Is solar worth it in Seattle?

SEATTLE-AREA SOLAR + STORAGE DESIGN AND INSTALLATION

Solar in Seattle makes a lot of sense. Why? Because while energy costs continue to rise for homeowners in Seattle and the Puget Sound region, the cost of solar panel installation has gone down thanks to Washington solar incentives. With over 3,500 solar installations completed, and 15 years of experience providing a wide variety of solar services, A&R Solar remains one of the most trusted solar installers in Seattle. We are an employee-owned B Corporation and a social purpose corporation, emphasizing the good of people and the environment ahead of short-term profits for shareholders. Learn how easy going solar can be!

Is solar worth it in Seattle?

Solar panels in Seattle are a great way to reduce your monthly utility expenses, add value to your home, and reduce your carbon footprint. Thanks to long summer days in the Pacific Northwest, solar panel production often exceeds a household’s energy usage. In addition to more sun exposure, it may come as a surprise that solar panels operate more efficiently in cooler summer weather, which makes solar in Seattle a great option for homeowners.

Additionally, your utility’s net metering policy provides credits for extra electricity that your solar panels generate. That means the power from your solar panels is never wasted. A solar home will always use electricity from its solar energy system first, while excess energy is “banked” in the form of solar energy credits with your utility. These energy credits help reduce billable consumption in future billing periods. Most customers will accumulate energy credits in the summer months and begin using any available energy credits in the fall/winter.

A&R Solar
3211 Martin Luther King Jr Way S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 707-9937
info@a-rsolar.com

Does solar work in Seattle?

When considering the effectiveness of a solar installation in Seattle, Germany provides a comparative case study highlighting the benefits of solar in Washington. While they are a world leader in installed solar capacity, Germany doesn’t receive as much sunlight as Seattle; a fact that should emphasize the potential for solar in Seattle.

Does Seattle get enough sun for solar panels? The table below provides some analysis of how much energy a solar system can produce in western Washington each month.

Solar Production Seattle

Cost of solar panel installation

The cost of installing solar panels in Seattle depends on factors that are unique to each homeowner. Designing a system that meets your energy needs and your budget requires asking a few questions: Why are you interested in installing solar? Do you want to eliminate your electricity bill, save money, reduce your carbon footprint, or maybe increase the value of your home?

The cost of installing solar panels in Seattle includes three main factors: construction characteristics of your house (roof material, height, steepness), solar equipment choices (economy, premium, or extra features), and where you live (permitting costs and available incentives).

When considering the cost of solar panels in Seattle, it helps to hear from homeowners who’ve already installed solar on their homes. Here’s what some of our customers have to say…

Seattle Solar Company Review

Seattle Solar Installer

Solar Company Review

If you’d like to speak with a homeowner directly, please feel free to ask for references. We are happy to connect you with one of our customers in the Puget Sound area!

Consider solar plus storage

Installing solar panels and energy storage in tandem is a great way to disconnect (island) from the utility grid when the grid goes down. Your home becomes its own temporary microgrid, which is a self-contained electric grid that can operate independently from the central power grid.

Solar energy systems can’t operate during power outages. They are mandated by National Electrical Code to switch off during an outage to protect utility line workers. When a power outage does occur, solar panels alone will be unable to power critical electronics without an energy storage system. Currently, A&R solar offers the Tesla Powerwall battery backup system, as we’ve determined it is the most reliable and efficient system on the market.

Tesla Powerwall Seattle

Off-grid solar system for home

Installing solar in Seattle is a great way to realize the benefits of off grid solar. A solar energy system can allow homeowners the ability to generate their own energy while not connected to the utility. This makes sense for remote cabins where it’s costly to connect to the local electric utility.

However, you don’t need to cut that utility cord entirely – solar can cover up to 100 percent of a home’s electricity needs without disconnecting from the local utility. So as freeing as it sounds to completely remove the utility from the equation, here’s why we recommend remaining grid-tied:

  • Even with a battery storage system, you likely won’t be able to produce enough electricity every day to cover your needs, especially during the winter months.
  • Homes and businesses that aren’t connected to the grid aren’t eligible for financial incentives, including net metering, which allows you to build up credits with your utility during the long days of summer and use them during the dark winters. You don’t need a separate battery storage system to be net-zero.
  • If something goes wrong with your off-grid system or if you aren’t producing enough electricity with your solar panels to cover all your energy needs, you will be in the dark until the sun rises. On dark, cold, stormy days, that could feel like a long time.
  • Having solar power feed back into the grid stabilizes it and helps the community.

How much will you save with solar panels?

Do solar panels really save you money, and if so, how much? The simple answer is yes, solar panels will save you money in the long term. How much will depend on factors including current energy usage trends, the size of the solar panel system, tree shading, solar incentives, and most importantly, the price you pay for electricity.

Accurately designing your solar energy system based on your energy usage trends can offset 100 percent of your electricity bill, while net metering ensures that your excess power produced in the summer will offset energy expenses in the winter. With that in mind, a household could be saving thousands of dollars each year by reducing its electricity bill.

One thing that’s worth noting is something we call the solar effect. After installing solar, customers start paying more attention to their energy usage and carbon footprint. They consider installing more efficient heating and cooling systems like heat pumps. They read their electricity bills and start to pay attention to the energy used, not just the dollar amount. For many, this becomes a fun challenge to do better and reduce consumption so that their solar array can offset more of their usage.

The bottom line is that any amount of solar can save you money while providing you with clean, free, renewable energy from the sun for decades. With incentive programs, you are essentially getting paid to produce electricity while doing your part to help our society pivot away from fossil fuels.

Seattle Solar Installation

2022 Washington solar incentives

When considering solar in Seattle, homeowners will have solar incentives at the federal, state, and local levels, making the cost of solar panel installation more affordable. To maximize your return on investment, consider the following solar incentives:

  • Federal solar tax credit: Congress has extended and restored the federal solar tax credit to its full, original rate. This means that homeowners and businesses who install solar and/or battery backup systems between 2022-2032 will receive a 30% tax credit. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit on the income tax you owe. Businesses can receive an additional 10% tax credit if they use American-made products and materials, and battery storage systems no longer need to be paired with solar to qualify for the credit.
  • Net metering: Net metering is a contract that you sign with your utility that allows you to trade your power with them at retail rates. Typically in Washington, we produce more energy than we consume during the summer and build up energy credits. Then during the less-sunny winter months, we use the accumulated credits to reduce electricity bills.
  • Increased resale value: There is evidence that homes with solar sell faster and for more money than comparable homes without. A study out of California concluded that the premium for which solar homes sell is about the same as what the homeowner paid for the system in the first place. Zillow reported a 4.1% average lift in home appreciation on homes with solar over those without. In the meantime, you’re saving money on your bill every month.

Why choose A&R Solar as your local Seattle solar installer

Besides being employee-owned and a Certified B Corporation, we’re also a Social Purpose Corporation. What does that mean? It’s a unique responsibility that emphasizes the commitment to putting the good of people and the environment ahead of short-term profits for shareholders. It means adhering to practices that minimize the ethical and environmental impacts of our day-to-day operations, while also maximizing our social impact within our business and our industry.

When choosing A&R Solar to install solar panels on your home, you’re choosing a local solar installer that invests richly in their employees, communities, and the industry which we serve.

INDUSTRY-LEADING GUARANTEE

You will receive our “Perfect 10 Guarantee.” A&R provides 10-year warranties on your residential system’s performance, workmanship, and labor. This is on top of manufacturers’ warranties, which are typically 25-30 years.

WE’LL BE AROUND

We’re one of the Northwest’s oldest and most trusted solar installers. A&R Solar is employee-owned and operated, and our executive team and staff live and work in our communities. With no company debt, we are here for the long haul.

MAXIMIZED INCENTIVES

Your system will be designed to take advantage of current financial incentives with an eye on the future to make sure that adding new technology (like battery storage) will be as seamless as possible.

TIME-TESTED EQUIPMENT

Your solar array will have the highest quality modules, inverters, and racking materials that have been vetted by our Research & Development team, which is comprised of every department within our company.

TEAM OF EXPERTS

Your team consists of highly-trained professionals who are our full-time employees (not subcontractors or working out of remote call centers). In fact, we have more NABCEP-certified employees than any company in the Northwest.

HIGH QUALITY INSTALLATION

We never cut corners. We go above and beyond the competition to ensure the highest quality solar PV system installation. We take quality and your family’s safety seriously.

Learn more about solar financing

The cost of solar panel installation may seem pricey, but it’s actually more affordable than you think. With solar financing options provided by A&R Solar’s financial partners, most homeowners can expect low-interest solar financing options that generally offer zero-down with no fees. The only collateral on the loan is the solar equipment.

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