Generating your own electricity using solar is becoming increasingly affordable for City Light customers as costs continue to drop.
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.
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
Contact your Seattle City Light Electric Service Representative to request a free assessment of your existing electric service to determine if it is in compliance with current codes. Adding a solar system is considered a modification to your service and may require additional work to bring the existing equipment up to today’s code requirements. Beginning work without an assessment may result in additional cost and delays.
Locate your Electric Service Representative here
or by calling the intake desk at 206-233-2777.
- Obtain bids and choose a solar contractor.
Apply for Interconnection and net metering by filling out an Application for Electric Service prior to system installation. As part of the Application for Electric Service you will need to submit an Interconnection Application & Agreement (EZ-IAA).
If you intend to apply for Washington State Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Production Incentive payments than a production meter is required. There is an additional fee for a production meter which you may elect to have billed to your City Light account on the Application for Electric Service or you may submit a payment directly to the City Light Intake Desk.
- Have your system permitted, installed and inspected by your local permitting jurisdiction (Department of Planning and Development in Seattle).
- Apply for State Production Incentives. Complete and submit to the WA Department of Revenue a Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Certification.
- On your next federal income tax return, claim your 30% renewable energy tax credit (expires December 31, 2016).
- Sign and return your annual production incentive application to City Light (applications typically mailed to solar customers each August).
: 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