law does not create an automatic right to sunlight. Rather, the law allows parties to enter into solar easement contracts voluntarily for the purpose of ensuring adequate exposure of a solar-energy system.

In April 2009, Washington enacted S.B. 5136, restricting homeowner's associations from prohibiting the installation of solar energy panels. A homeowner's association may issue guidelines related to visibility and aesthetic aspects of solar panel placement, but it may not prohibit a resident or owner from

Tax Abatement for Solar Manufacturers


Senate Bill 5111, signed by Washington's governor in May 2005, created a reduced business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for Washington manufacturers of solar-electric (photovoltaic) modules, stirling converters, or silicon components of those systems.

In May 2009, Washington enacted SB 6170, effective July 1, 2009. This bill reduced the B&O tax rate to 0.275%, effective October 1, 2009. This tax rate is 43% lower than the standard manufacturing B&O tax rate. This reduced tax rate applies to manufacturers of photovoltaic modules, stirling converters, solar grade silicon, silicon solar wafers

Vera Water & Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Vera Water and Power offers several rebates to electric customers who purchase and install energy efficient equipment. Rebates are available for water heaters, windows, heat pumps, clothes washer, duct sealing and appliance recycling. All efficiency standards must be met in order to receive water heater or window rebates. Window rebates are based on the square footage replaced. Vera Irrigation District also provides a $450 rebate for the installation of energy efficient heat pumps while ductless heat pumps are eligible incentives of up to $1,500.  For further information on any of these rebate

WSHFC Sustainable Energy Program


The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) has established a Sustainable Energy Program to offer low-cost financing for new green construction, energy efficiency upgrades, and renewable energy projects. WSHFC offers low-interest financing for projects up to $1 million out of its Sustainable Energy Trust (SET), with a preferred minimum loan of $50,000. The SET funds are intended as a source of capital for organizations or projects that would not typically qualify for other sources of capital, and are not available to individuals.

Energy efficiency projects funded by the SET must