Four questions to consider before you go solar

Does your home have good sun exposure? Does a solar array make financial sense? Where to go to get answers.

  • Snohomish County PUD
  • Friday, August 26, 2022 1:30am
  • Life

By Snohomish County PUD

Solar power is hot.

It can sound like a joke in the Pacific Northwest: That’s about as useful as a solar array in Seattle! Ha ha. But it’s really no joke. Solar arrays, or photovoltaic systems, have proven to be successful and popular in the Pacific Northwest and have sprouted up on residential homes, apartment complexes and businesses across our service area.

The PUD’s Community Solar array in Arlington has been producing energy since early 2019 and just had an impressive July, producing nearly 100,000 kilowatt-hours of energy in 31 days. We are also preparing to install a second Community Solar array in south Everett. This array will be slightly smaller at 375 kilowatts and the funds generated by the project will go to help customers struggling to pay their energy bills.

As for residential and business customers, installing solar has never been more popular. So far in 2022, the PUD has connected nearly 500 net metering customers, a significant increase over the past two years, which saw a total of 622 installs combined in 2021 and 2020.

That interest promises to grow with the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill increases the federal tax credit for the installation of solar arrays from 26% to 30% and extends it through 2032.

There’s a lot to think about if you’re interested in installing solar panels on your home or business. The PUD can help, especially where it concerns net metering, but getting multiple bids from trusted solar installers is critical to success. Also understand your financial case and how long it will take to payback your investment.

Before you make your final decision on whether rooftop solar is a practical idea, consider these four questions:

Does your site have good solar exposure? About 250 square feet of unshaded roof space facing south, southeast or southwest is a great start, though not always required.

How much electricity do you use in a year? Review your PUD bills, keeping in mind that energy use can vary dramatically from winter to summer.

What are your financial goals? Do you have a fixed budget, are you considering financing options, or do you have a certain payback period in mind?

Who should I hire to do the job? A good place to start when looking for a solar installer is the Washington Solar Energy Industries Association website at waseia.org. If you have any questions, reach out to the PUD’s Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700.

If you’re interested in installing a photovoltaic system on your home or business, know the facts. The PUD is hosting a Power Talks presentation that will debunk some of the most common myths surrounding solar power. Sign up for our next Power Talks at snopud.com/powertalks. If you’d like to know more about net metering, contact one of our experts at 425-783-1700.

The PUD has put together some tips and insights to ensure you’re prepared when talking with installers and solar salespeople. For more, visit snopud.com/rooftop-solar.

Learn About Solar

PUD customers love solar power and many are interested in installing a photovoltaic system on their home or business. But where to begin? The PUD’s September Power Talks presentation will cover some of that information and debunk some of the biggest myths around solar power. To register, visit snopud.com/powertalks.

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