Donal has written a number of amazing blogs on solar energy projects in his area. Those blogs convinced me it would be a good time to try talk to my husband about investing in a solar electric system for our house. He agreed immediately thinking it was an excellent idea so in the next three months we are going solar by day. We signed the contract yesterday. Yes we live in the Seattle area, it seems weird in a way to have a solar system here, but from everything I've read our clouds really don't matter and solar systems are not just very popular here, but very effective.
We've been in this house since it was built. We've been here 20 years, and we are obviously not moving anywhere, so we figured it might be a really good time to make this kind of investment. We are nearing the end of this roof life anyway, so we'll get a roof and have the solar electric system installed shortly after that, amazingly we are on a waiting list of 6-8 weeks to have the system installed, the solar contractor is incredibly busy, he told me they hired four new people so far this year and will be hiring at least 2 more. Wow, that is great. Our system will produce 4.1 kW of electricity, that equals 17 panels. The panels we've purchased are manufactured in the state of Washington, the company is Itek and they are in Bellingham which is north of us, near the Canadian border.
There are a number of excellent incentives for going Solar now.
The federal government gives homeowners a 30% tax credit for investing in solar energy, essentially paying for 1/3 of the cost of the system, which is great!
Washington State has a number of incentives for homeowner who invest in solar systems, the first one is a no sales tax on solar panels, this saves a ton of money. Our sales tax is right around 9%. There is another incentive that pays homeowners for producing power until the year 2020. This programs offsets the cost of the system by $8,000. Every state is different having their own programs. When we rode our bicycles in Pendleton, Oregon this year for a 3 day ride, that city has a loan program for people who want to invest in solar electric systems, it was something they promoted on the city web site. So each state, sometimes individual cities have incentives for people looking to invest in alternate renewable energy sources.
We are really excited and when the work begins I will post pictures of the project. I wish you were out here Donal, we'd celebrate with wine and cheese when the project is complete!