More Snohomish County PUD customers turning to solar power

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SnoPUDSnohomish County PUD customers have hit another milestone: their combined solar energy capacity stands at 3 megawatts, up 50 percent from just one year ago.

About 500 PUD customers now generate part of their electricity with photovoltaic solar units.

“We’ve seen system prices drop to about half of what they were a few years ago,” said PUD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Leslie Moynihan, who manages the utility’s solar programs. “A collection of incentives and tax breaks make solar even more attractive.”

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

For the PUD, which serves a 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, help customers reduce their environmental impact and utility bills.

Solar Express Incentives include:

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. 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 www.snopud.com/solarexpress.

For PUD customers who don’t want to install their own solar units, they can still support solar energy through the utility’s Planet Power program. It uses voluntary customer contributions to support local solar energy projects at local schools, non-profits and public agencies. About 2,000 customers participate in the program.

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