Whitehorse Mountain along the Sauk River, Photographed by Keith Lazelle
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Does Solar Energy work in Seattle?


Seattle City Light customers are installing solar equipment on their homes and businesses - and in greater numbers every year. While we are known for our cloudy skies, Seattle receives more sunlight than Germany, the world's leading solar market.

Updated 2013 production incentive information for solar customers

  • Customer production meters were read June - July 2013, on the same date as your billing (net) meter
  • Most customers were mailed Production Incentive Applications in late August (due September 12)
  • The remainder of customers were mailed applications in September (later due dates)
  • Only customers with a WA Department of Revenue (DOR) certification on record with City Light were mailed applications
  • If you are a new solar customer and your production meter was not read until August or later, you will be eligible to apply for an incentive in 2014
  • Customers will be notified by mail starting in October whether their application is approved
  • Production incentive checks will be issued to the WA DOR Certification name(s) on record and mailed by December 15, 2013
  • Payments are capped at $5,000 per Tax Registration Number on file with the Washington DOR

For more information email SCL_renewables@seattle.gov or call an Energy Advisor at 206.684.3800.

Types of Solar Energy Systems

Solar energy can be used to produce electricity or heat water...

Solar Electric Systems (also called Photovoltaic or "PV" systems) convert sunlight directly into electricity you can use in your home or business. With a solar electric system, you pay less for electricity from Seattle City Light. If your system produces more electricity than you need at any given time, it will supply the grid, spinning your utility meter backwards. This process is called "net metering."

Solar Hot Water Systems use the sun's heat to preheat water before it enters your conventional water heater. With a solar water heater, you pay less for the electricity or natural gas that you normally use to heat your water.

Is Solar Right for You?

Installing a solar system on your property may make sense if you...
  • own your home or commercial property;
  • have a suitable shade-free area for solar collectors (such as roof space in sound condition); and
  • are interested in making a long-term investment to reduce your environmental impact.

Learn more about installing Solar Electric Systems.

However, whether it's the cost, or access to a sunny space, we understand that solar energy doesn't work on every home.

Community Solar opportunities are emerging to overcome these barriers to solar energy use. Just as a P-patch affords the bounty of a garden to those without their own space at home, Community Solar can provide solar energy and its associated financial benefits to a multitude of participants.

Learn more about Community Solar.
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  • Contact Seattle City Light

    700 5th Avenue
    Suite 3200
    P.O. Box 34023
    Seattle, WA 98124-4023

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