Washington State has one of the cleanest electrical grids in the US, but even our abundant hydropower comes with an environmental impact that solar can help out with.
Every solar PV system reduces the need for precious water resources to be used to generate electricity. Instead, the water can be used for farming, shared with regions with few hydro resources or eventually, the hydroelectric dams could be removed, resulting in the restoration of salmon runs and their dependant ecosystems.
While there are some environmental impacts related to the raw extraction of the materials used to build solar panels, these impacts are far less damaging to the planet than the extraction processes for toxic fossil fuels like petroleum, coal and nuclear power.
Solar panels are primarily made of recyclable glass, aluminum and silicon and during their working years, typically 25-plus years, solar emits zero carbon unlike it’s fossil fuel electrical generation counterparts.
However, because solar PV has scaled up so rapidly, systematic recycling of solar panels has not yet occurred in the United States but the need is emerging and business models are being developed to extract and repurpose the raw materials.
The panels generate all the electricity used to make them within the first two to three-years of their working life and continue working for decades.
#6 - Take Advantage Of Several Financial Incentives
For homeowners, there is a 26% Federal Tax Credit for going solar. This tax credit is for the entire cost of a solar PV system, the materials, labor, permits and any related electrical or structural work necessary for the installation. This incentive has been available to taxpayers since 2005 (it was originally 30%). It is scheduled to continue to phase out dropping to 22% in 2021 and the incentive expires in 2022, so don’t delay and save yourself thousands.
In Washington State, there is No Sales Tax on the sales of solar PV systems, roughly another 10% savings.
Homeowners can participate in an agreement with their electrical Utility and participate in Net Metering, a program where homeowners receive a 1-1 credit for any kilowatts that are sent to the electrical grid (typically in spring, summer and fall). Homeowners utilize these credits in wintertime to offset their increased electrical use of lights and heating. With this program, many homes are able to become Net Zero over the course of a year.
Finally, check with your electrical Utility to see if they have any additional rebates or incentives for going solar.
#7 - Increase The Value Of Your Home
Homes with solar sell quicker and sell for more. Several studies have shown that consumers are recognizing the benefits of solar and are willing to pay more for homes with PV systems already installed.
Even if you end up selling your home a few years after going solar, you will likely come out ahead financially as you’ve increased the value of the property and were able to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit (26% in 2020, 22% in 2021).
Zillow released a report in 2019 showing that homes with solar solar for about 4% more than similar homes without solar.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory reported in 2015 that homes with solar solar for about $15,000 more than non-solar homes.
#8 - Excellent Service and Support
Puget Sound Solar installed the first permitted solar PV system in Seattle twenty-years-ago. We’ve watched solar installers manufacturers come and go but we’ve remained solid in our promise to support our customers. Our experience in working with all the technology changes gives us an advantage in diagnosing and repairing any issues that might come up with your system.
Puget Sound Solar offers an industry-leading 25-Year-Workmanship-Warranty, a 10-Year-Performance-Guarantee combined with 24/7 System Monitoring and a dedicated Service Department team.
If you’ve hesitated to go solar because of worries about system maintenance, rest assured we pride ourselves on supporting our customers and we’re here for you.