Customer Solar Systems

Customer Owned Solar Systems

Consider generating your own electricity with solar panels to create your own carbon-free, green energy to help protect the environment for future generations while reducing your energy bills.

Ellensburg City Council authorized the use of $75,000 of City Light Dept. Conservation Funds in 2017 & 2018 to promote renewable energy systems and provide Incentives to City Light customers who install renewable energy systems at their location. The one-time incentive payment for a Renewable Energy System is $1,000 per kilo watt (kW) nameplate of generation capacity not to exceed $5,000 per customer. Incentives are on a first come first serve basis until the budget is exhausted. 15 systems applied for the 2017 incentive.  A new budget year started January 2018 with another $75,000 in funding available for City Light customers who install renewable energy systems.  As of February 21st 15 systems totaling of 221 kW of system capacity have applied for incentives committing all of the $75,000 budget.

Net Metering of Electricity

Net Metering of electricity measures electricity flowing both directions at a location with solar panels. The customer still pays the appropriate customer charge for the billing period. If generation is greater than the locations energy consumption only the customer charge will be billed. If consumption is greater than generation the 'net difference' will be billed. Excess energy produced by the solar system will be 'banked' by the utility for use in a future billing period. On April 30th of each calendar year, any remaining unused kilowatt-hour credit accumulated during the previous year shall be purchased by the electric utility at the average wholesale cost of power. Contact Energy Services early in your planning process to learn about the City's Net Metering Standards to ensure your installation complies with all codes and standards. Net Metering Interconnection Standards

Washington State Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Credit

 The 2017 Legislature changed the Renewable Energy incentive law effective July 1, 2017.  A fact sheet was released September 6th outlining how the new program will work and what existing systems must do to continue receiving State credits.  Washington State University Energy Office took over management of the program effective October 1, 2017.  Systems energized after October 1, 2017 must apply under the new program through the Power Clerk system.  Systems certified prior to July 1, will also be required to re-apply to continue receiving credits through 2020.  Re-Application is not available as of January 22nd.  The State Energy office has reassured us no one will be left behind and that they are working toward an online application process.  Ellensburg City Council took action August 7, 2017 removing limitations on participating in the program so additional customers can now receive credits from the State. 
Each year at the end of June the production meter was read by utility staff.  A new process will be in place June 2018 but details are not available yet.  We will continue to keep up on what is required to ensure our customers receive the State credits as applicable. 
For more information see Washington State Renewable Energy Incentives, the new Solar Jobs Bill ESSB5939 or a summary put together by the Solar Installers of Washington