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Seattle City Light LARRY WEIS, General Manager and CEO
Solar Energy
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Solar Incentive Cap Update

2015-2016 final calculations have been completed and a proportional reduction of 27.5 percent will be applied to annual production incentives.

The 2016 Washington State Legislative Special Session came to a close on March 29, 2016. The state legislature did not pass House Bill 2346, which impacts the solar incentive cap.

As a result, annual solar incentive payments will be proportionally reduced. Although the final reduction amount will not be finalized until September, City Light has updated its figures and based on current trends, the utility estimates that 2016 annual incentive payments will be reduced by roughly 35 percent.

As solar generation becomes increasingly popular and customers continue to install solar systems, City Light is nearing the limit on renewable incentive payments provided by the Washington State Legislature. When a utility reaches its incentive cap (0.5 percent of taxable power sales), the State provides two options to the utility: proportionally reduce the incentive payments or stop accepting new incentive participants. As a result City Light will be proportionally reducing all incentive payments beginning in 2016.

Despite the proportional production incentive payment reduction, City Light continues to support its customers desire to engage in solar generation, whether through Community Solar Programs or residential solar generation. City Light solar customers receive a variety of additional benefits, such as the federal solar incentive tax credit, Washington State sales tax exemption for systems less than 10kW, and net metering benefits.

To learn more about this issue, view the Solar Incentive Cap Frequently Asked Questions document.
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