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. Currently we are focusing on solar and home electrical, but other work is not out of the question.
Benefitting from Solar Energy
Federal and state legislation is constantly in flux. Here is what is happening as of January 2020.
1) 26% Federal Tax Credit: If you have a tax liability, you can reduce or have refunded 26% of the installed cost.
For example, if you pay $25,000.00 including sales tax for solar on your roof, you would receive $6,500.00 off your taxes when you go to file with the IRS at the end of the year. If you already paid the $6,500.00 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 $6500.00, you would carry forward the difference to future years until exhausted.
2) Subsidy through the Washington State Renewable Energy Payment program.
This program has allocated all available funds to existing solar applicants. It is not known if new funds will be allocated as it would require an act of the state congress. Some utilities including PSE have opted out of the incentive program and no longer show as participants in the drop-down list in the online application to be waitlisted. The original intent of the incentive program was to initially subsidize solar until costs drop to the point where subsidies were unnecessary. We may have reached that point. Costs have dropped dramatically over the last couple years and our company remains very busy despite the apparent end to the state incentive. Note also, solar is sales tax exempt now, which was not the case last year while incentives were available.
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 March, 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. We 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 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. 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.
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 26% federal tax credit, which also applies to solar battery systems. Figure, a gas generator is about $7500.00 including sales tax. A battery backup system is about $10,000.00, but drops to about $7500.00 (after tax) once applying the 26% 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), Skykomish, multiple in Snoqualmie, Kent, Renton, Bothell, up and down I-5, I-90, and 520.