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Clean Power solar incentive create economic growth in Washington

Published on January 27th, 2015 | by Roy L Hales


Every $1 Of Solar Incentives Puts $2.46 Into The Economy

January 27th, 2015 by  

Originally Published on the ECOreport

Solar incentives are very important in Washington (state). With power less than $0.10/kWh throughout the state, some customers wouldn’t put solar panels on their roofs if it weren’t for the incentive. The state paid out approximately $19.6 million for incentives in 2013. A Solar Washington study found that every $1 of solar incentives puts $2.46 into the economy

Screenshot 2015-01-25 06.10.03

The exact breakdown for the multiplication of that dollar is:

  • $1.30 is paid out as payroll
  • $1.10 in local business purchases
  • Solar companies pay 6 cents back to the state in taxes

“The incentive money the Department of Revenue (DOR) puts into the incentive program more than pays for itself,” said David Nicol, Board President of Solar Washington.

Solar Washington’s survey contains data from 55 of the state’s 102 companies, who completed 786 jobs during the year. That is about 14.3 installations each, which is about 2/3 of the average for solar companies in Washington (19.6 each).

“There aren’t many requirements for being a solar installer, beyond being an electrical contractor. Many electrical contractors have added it to their product offering,” said Nicol.

He added:

That said, there are a number of dedicated solar electrical contractors in the state; the dedicated companies are typically very fast growing, fast moving places. Management has to be flexible, employees have to be dedicated, and both are in solar because they love it. All of the dedicated installers that I’m aware of treat their employees very well, offering a good living wage and benefits. They all compete with each other but the competition tends to be amiable if not friendly.

They may also be more “user friendly” than in states where there is a higher volume of sales. For example, Nicol said installers from California have told him they never put panels on a house if the south roof faces the road. At the customer’s request, some Washington installations have the inverters on the street side of the house even though the shape of the roof hid the solar from the street.

“We intend to conduct this survey every year from now on,” said Nicol “We’re also considering asking companies to give us data on prior years so we can display a trend. The simple fact is that the incentive money the DOR puts into the incentive program more than pays for itself.

To learn more about the survey, or solar in Washington state, go to Solar Washington’s website solarwa.org

Image above courtesy Solar Washington

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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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