SolX Corp in Sammamish, WA is a Solar Installation company, Roofing Company, Licensed Electrical Contractor, and General Construction Contractor. Because solar installation involves a variety of trades, we have the skills and experience to perform different types of construction. In our gallery, you will see mostly solar installations, but will also find framing, concrete, finish work, household electrical wiring, and home remodels. We take extreme pride in doing quality work.
Benefitting from Solar Energy
Federal and State Legislation has carved out solar subsidies that pay for 80% of theinstalled cost of solar. Savings on electricity recoups the remaining 20% in 5-8 years on most projects. Here is how it works.
1) 30% Federal Tax Credit: If you have a tax liability, you can reduce or have refunded 30% of the installed cost.
For example, if you pay $25,000.00 including sales tax for solar on your roof, you would receive $7,500.00 off your taxes when you go to file with the IRS at the end of the year. If you already paid the $7,500.00 in, you would get that amount refunded. But, if you had no tax liability for the year, you would get no credit at all. If your liability is less than $7500.00, you would carry forward the difference to future years until exhausted.
2) 50% Subsidy through the Washington State Renewable Energy Payment program.
The State started a new program in 2017 that pays you 14 to 18 cents per KWH produced from solar for 8 full years, or 50% of the installed cost, whichever comes first. The program requires a copy of the final installer invoice so it can verify what that 50% is. Panels manufactured in the State of Washington qualify for the 16-18 cents per KWH rate, while those manufactured outside of the state qualify for 12-14 cents per KWH. Usually, 50% of the installed cost will be defeated in about 6.5 years. So, you don’t really get 8 full years of payments. But, it’s hard to complain the state is capping your payments in year 6 when it just paid for half the entire installation cost.
3) Savings on Electricity You Would Otherwise Pay.
There is a 3rd program that pays you indefinitely for the solar you produce. This is called Net Metering. Solar from the panels will first be used by your home. In the summer when you are producing more electricity than you are using, the meter will spin backward as that electricity is being sent down the street to your neighbor’s home. Your utility bill will begin to build up a credit. This credit rolls over month to month into the darker winter months when you will pull from that credit. So, it is a sharing arrangement with the utility and you get a credit for the full residential rate. Technically, they don’t actually pay you for the electricity (rather your bill is reduced). In April, if you have a credit, your meter is set back to zero and you lose that credit. This might seem like a bad deal, but typically most customers have used up their credits by the time April rolls around, or are very close to zero. I do have customers whose entire electric bill is defeated each month (except the monthly billing fee).
The Future of Solar & Electricity
It’s possible a form of free energy will be developed in the near future, which would mean an investment in solar would be wasted. But, that seems unlikely. More likely is an increased demand on the energy grid and higher electric rates. I’m not just anticipating an increase in population, which will happen. Rather, the main driver will be electric cars. The Prius and Tesla vehicles forged the way, but many other manufacturers are coming in quickly with reasonably priced electric vehicles. For instance, Hyundai has a new EV for under $45,000.00 with a 120-mile range. When drivers plug in at home, this will burden the electric grid and cause costs to spike. That’s what Solx predicts. The cost of electricity is still pennies on the dollar compared to traditional fuel, but electric rates could rise quickly. Customers with solar should be pleased considering Federal and State programs pay for 80% of the installed cost and the savings on electricity kicks in the remainder over 6-8 years. Well, maybe there is free energy…called solar (subsidized yes, but free in a sense).
Will the program run out of money? Yes. It will. But, unlike prior programs that reduced the incentive amount to all participants in the program, this new legislation closes the program to new participants when the monies are fully allocated. So, once a homeowner is certified, they are locked in to the program at the full amount guaranteed (for 8 years or 50% of the installation cost, whichever comes first). Updated note: It does appear the state incentive program has allocated all existing funds. New applicants are being waitlisted pending allocation of additional funding.
What about battery backup? We liken battery backup to having a home gas generator. The cost is about the same either way after factoring in the 30% federal tax credit, which also applies to solar battery systems. Figure, a gas generator is about $6700.00 including sales tax. A battery backup system is about $9,000.00, but drops to about $6700.00 (after tax) once applying the 30% federal tax credit. LG has come out with a 10 KWH Lithium Ion battery that works with a StorEdge inverter from Solar Edge. The inverter costs a little more than the standard inverter, and requires an auto transformer and critical loads panel to work. We supply and wire both of those. The battery will power a refrigerator, a couple circuits with lights on them, some outlets, TV, furnace thermostat, computer, router, and a couple other circuits. Not bad. When the power goes out, you will be in comfort.
All solar installations have the option of internet monitoring. The best systems will show the production of each individual solar panel. Other systems show only the aggregate electricity produced by a string of 10-14 panels in series. We try to coach homeowners toward the systems that monitor panels individually. We don’t have to troubleshoot often, but when it does happen, this sort of monitoring eliminates a lot of questions quickly. It is very nice to simply log into a website and see how the solar is doing. There is always a historical log that keeps data back to the inception date.
Where We Travel
We are located in Sammamish and consider anything in King County to be fair game. We also do work in south Snohomish County. We have installations in Seattle, Bellevue, Newcastle, Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Cle Elum (yes, up over the pass), multiple in Snoqualmie, Kent, Renton, Bothell, up and down I-5, I-90, and 520.