That’s according to the results of a Solar Washington survey released last month. Basically the survey found that for each dollar the state invested in solar incentives offered by the state in 2013, the return was more than double the incentive. The survey shows that solar incentives are a good investment strategy for a state.
Washington’s solar incentive program—the Washington State Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program—was created in 2006. Under it homeowners and businesses with small solar installations as well as other renewable energy installations will receive payments at set rates through June 2020.
Home and business owners that participate in the program are offered between 12 cents per kilowatt hour generated and up to $1.08 per kilowatt hour generated by their system. Depending on the type of system installed and the amount of locally sourced products, participants can qualify for higher performance incentives.
Last year the incentive program allowed utilities in the to redirect $2.8 million they would have paid in taxes to customers that generate their own electric. Based on that utilities will are expected to redirect a total of $19.6 million to those with solar power or other forms of clean energy generation.
The survey found that $48.2 million was generated in 2013 as a result of the $19.6 million the state offered in incentives through utilities. The incentives generated $25.4 million in payroll taxes for the state $21.5 million in sales tax from equipment purchases from in-state suppliers and vendors, and $1.3 million in tax revenues to state and local governments.
Solar Washington surveyed solar installers and manufacturers throughout the state to gain insight into the solar industry's impact upon the state economy. “Based on the data we’ve gathered, solar incentives in Washington State pay for themselves many times over and are a boon to the state economy," said David Nicol, Board President of Solar Washington.
Solar Washington said its survey represented 55 companies and 786 jobs. But it said that’s less then the 102 solar companies and 2,000 solar jobs in the state that the Solar Foundation reported in its national solar jobs census for 2013. “Given the larger numbers of companies and jobs represented by the Solar Foundation’s Solar Census, the impact of the solar industry in Washington could be twice as large as demonstrated by the Solar Washington survey,” Solar Washington said.Tweet