509.315.5520

 

WASHINGTON | IDAHO

CONTACT

 
   
 
     


Spokane, WA 99201

Phone:509.315.5520

 

SOLAR FAQ's

What government incentives can I use? 

   

Federal

Homeowners can get a Residential Income Tax Credit of 30 percent of the total cost of an installed system. This can be “carried over” each year until it’s used up, or until the program ends, whichever comes first. Businesses and rental property owners can take both this 30 percent tax credit plus federal depreciation savings.

 

Washington

There is no sales tax on equipment or labor for solar electric systems 10 kW or smaller. Systems larger than 10 kW are exempt from 75% of sales tax.

Washington State also pays you a base rate of $0.15 per kWh on ALL energy your system produces, whether it’s used in the building or sent back to the grid. Even better, that base rate jumps to as much as $0.54 per kWh if you use equipment made in-state. This incentive is capped at $5,000.00 per household per year, and the program will continue until at least 2020. 

 

Idaho

Idaho allows a 100% income tax deduction for individuals who install photovoltaics on their homes. The state also exempts solar equipment from property tax and sales taxes.

Public schools are eligible for grants covering up to 100% of solar system cost. 

   
   

Is the Inland Northwest a good place for solar power?

   

Our region’s long summer days were made for solar. In Washington, utilities will even credit all that summer sunshine against your winter electricity bills.

Solar panels also operate more efficiently in our northern climate than in the hot desert Southwest.

Yes, solar works during our cloudy days as well. After all, Germany is cloudier and farther north than we are, yet is a world leader in solar energy.  

   
   

Can my HOA keep me from putting up solar panels?

   

In Washington, no. Washington is a “solar access state” where state law says homeowners associations cannot prevent members from going solar.

In Idaho, however, homeowners associations can prevent you from putting up solar, so you should ask permission. You should also ask for a solar easement to make sure that permission isn't taken away, and that your solar access isn't obstructed.

   
   

Does a solar system boost home value?

   

Studies show that solar systems do indeed increase home values, often by an amount similar to the cost of the system. Although there are no guarantees, a solar system can pay for itself in resale value alone, and you could consider the electricity it produces as a bonus!

   
   

What is net metering?

   

Net metering is when your utility credits you for power you feed back to them when your system produces more power than your home needs.

In Washington, you can take advantage of long summer days to “bank” energy credits that reduce winter bills. In Idaho, utility policies vary, but most will let you use credits to offset utility bills up to two months later. 

   
   

Should I replace my roof before installing solar?

   

Because solar panels often outlast roofing shingles, your roof should be in good condition before you get a system installed. If your roof has less than 12 years of remaining life, we recommend replacing your roof before installing solar. The panels will then actually protect your roof by blocking UV rays.

However, if you have a sizeable lot or a shallowly pitched roof, you may want to consider ground-mounted solar panels for their efficiency and ease of snow removal.

   
   

What about snow?

   

Solar panels work incredibly well in the winter - as long as you keep them free of snow. In snow country, ground-mounted arrays are often preferable to rooftops. For rooftops, a steep roof pitch may do most of the snow shedding for you. An extendable, low-cost solar snow broom helps as well. On a flatter roof, you’ll want safe roof access to brush off panels, and locating panels close to roof edges sometimes enables you to sweep from below, without mounting the roof.

   
   

How long do solar components last?

   

Solar electric panels produce power for 30-50 years, and manufacturers usually warranty the power output for 25 years. When the time comes to replace panels at the end of that long life, the new panels available then are likely to cost much less, as solar panel costs have been steadily dropping for 40 years, with no end in sight.

The inverter typically wears out first, and most are warrantied for 10-25 years.  

   
   

How long does solar installation take?

   

For a typical residential rooftop or ground array, installation usually takes between one and four days.

   
   

Do I have to get any permits?

   

No, we handle all permitting.

   
   

How “green” are solar panels?

   

According to a 2016 study, modern solar panels produce far more energy than their manufacturing consumes. A solar panel typically “pays back” its manufacturing energy within two years, so every year after is a net positive to the environment—and solar panels typically last 25-50 years.

Even better, this fantastic return on energy invested improves each year as panels continue their relentless march to better efficiency and lower cost.

However, a panel made in a fossil-fuel-dependent place like China, produces nearly double the greenhouse-gas emissions of others made in places with cleaner energy – such as the Northwest. So, if you live in Washington and use panels made here, you’ll hit a trifecta: higher rates paid for power you sell back to the utility; lower greenhouse gas emissions to make your panels; all while growing an important local clean energy industry.  

   
   

Why do I need another meter?

   

The electric meter on your home right now measures energy consumption. In order to sell power back to the utility you’ll need a meter that measures energy production.

If you live in Washington, you’ll also need that production meter before you can take advantage of state net metering incentives. 

   
   

What does “net zero” mean?

   

Net zero simply means a building that produces as much energy as it uses. That usually entails an energy-efficient structure built to the exacting “passive house” standard, then equipped with solar panels and battery storage. Add still more solar panels and you can even go net positive, generating more electricity than you use, selling your surplus to the grid.

 

DUCTLESS HEAT PUMPS
MINI-SPLITS FAQ'S

   
   

How does a ductless system work? And how is it controlled?

   

Ductless heating and cooling systems are heat pumps that transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air using compressed refrigerant. Ductless systems perform this energy transfer efficiently through inverter technology to provide matching supply for the current heating or cooling load.

   
   

What about my old heater?

   

In remodels or retrofits Owners are encouraged to keep their existing heating systems as a supplement to the ductless unit in case of extreme weather conditions.

   
   

How efficient are ductless systems?

   

State-of-the-Art Ductless Heating and Cooling is the most efficient way to provide space conditioning. Ductless systems provide even air distribution without leaks in ductwork, providing efficient constant air temperatures by running at higher or lower speeds, and allow occupants control of heating and cooling zones which are occupied or in-use rather than heating and cooling unoccupied spaces.

   
   

Are there rebates for ductless systems?

   

Many Utilities offer their customers rebates to go ductless. Contact us to learn more.

   
   

Can I finance a ductless system?

   

Financing is available for ductless systems. Contact us to learn more.

   
     

509.315.5520

Spokane, WA | 99201
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