Solar Panel Installations in Washington
Energizing your future
Our primary goal is to help you get excited about generating your electricity from the sun! We are here to help you understand how solar energy systems work and how you specifically stand to benefit from this awesome technology!
Solar has grown at an average of 33% per year over the last decade in the US, and by partnering with homeowners like you, we can continue to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels for energy and clean up our air, waterways, and grid!
Washington Policy Makes Solar Great!
Net Metering is how Washingtonians save hundreds to thousands in reduced electricity bill costs. By banking excess energy with your utility, you can offset energy usage year-round, even in times of no sunshine or during the winter when your usage is greater than what you are producing with solar!
The benefits of installing solar panels
With today’s tested, reliable and long-lasting solar panels combined with latest technology optimizers and inverters, you can make an immediate difference by harnessing the sun’s power turning it into electricity to run your home or business.
Solar Saves You Money
The solar system you own generates electricity that you would otherwise buy from your utility. Solar reduces your electric bill significantly. The savings increase over time as the cost of your utility electricity goes up.
Solar is Clean, Renewable Energy
The fuel is sunshine. With no moving parts to break, solar is low maintenance. You can take action to address climate change and save the environment by generating clean electricity. You are helping your community by reducing the electric utilities’ need to burn fossil fuels to power our homes.
Solar is Long Lasting
Solar panels will produce energy beyond their warrantied lifetime, which can be up to 35 years! Paired with our 25 year labor warranty, we’ll ensure your system works as good as it should be for as long as possible.
Solar Increases Your Property Value and Resale Price
Properties with solar systems sell more quickly than those without. So, beyond the payback period of solar panel installations, you can maximize the benefits with a greater home valuation when it hits the market.
According to the Appraisal Journal, your home value increases $20 for every $1 reduction in your yearly energy bills. This means that if your solar system helps you save $400 in a year, your home value increases by $8,000.
Solar Works in Washington State
Whether you are located east or west of the mountains, a solar system will work well if you receive direct sun for at least six hours a day year-round. The ideal location is a sunny south-facing roof free of shade from tall trees or other buildings. In Western Washington, cooler temperatures mean solar panels operate more efficiently than in higher temps. Rain and snow naturally clean panels regularly. Long sunny summer days significantly increase solar output.
Install solar panels today with a 30% tax credit and sales tax exemption, a Federal and Washington State incentive, respectively, to help you save on the upfront cost of solar energy systems! Learn about the forms and process to submit these incentives once you go solar on our incentives page!
Working with Northwest Electric and Solar
When you hire Northwest Electric and Solar, you can rest assured your system will be installed by an expert, experienced, professional, and diligent solar panel installation team in Washington State. A licensed journeyman electrician (with specialized solar training) leads the crew in Washington State, which includes one or two electrical apprentices in each solar installation team.
We use the latest software, tools and methods to accurately assess your site and recommend the best options according to your needs and goals.
Your solar equipment is installed safely to meet electric and building codes as well as utility requirements.
All costs are included in a single price. There are no added fees. Price includes permits, utility approvals and fees, registration fees, etc.
NWES stands by its work with the best warranty in the industry, covering workmanship, replacement, and production.
NWES is local. Your money stays in state, in the local community, supporting local jobs in manufacturing, supply chain and installation.
Washington Solar FAQs
Does solar really work in Washington – isn’t it too cloudy here?
Solar works in all parts of Washington. Anytime there is daylight, the photovoltaic (PV) panels will produce electricity, with more power produced on sunny days than on cloudy ones. Because we experience very long hours of daylight and sunny weather in summer, power output in July is about six times greater than in December. And Net Metering (one-for-one credit of KWH) allows excess electricity from summer sunshine to be “banked” to reduce subsequent electric bills. Rain and snow help keep the modules clean for less maintenance and higher production. Solar systems operate more efficiently in our cooler temperatures than in warmer places like Arizona.
What is the right size solar system for me?
We look at several key factors when designing a residential or commercial solar system for you in Washington State. First is usable roof space. We consider setbacks required by law, avoid shaded areas, and avoid chimneys and skylights. Second, we design the system so that the array’s yearly electrical output does not significantly exceed your annual electricity usage, determined by your electricity bill. The third is your budget.
We design options to be both affordable and cost-effective over the long haul. We partner with credit unions that offer zero-down low-interest solar loans. Each module is approximately 66” by 40” and takes up about 20 square feet, so about 800 square feet of roof space is needed for a 40-module array.
We measure system size in KW (kilowatts). Each solar panel has a wattage rating. Multiply the panel’s watts by the total number of panels to get the system size [for example: If each solar panel is 300 watts, then a 40-module array is a 12 KW or 12,000-watt solar system]. Whether your project is residential or a large commercial operation, our electricians in Washington State will tailor the size to meet your goals.
What factors affect the power output of a solar system?
The following factors determine the power output of each solar panel in the system.
Azimuth – describes whether the roof faces south, east, or west. South or southwest is best. We measure azimuth in degrees with 180 degrees as due south, east is 90 degrees, west is 270 degrees.
Tilt – denotes the pitch or angle of the roof.
Location – the longitude and latitude determine average weather, affecting typical solar resources over an average year.
Shading – we measure how much the solar resource is affected by trees, buildings, wires, etc., that shade the roof.
Wattage – each solar panel is flash tested at the factory to determine the nameplate rating in watts. Most of the panels we install today are 390 to 420 watts each for 60 cell panels.
With these inputs, sophisticated software extrapolates the annual output in kWh for an average year for your specific site.
What happens when there is a power outage?
During a power outage, the solar energy system automatically shuts down unless you have battery backup—a required safety feature to protect utility workers working on the power lines.
A solar energy system is not a source of backup power. A grid-tied solar energy system requires the presence of the grid or battery energy storage system to function during a power outage.
I’m not sure how long I will live here. What happens if I want to sell my house a few years after I go solar?
Your house will appeal more to buyers because solar will always have a lower electric bill than a comparable house without solar. The new owner will benefit from Net Metering. You will already have received the federal income tax credit and earned back that portion of your upfront cost. Last, if you received a loan to pay for solar, you need to pay off the loan. A solar array adds more value to your home than it costs. The best thing to do is to leave the solar on the house rather than try to take it with you.
Do you offer a referral program if I send friends to you?
We offer a referral program for residential solar systems in Washington State. It is $100 per kW, up to $100. So, if you refer a friend and they buy a 7kW system from us, we will give you $700.
Can you help with financing?
Yes. We recommend working directly with a statewide credit union. Contact the experts at PSCCU (Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union) for any residential or commercial project. You can fill out the loan application online. Our Washington State team of electricians will provide you with all the technical details about the system. Upon your approval, they can send your down payment directly to us. Secure online signatures are part of our online processing.
What maintenance is required for solar?
One of the best things about a solar array is its low maintenance. Please, check out our blog on maintaining your solar panel equipment for more details. When you go solar with us, we will provide instructions in your Owners Manual (soft brush and water work best). We strongly recommend annual cleaning near the end of pollen season, usually in May, when you notice green sticky pollen on the surface, depending on how well the rain has cleaned your panels. You want your system to perform best during the sunny summer months. Use your online monitoring system to see the power output of each meeting to make sure there are no problems. NWES offers an annual maintenance package for $1000/year in which we will come out to your place twice a year to clean the solar panels and inspect the system, or we can clean your modules “a la carte.” Just contact us to schedule this service with our maintenance team.