WA State Sales Tax Exemption
As of July 1, 2019 the purchase and installation of a solar system in Washington (size 1 KW to 100 KW) is exempt from state sales tax. We will not charge the customer sales tax and there is no need for the customer to apply for a rebate of the sales tax. This incentive was passed by the Washington Legislature in 2019 in a continuing effort to spur the growth of clean renewable electricity in our state. Installation must be completed by Dec. 31, 2029 to qualify for the sales and use tax exemption for labor charges.
Learn more about the sales tax exemption for solar installations along with other “Renewable Energy/Green Incentives” on the State Dept of Revenue website at https://dor.wa.gov/find-taxes-rates/tax-incentives/incentive-programs#1133. See E2SSB 5116, sections 18 and 19 (Chapter 288, Laws of 2019) for further details.
WA State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program (RESIP)
RESIP was enacted by the state legislature in July 2017 as the Solar Jobs Bill, SB 5939. It is administered by the WSU Energy Program in Olympia. The goal was to spur continued adoption of clean energy while preserving and growing jobs in renewable energy. It rewarded four categories of solar system owners with an annual payment for each kilowatt hour (kWh) the solar system produces as measured on a Production Meter.
Why go solar? Solar systems are long lasting, they will produce clean electricity for more than 25 years.
The state legislature capped total incentive program funding and the maximum has been obligated for residential and commercial size systems. Utility participation is voluntary and not all utilities participate. Learn more at the WSU Energy Program website which also explains the caps on each utility.
During the 2020 state legislative session, there will be consideration of legislation to create funding for community solar projects. Watch the SolarStrongWA website for updates related to new Community Solar proposed legislation.
Although RESIP was designed to help consumers go solar over a 4 year period (2018 through 2021), it was so popular that funds were obligated before the end of the second year. Contact WSU Energy Program if you have questions.
If your solar system was installed after September 30, 2017 AND it was certified by WSU Energy Program, then the following program description applies to you:
Payment year is the state’s fiscal year of July 1 through June 30.
Annual Payment is made to you through your utility.
Payment rate is based on system size, Made in WA content, date inspected and utility participation. [See chart below.]
Maximum annual payment for residential is $5,000/year and for commercial is $25,000/year.
Payment is made annually until you earn back 50% of the solar system cost or for 8 years (92 months), whichever occurs first.
Residential size is 1 to 12 kW (regardless of type of facility). Commercial size is over 12 kW. A bonus is paid for using Made in Washington solar panels. Shared Commercial and Community Solar are systems with more than one owner and the location’s utility must be involved in the planning and bill credits.
Example System: 10 KW solar that generates 11,000 kWh/year using Made in WA solar modules and installed during year one of the program would earn $.21/kwh which would be $2,310 for a whole year.
|System Certified by:||Base Rate: Residential or Community Solar (per KWH)||Base Rate: Commercial or Shared Commercial Solar (per KWH)||Bonus for Modules (solar panels) Made in WA|
Two Meters Measure Two Different Incentives
This diagram shows the difference between the two metered incentives.
With Net Metering your electricity bill goes down (avoided cost of electricity) because solar electricity is meeting your needs. Furthermore your excess power earns bill credits to bring down your bill at a later date.
In RESIP, the State Incentive Program, you earn a payment for every kilowatt hour generated by solar as measured on a Production Meter for 8 years or until you earn back 50% of your cost, whichever occurs first. NOTE: this program is no longer certifying new installations to receive payments. We are publishing details about how the program works for the benefit of those who got in before it ran out of funds.