Home Grown Energy: SnoPUD Customers’ Solar Energy Output Hits One Megawatt

Source:  SnoPUD Press Release, January 27, 2012.

Customers of Snohomish County Public Utility District have hit an energy milestone: their combined solar energy production now stands at one megawatt, double their solar energy output of two years ago. More than 200 PUD customers now cover part of their electricity needs through their own renewable energy, including rooftop solar units.

The bulk of the small-scale solar energy production comes from customers participating in the PUD’s Solar Express program, which offers financial incentives and technical assistance for solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems.

“We’ve seen very strong interest in solar from both residential customers and businesses,” said PUD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Jessica Mitchell. “We can help customers identify models so projects pencil out and they can manage their energy future in a profitable manner.”

For the PUD, which serves a rapidly growing area, customer-generated solar energy is a wise investment as it reduces the utility’s need to purchase new energy. Renewable energy projects, such as rooftop solar units, also help customers reduce their environmental impact and utility bills.

“We’ve liked using less energy from traditional sources by getting our energy from the sun,” said Don Davis, a Solar Express participant on Camano Island. “The PUD makes the financing and installation process easy.”

Solar Express Incentives/Loans:  Residential customers can qualify for up to $2,500 for solar photovoltaic systems and commercial customers can qualify for up to $10,000. All customers with electric hot water systems can qualify for a $500 incentive for solar hot water systems. Residential customers may instead opt for a 2.9% APR loan up to $25,000 for photovoltaic panels and up to $14,000 for solar hot water systems. Customers also may qualify for additional federal tax credits and state production incentives.

Solar Express is one of the ways the PUD is promoting clean, locally-generated renewable resources. For more information, including qualifications, call the PUD Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700 or visit here.