Winter view of Boundary Dam from the west bank of the Pend Oreille River., Photographed by Peter Clarke
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Generating your own electricity using solar is becoming increasingly affordable for City Light customers as costs continue to drop.

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.

Typical Costs and Performance


Residential solar electric systems in Seattle typically cost $4,000 - $7,000 per kilowatt (kW) installed, depending on equipment choices and design complexity. A typical residential system is 3 - 6 kW. For unshaded sites you can expect about 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year for each kW installed.

Incentives


Federal tax credits, SCL net metering and WA-State Production Incentives (administered by City Light) may significantly improve the economics of your investment, with simple paybacks possible in less than 7 years.

Learn more about our incentive payment process here.


Solar Electric Installation & Incentives: Basic Steps

  1. Obtain bids and choose a solar contractor.
  2. Apply for Interconnection and net metering. Complete and submit to City Light an Interconnection Application & Agreement prior to system installation. If you intend to apply for production incentives, include payment for a production meter.
  3. Have your system permitted, installed and inspected by your local permitting jurisdiction (Department of Planning and Development in Seattle).
  4. Apply for State Production Incentives. Complete and submit to the WA Department of Revenue a Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Certification.
  5. On your next federal income tax return, claim your 30% renewable energy tax credit (expires December 31, 2016).
  6. Sign and return your annual production incentive application to City Light (applications typically mailed to solar customers each August).


PLEASE NOTE: 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.



Further Resources


Related Content

Incentive Payment Process
Details on how the Washington State renewable energy production incentive payment process works.

Renewable Energy
Options to help increase the supply of renewable energy and help protect the environment.


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