With rising energy costs, more Washington homeowners are looking to alternatives. For more and more, those alternatives are coming from the sun.
Consider the numbers:
• By 2014 Snohomish County had only a total of 500 solar projects.
• In the last year, Snohomish County has seen at least 350 residential solar installations completed.
“Snohomish County is a part of the growing solar industry with on average seven solar projects being installed each week in 2018,” says Anders Alexander, with Everett’s Blossom Solar.
“Snohomish County is growing, in population and in electricity usage. More homes are being built each week, more electric cars are being purchased and plugged in, and more homes are installing air conditioning. All of these changes require more electricity and solar is a solution to utility rates that are increasing each year just to keep up,” Anders says.
When it comes to your electric bill, homeowners have two options: pay more for your power from the Utility, or pay less with sustainable energy from solar panels that you own.
As the numbers reflect, there’s been no better time to make the switch. “Washington Sate will refund a homeowner for buying solar up to 50 per cent the cost of the project, and this program is on track to end in early 2019.”
Putting the sun to work for you
Sure, we have our share of long, sunny days, but what happens when clouds appear?
Washington State uses a consumer-friendly, battery-free “Net Metering” system – tied directly to the grid. On sunny days, when your property produces more solar power than it consumes, excess electricity moves to the grid to be used other electricity consumers, giving you a credit for cloudier times when you need to draw power. “And because this is dynamic, it happens in every moment and as excess energy is credited to the next month, you can see it on your monthly bill,” Alexander explains.
The local case for solar
In the last year, only about 10 per cent of local solar installations were completed by Snohomish County companies. However, not only does Snohomish County benefit with each solar installation, but as a community, it benefits more by installing with local installers, Anders says.
“Blossom Solar is located in Everett and in 2018 hired and trained local residents to install solar; if more solar installations were completed by local companies, more local residents could be employed in the solar industry,” he explains.
To get a solar installation though a lot needs to be learned by a homeowner and a final design needs to be developed. Blossom Solar is here to help with a solar education and a system design to match.