Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.
- Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can minimize or conquer your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
- Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, reducing your regular electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
- Better energy independence: Photovoltaic systems with battery backups function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the electrical grid for your safety and well-being.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Yakima Homeowners?
Governments and utilities often reward homeowners for adopting solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.
Incentive Type: Feed-in TariffWebsite: energy.wsu.edu
FY 2021: $0.02/kWh - $0.10/kWh
Incentive Type: Sales Tax IncentiveWebsite: dor.wa.gov
100% exemption for sales of forest derived biomass used as fuel;
100% exemption for solar photovoltaic systems 10 kilowatts or less, and solar thermal systems;
75% exemption for other qualified systems
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Yakima
The more comprehensive your company investigation is, the better your solar panels will ultimately perform. Consider each of these criteria in your company search.
Licensing and Training
Solar companies in Washington must hold an electrical contractors' license from the Department of Labor and Industries. In specific situations, the department may also conduct permit inspections to verify compliance and the viability and integrity of a contractor's job. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most recognized are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.
Cost of Solar Panels in Yakima
Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.
If you need to charge an electric vehicle (EV) or use your solar power in cloudy weather, you can pay extra for add-ons. By choosing the right components, you can make your panel array more productive and convenient to use. Not every solar contractor provides these add-ons, so look for a company that installs them if it's important for you.
Generally speaking, it will cost about $17,950 for a five-kilowatt solar array in Yakima. This table shows more specific costs for different solar panel types and system components in your area.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Yakima
Solar companies offer multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, cash payments, solar loans and power purchase agreements (PPAs). We suggest making a cash payment or securing a solar loan for the best return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also own your system and can apply for solar incentives to reduce your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still benefiting from energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in certain circumstances. Look for installers that offer multiple payment plans to find the right fit for your wallet.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Yakima.
The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Municipal authorities and utilities might also offer their own financing programs, incentives, and rebates that could save you more money.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Yakima
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
How prevalent is solar energy in Yakima?
Will a solar PV system raise my Yakima home worth?
How long will an average solar system last?
What care do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?
How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Yakima?
How can I enhance my solar array's performance?
- optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
- regularly clean your solar panels
- upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
- use energy-efficient appliances
What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my job?
- Aggressive sales pitch
- Being evasive about warranties, references, credentials and training and cost
- Limited or no customization
- Not thoroughly inspecting your site
- No business filing with your local secretary of state
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.