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 (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 new construction manufactured homes that meet the ENERGY STAR/ECO-Rated Homes criteria and are verified as

Avista Utilities - 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.

Benton PUD - ENERGY STAR Certified Manufactured Homes Rebate Program

Benton PUD offers rebates to builders of homes which meet  ENERGY STAR standards. Qualified homes are independently verified to be at 10% more efficient than the state energy code. If the constructed home meets the program requirements, the builder is eligible to receive a rebate of $1,200.  Contact Benton PUD or visit the program website for additional information.

Benton PUD - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Benton PUD offers residential customers a variety of rebates when they make certain weatherization improvements. Appliance rebates are available for energy efficient hot water heaters. The rebate application must be completed and turned in within 90 days of product purchase. 


Benton PUD also offers incentives for HVAC equipment and weatherization measures including heat pumps, ductless heat pumps, duct sealing, and insulation.  Visit the program website or contact Benton PUD directly for more information.

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 Council (SBCC) on standardized forms. Code changes must be

Cascade Natural Gas - Conservation Incentives for Existing Homes

Cascade Natural Gas offers a variety of incentives to residential customers for making energy efficiency improvements to existing homes. Eligible equipment includes furnaces, water heaters, insulation, radiant heaters, and air sealing. Incentives are available directly from Cascade Natural Gas in Washington and are administered by Energy Trust of Oregon in Oregon. Incentives listed here apply to Washington residential customers of Cascade Natural Gas. Fuel for the home’s primary heat source must be provided by Cascade Natural Gas for all heating incentives and home’s water-heating fuel must be provided by Cascade Natural Gas for all water-heating incentives. Check the Cascade Natural

Cascade Natural Gas - Conservation Incentives for New Homes

Cascade Natural Gas offers a variety of incentives to residential customers for including energy efficiency measures in new homes in Washington and Oregon. Incentives listed here apply to Washington residential customers of Cascade Natural Gas. Fuel for the home’s primary heat source must be provided by Cascade Natural Gas for all heating incentives and home’s water-heating fuel must be provided by Cascade Natural Gas for all water-heating incentives. For new homes, ENERGY STAR Whole Homes Incentives and Upgrades or stand-alone incentives are available. Check the Cascade Natural Gas web site for application forms and further equipment requirements.

Qualifying measures must be

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. Contact Chelan County PUD for more information.

Chelan County PUD - Sustainable Natural Alternative Power Producers Program

The Sustainable Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) program encourages customers to install alternative power generators such as solar panels and wind turbines and connect them to the Chelan County Public Utility District's (the PUD's) electrical distribution system by offering an incentive payment based on the system's production. The PUD distributes SNAP payments annually, on or around Earth Day. The amount paid per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to SNAP Producers is determined by dividing the total amount contributed by SNAP Purchasers through the utility's green pricing program, divided by the total electricity generated by all SNAP Producers. The greater the amount contributed by SNAP

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.  Craft3 loans are available for $1,500 to $30,000, with interest rates fixed at

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 Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Clark Public Utilities offers several energy incentives for residential customers to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Rebates are offered for heat pumps (including ductless heat pumps), heat pump water heaters, insulation, replacement windows, duct sealing, and smart thermostats.   The weatherization measures must be added to electrically heated homes by an approved contractor. See the program website for details on incentive levels and requirements. The utility will inspect the installation after work is complete before a rebate is issued.

Visit the program website 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 $230 loan processing fee for loans under $5,000 or $385 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

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 $230 processing fee for loans under $5,000 and a $385 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 eligible for

Clark Public Utilities - Solar Energy Equipment Loan

Clark Public Utilities offers financing available to its customers for the purchase and installation of residential solar equipment. Loans up to $10,000 are available for solar pool heaters and solar water heaters and up to $30,000 for photovoltaic systems.

Solar water heater loans, solar pool heater loans and solar PV loans under $10,000 have repayment terms of up to 5 years, but a minimum monthly payment of $25 is required. Solar PV loans over $10,000 have a maximum term of 7 years. All loans carry an interest rate of 3.5%. Solar pool and water heater loans are only applicable to

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.

Columbia Rural Electric Association - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Columbia Rural Electric Association offers its residential customers a variety of rebates for the purchase of energy efficient equipment and measures. These incentives will be made available to customers through a credit on monthly electric bills. Most equipment must meet certain energy efficiency standards listed on the program web site. Check the program web site or contact CREA for more information, specific equipment requirements, and program applications. 

 

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 ratio of non-state funds to state funds. Projects may receive additional points

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 construction practices, building materials and improved indoor-air quality.

All projects must comply with all mandatory measures. New construction must also earn

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 utilities, was enacted in 1998 and

Grays Harbor PUD - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Grays Harbor PUD provides incentives for residential customers to increase the energy efficiency of homes which choose to participate in the Residential Energy Efficiency Program. Rebates are provided for qualifying heat pumps, weatherization improvements and certain appliances. To receive the appliance rebates, members simply need to attach receipts to the rebate application and mail it to Grays Harbor PUD. To receive the weatherization and heat pump rebates, members need to contact the utility before beginning the project. Grays Harbor will send a representative to the home to perform a free preliminary energy audit, during which the most cost-effective projects will be identified.

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 these standards are applied in building projects of 5,000

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 systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) using inverter-based interconnection equipment. The second tier applies generally to systems sized

Lewis County PUD - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

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, and annual reports must be submitted from October 1, 2002, to October 1, 2012.

Mason County PUD 3 - Residential Energy Rebates

Mason County PUD 3 encourages customers to use energy efficient products and home equipment by offering incentives for the purchase of qualifying products. The utility offers residential customers rebates for various measures, including:

  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Heat pumps  
  • Duct sealing
  • Insulation
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes Dryers

Interested customers should visit the program website or contact the utility for more information. 

Net Metering

Washington's net-metering law applies to systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW) in capacity that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydro, biogas from animal waste, fuel cells, or combined heat and power technologies. All customer classes are eligible, and all utilities -- including municipal utilities and electric cooperatives -- must offer net metering.

Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis until the cumulative generating capacity of net-metered systems equals 0.5% of a utility’s peak demand during 1996.* At least one-half of the utility’s available aggregate net metering capacity is reserved for systems generating electricity using renewable energy.

Although the

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.

Okanogan County PUD - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Public Utility District No. 1 of Okanogan County provides rebates to residential customers for purchasing energy efficient appliances. The qualifying appliance must be installed in a location that receives electrical service from the Okanogan PUD. Interested customers need to call the utility to get the actual rebate amount for each appliance.

 

Okanogan PUD - Conservation Loan Program

Okanogan PUD provides financial assistance for its qualified customers to improve the energy efficiency of homes and facilities. They offer loans for a variety of conservation measures including insulation, doors, air-sealing, duct work, lighting, Energy Star heat pumps and windows. Before funds are provided for new windows, door and/or heat pumps, the insulation levels must meet the program guidelines. Loans in excess of $4,000 will require that a Real Estate Mortgage be signed prior to loan approval. Applications are available on the program web site listed above. Interested customers should call the Energy Conservation Department for more information.

 

 

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, incentive rates were adjusted to accommodate faster growth in MORE installations than voluntary contributions. 

 

Interconnection

Orcas Power & Light - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Orcas Power and Light Cooperative offers incentives for residential customers to pursue energy efficiency upgrades in eligible homes. Rebates are offered for Energy Star rated appliances, water heaters and heat pumps. Please see necessary requirements and procedures on each rebate form and follow instructions. Program forms and applications may be found on the program web site listed above.

Pacific Power - Blue Sky Community Project Funds

Pacific Power's Blue Sky program is a voluntary program for customers to support renewable energy. A portion of the voluntary payments through the program is used to fund new community-based renewable energy projects within Pacific Power's service territory.

Eligible renewable energy resources include wind, solar PV, geothermal, low-impact hydropower, pipeline or irrigation canal hydropower, wave or tidal energy, and low-emissions biomass. Projects must be grid connected, less than 10 MW, locally owned, and non-residential. 

Funding awards are made annually. Projects are evaluated based on project feasibility, costs, financing, community benefit, and recognition of the Blue Sky program. Total funding varies

Peninsula Light Company - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Peninsula Light Company offers a rebate program for residential customers who want to install energy efficient products in homes. Rebates are provided for heat pump water heaters, heat pumps, duct sealing, and ductless heat pumps.  In store discounts on energy efficient products are available through the Simple Steps Smart Savings program (see the program website for a list of participating retailers).  Heat Pumps must be installed by a certified contractor to qualify for a rebate. To qualify for duct rebate a home must be electrically heated. More information on this program can be found at the program website.

Port Angeles Public Works & Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Port Angeles Public Works and Utilities offers a rebate program to encourage residential customers to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. The rebates apply to qualifying installations in homes with electric heat. The City also provides a rebate for an Energy Star rated new home, and offers incentives for manufactured homes and multi-unit buildings. To qualify, the equipment must be installed by a City Authorized Contractor. Additional restrictions may apply. 

City of Port Angeles electric utility customers who meet low income criteria are also eligible to receive free weatherization. See program requirements for more information.

Some measures vary by efficiency

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 equipment requirements. All efficiency requirements must be met in order to receive incentives. More information and incentive applications are available on the program web

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 digesters. The incentive amount paid to the producer starts at a base rate of $0.15 per kilowatt-hour

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 Bonds before receiving an interest cost subsidy. Borrowers must arrange for the ultimate source of credit

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 electricity

Renewable Energy Standard

With the passage of Initiative 937 in 2006, Washington became the second state after Colorado to pass a renewable energy standard by ballot initiative. Initiative 937, which was enacted as the Energy Independence Act (EIA), calls for electric utilities that serve more than 25,000 customers in the state of Washington to obtain 15% of their electricity from new renewable resources by 2020 and to undertake all cost-effective energy conservation. Investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and public utility districts are subject to this standard.* Of Washington's 62 utilities, 17 are considered qualifying utilities, representing about 81% of Washington's load

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 or stamped drawings. 

Jurisdictions still have authority over the permitting process for rooftop solar installations, but the rule change

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 4%; 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 is $15,000. To qualify for a loan, the customer must

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. All work must be performed by an approved contractor to qualify for rebates. 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 is part of building

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 installation.The PUD will conduct a pre-

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 installing solar panels, provided that the solar panels meet certain criteria.

Tacoma Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Tacoma Power offers a variety of incentives for residential customers to improve the energy efficiency in participating homes. Prescriptive rebates are available for equipment and measures such as heat pumps, duct sealing, windows, insulation, and lighting upgrades. All equipment must meet the program requirements to be eligible for rebates.

For more information, please contact the utility, view the program summary brochure, or visit the program web site.

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, silicon solar cells, thin film solar devices or compound semiconductor solar

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, heat pumps, clothes washers, duct sealing, LED lighting, clothes dryers, new manufactured homes, and insulation. All efficiency standards must be met in order to receive water heater or window rebates. Window rebates are based on the square footage replaced. For further information on any of these rebate offers, visit the program website or contact the utility.

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 achieve a minimum of 10% efficiency gains over existing conditions