Generating your own electricity using solar and other technologies is becoming more common in many parts of the U.S. and around the world. Recent federal and state incentives help make customer generation even more viable.
Typical Costs and Performance
Residential solar electric systems in Seattle typically cost $5,000 – $8,000 per kilowatt (kW) installed depending on equipment choices and design complexity. For unshaded sites you can expect about 1,000 kilowatt–hours (kWh) per year for each kW installed.
Federal tax credits, SCL net metering and WA-State Production Incentives (administered by SCL) may significantly improve the economics of your investment.
Please see SCL's 20 page publication Guide to Installing a Solar Electric System which covers everything from solar basics to contracting, permitting and financial incentives.
Visit our FAQ page for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are planning an installation in any of the Seattle City Light Network Service Areas, your application will be reviewed by our Network Engineering Department, which can add additional time to the interconnection approval process. Network installations may also require special equipment. To determine if your project is located in a network area please download a network map
Solar Electric Installation: Basic Steps
- Obtain bids from solar contractors.
- Complete a "Interconnection Application & Agreement."
- Have your installed system permitted and inspected by your municipality.
- Request a production meter from City Light (for production incentive).
- Complete the Washington State Department of Revenue certification form (for production incentive).
- Claim your solar energy federal tax credit (expires December 31, 2016).
- Apply for and receive your production incentive payment each year.
Required City Light Forms for Solar Electric Systems
Seattle City Light Requires all customers who are interested in connecting generation equipment to the electric distribution system to complete and submit the appropriate Interconnection Application and Agreement for approval prior to installation.
For inverter-based generation less up to 100 kilowatts please use the following form:
Seattle City Light requires all customers who choose to operate generation equipment connected to the City's distribution grid to complete one of the above agreement forms.
Renewable Energy Production Incentives
Washington's Renewable Energy Incentive Program applies to solar, wind and anaerobic digester technologies. Annual payments for qualifying customer generation based on kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity produced are available through June 30, 2020. A Seattle City Light production meter is required.
To request a production meter, please submit the following form.
To certify your renewable energy system to qualify for the state’s production incentive program, submit this form to the Washington State Department of Revenue:
Customer Generation program contact: