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Steve Carr
Certification # 031409-20

Andy Cochrane
Certification No. 031508-18

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Financial Incentives & Financing

     R Net Metering
     R Washington State Production Incentive
     R Federal Tax Credit
     R Federal Grant in Lieu of Business Income Tax Credit for Solar PV
     R Financing

There are currently many financial incentives available to help off-set the up front cost of purchasing a renewable energy system.  This page will list each of the various rebate, tax incentive, and production incentive programs available for customers in Clallam, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, and Skagit Counties.  For additional information please check out www.dsireusa.org which provides a great comprehensive overview of financial incentives available in Washington State and elsewhere in the country.    

Power Trip Energy will handle the paperwork for all of the applicable financial incentives for our clients, and guidance to the proper federal tax forms for you and your tax professional.  This is a substantial service that is included in our turn-key installations.  There are intricacies to some of the programs that we will be happy to explain as we work with you.

Net Metering

Washington State’s net metering law allows you to connect your solar electric (PV) system directly to the utility grid and requires utilities to value power generated by your grid-tied solar electric system at the same rate per kilowatt-hour (kwh) that the utility charges you for power from the grid.  Connection to the utility grid allows batteries to be eliminated as an energy storage device.  The utility grid becomes the energy storage device.  When your grid-tied solar electric system produces less power than your home or business consumes (think short, cloudy winter days) the utility grid will provide the additional energy you need.  When your grid-tied solar electric system is generating more power than your home or business uses, the excess power goes back to the grid and you will be credited for this power production on your utility bill. 

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, or combined heat and power technologies (including fuel cells). All customer classes are eligible, and all utilities -- including municipal utilities and electric cooperatives -- must offer net metering.  

Washington State Production Incentive

In 2005 Washington State adopted the Renewable Energy Production Incentive Program (REPIP) establishing production incentives of 12 to 54 per kilowatt-hour for individuals, businesses, or local governments that generate electricity with grid-tied power systems from solar power, wind power or anaerobic digesters. In 2008, the program was extended and expanded.  The overall incentive pool is capped at 0.5% of taxable utility revenue and the incentives are capped individually at $5000 per year. These incentives are in addition to the savings you can achieve through net metering.  The production incentive rates depend upon the source of your energy and whether your equipment was manufactured in Washington State.    The incentive rates are:

  • For electricity produced using out of state solar modules and inverters the rate is $0.15 per kilowatt hour (kwh);

  • For electricity using solar modules manufactured in Washington state with an out of state inverter the rate is $0.36 per kwh. Note: Silicon Energy modules made in Arlington, WA are now available. To learn more to go www.silicon-energy.com;

  • For electricity using both solar modules and an inverter manufactured in Washington state the rate is $0.54 per kwh.  Note:  Silicon Energy now offers a 4.2 kW batteryless inverter that qualifies as made in Washington.

  • For electricity produced using a solar or wind generator equipped with an inverter manufactured in Washington state the rate $0.18 per kwh;

  • For electricity produced using an anaerobic digester or using a wind generator equipped with blades manufactured in Washington state the rate is $0.15 per kwh;  

  • And for all other electricity produced by grid-tied wind the rate is $0.12 per kwh.

Participation in the REPIP program is voluntary and varies from utility to utility.  Currently on the north Olympic Peninsula Clallam Co. PUD #1, Puget Sound Energy, and Mason Co. PUD #1 & #3 all participate in this program.  Participating utilities will pay the incentives to the producing customer and earn a tax credit from the State of Washington equal to the cost of those payments.  The incentives apply to power generated as of July 1, 2005, and are currently slated to remain in effect through June 30, 2020.

Links to additional information on production incentives:

         Wash. State Dept. of Revenue REPIP Application Form

         WAC 458-20-273 Solar Production Incentive Program


Federal Tax Credit

Residential and commercial customers who install solar electric systems qualify for a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of their solar electric system under the ITC (Investment Tax Credit.)

Residential customers should review Form 5695, and business customers should review Form 3468.  Click here for instructions form 3468

Commercial customers can also take advantage of IRS rules that allow renewable energy systems to be depreciated over an accelerated 5 year period.  Please review the MACRS information and consult with your tax professional on accelerated depreciation issues.

For more detailed answers, please see the SEIA FAQ at http://www.powertripenergy.com/incentives/ITC_FAQ.pdf and most importantly, this is not tax advice, you should consult with your tax professional.  Many tax pros are still unfamiliar with these federal programs and the responsibility to help these folks get up to speed on solar issues lies with you and us.

Solar Financing

We are often asked if financing is available for solar projects.  We will share information on low interest finance programs as we become aware of them.

Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union - many of our clients recently have been taking advantage of the Energy Smart Loans from PSCCU.  We have enjoyed the ease of working with them, and our clients have all given good reviews of the customer service.  This is the personal financing we have been waiting for before being able to enthusiastically endorse using personal financing as a smart option for anyone to install grid-tied pv.  You can learn more and even apply online here http://www.psccu.org/efficiency.php#energysmart

First Federal - for ratepayers in Clallam PUD and Port Angeles Light territory, the loan program through First Federal is really exceptional in its low interest rate (due to utility partnership), and we have had many clients use this financing without a hitch. Contact Jenni Dougherty at (360) 417-3165 or  email jenni.dougherty@ourfirstfed.com to learn more about this loan program.

Clallam County PUD – Low interest, adjustable rate financing up to $15,000 through Clallam PUD and First Federal Savings and Loan that can be used for solar projects.  Please make an appointment with Jenni Dougherty at (360) 417-3165 or  email jenni.dougherty@ourfirstfed.com for more information about this First Federal loan program.

City of Port Angeles – Low interest, adjustable rate financing through the City of Port Angeles and First Federal Savings and Loan with no maximum limit on the loan amount.  Terms are for up to 20 years.  No maximum loan amount. Contact Jenni Dougherty at (360) 417-3165 or  email jenni.dougherty@ourfirstfed.com to learn more about this loan program.

Home Equity Loans – Any private lending institution at market rates.