Solar energy is shining bright among Snohomish County Public Utility District customers. Nearly 800 customers now have solar electric (photovoltaic or “PV”) systems on their roofs for a total generating capacity of 5 megawatts. In the past year, solar energy capacity has increased nearly 70 percent.
“With the price of solar energy systems dropping to about half of what they were a few years ago, more and customers are installing rooftop systems” said PUD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Leslie Moynihan, who manages the utility’s solar programs.
The bulk of the small-scale solar energy production comes from customers participating in the PUD’s Solar Express program, which offers financial incentives and technical assistance for solar energy installations on qualifying homes and businesses.
For the PUD, which serves a growing area, customer-generated solar energy is a wise investment as it reduces the utility’s need to purchase new energy.
“Our solar installation not only makes us money, it’s helping the environment,” said Ryan Lambert, a PUD customer in Bothell. “The installation was incredibly easy, and we’re loving the benefits.”
Solar Express Incentives:
Residential customers can qualify for up to $2,000 for solar systems and commercial customers can qualify for up to $8,000. Most customers can take advantage of federal tax credits and state production incentives as well.
Solar Express is one of the ways the PUD is promoting clean, locally-generated renewable resources. For more information, including qualifications, call the PUD Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700 or click here.
PUD customers who can’t or don’t want to install their own solar energy systems can still support solar energy through the utility’s Planet Power program. It uses voluntary customer contributions to fund solar energy projects at local schools, non-profits and public agencies. About 2,000 customers participate in the program.