Washington DC Solar Power Facts in 2023
The country’s capital, Washington DC, is a great place to go solar. Solar energy is on the rise as the price of solar panels drops, and a solar installation is faster than ever to install on your rooftop. Installing solar in DC makes a lot of sense since you can save money by lowering your electric bill and helping nature as you help climate change.
Washington DC Solar Energy Data
Solar panels in Washington D.C. rank 40th in the USA, with 151.7 MW of solar system capacity. These many solar panels draw on solar resources to provide power for more than 22,000 DC households so that 57,58% of the DC’s power comes from solar. This is a bigger share of solar than California solar panels provide.
The 179 solar companies in this state employ more than 1,000 people, and the total investment of $359 million means that more than 9,000 installations have been placed so far. With a relatively low price of $14,000 – $18,500 for a 5 kW solar installation and a short payback period of 5-6.5 years, it is the perfect place to invest your money, as you will be able to see 70% + savings on your electricity bill.
Washington DC Solar Statistics
|Washington DC National Ranking||40th|
|Solar Panels Installed(MW)||151.7 MW|
|Can Supply Power to: (No. of Homes)||+22,900|
|% of State's Electricity from Solar||57.58%|
|Solar Companies in the State||179 (7 Manufacturers, 27 Installers and Developers, and145 Others)|
|Solar Jobs Created||1,069|
|Total Solar Investment in the State||$359 Million|
|Out of Pocket Cost for a 5kWh system||$14,000 – $18,500|
|Net 20-year savings||$23,700 – $30,100|
|Average Payback Period||5 – 6.5 years|
|Electricity Bill Offset for a 5kWh system||+ 70%|
|Number of Solar Installations||+ 9,062|
Source: Washington DC
Notable Solar Installations in Washington DC
The largest solar farm in Washington DC has been opened with 7,800 solar panels in Ward 8. The farm covers a 15.44-acre piece of city-owned land. The families living in the vicinity can subscribe for up to 4,000 kWh of free energy per year and save ~$225 per year.
Is it Worth it to Buy Solar Panels in Washington DC?
Yes, it is worth it to buy solar panels in Washington DC. Solar power is the future energy, and the federal tax credit heavily subsidizes every solar installation in the DC. Solar electricity runs more DC households every day, so installing solar means staying on track at this point. The Vehicle to Grid Charging technology is likely to make the Washington grid even more sustainable in the upcoming years.
With an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard that mandates 100% of renewable energy sources be used for electricity production in the District of Columbia by 2032, it is also the most progressive RPS in the USA. Your solar PV system can save money for you and help mitigate climate change. Furthermore, you can sell solar renewable energy credits for extra income.
Average Cost of Solar Energy Systems
The average cost of a solar PV system has dropped over 80% in the past decade. The average solar system cost dropped 45% per Watt of DC installed in the past five years. Currently, you can expect to pay $3.31 per watt to install solar panels. This price is further brought down by significant solar incentives and the federal tax credit. Any green energy provider can offer you competitive green energy prices even if you have no solar array.
Solar Panel Energy Production in Washington DC
Solar power has been on the rise in the District of Columbia. Back in 2007, the total solar power capacity was 0.5 MW. Ten years later, it rose to 59 MW, a 120-fold increase. In the meantime, with the drop in prices of solar energy systems and rooftop solar, the total solar capacity increased to 151.7 MW or 57.58% of total electricity production.
Solar Policy History in Washington DC
In April 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Paris Agreement, a binding document that tries to decarbonize the world’s economies. Under President Donald Trump, this decision was repelled. Later on, in April 2021, President Joe Biden set a national goal: a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to the 2005 emissions level. Installing solar panels is a big step towards an energy-independent future.
Washington DC Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits
There are several solar incentives offered in the District of Columbia. Every solar panel system is eligible for at least one subsidy, and together, they can bring down the cost of installing solar panels significantly.
|The Cost of PV - 10kWh at the average of $3.31 per watt of DC installed||$33,100|
|The Federal Solar Tax Credit @26% by the end of 2022||$8,606|
|Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) @8.5 SRECs/year and $400/SREC||$3,200|
|Net-metering Savings @100% offset||$1,476.66|
|TOTAL cost for a 10kWh home solar system at the end of year 1||$19,818|
|Years before a 10kWh system pays off if all Washington DC solar incentives are taken||4.5 years|
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit
With the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, you can expect up to 26% of your solar installation value to be returned to you in the form of a Tax Return or Investment Tax Credit. The offer is valid until the end of 2022. In 2023, the Federal Tax Credit drops to 22% in Washington D.C. and is unavailable from 2024 onwards. You can rollover unused Tax Credits for a maximum of 10 years.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
Your solar panels produce solar electricity whenever they are exposed to sunlight. A kWh of solar panels can produce as much as 0.85 MW of energy per year in year. For each MW that you produce, you will get one SREC. You can sell these SRECs on the SREC market. Thanks to a rigorous RPS in DC, you can expect to get anywhere between $380 and $435 per SREC.
Solar Energy System Property Tax Exemption
Under the Solar Energy System Property Tax Exemption, you can expect your property tax to stay the same, despite the increase in the value of your home. When you install solar panels, the value of your property will go up by as much as $6,000 per kWh of solar panels installed. Under this program, the added value of your home is not counted towards your property tax.
D.C. Solar for All Program
This community solar program aims at providing the benefits of solar energy to over 100,000 low and middle-income families by 2032. Suppose you make less than 80% of the area median income (~$100k) and buy a local solar facility shares. You can see up to 50% reduction in your electricity bill for over 15 years.
Net Metering in Washington DC
Net Metering gives you full retail rate credit for any unused kilowatt-hour you send to the grid. The system works by monitoring how much energy you send to the grid when the sun is shining and how much energy you take back from the grid during nights and cloudy days. At the end of the month, you pay only for the net consumption. If you’ve generated more electricity than you’ve spent, your energy credits are rolled over to the next month, and your electric bill drops to $0.
Top Solar Companies in Washington DC
Many solar installers are working in DC. Choosing the best between the 27 solar installers can be difficult so that you can check out our list of top solar companies in Washington DC:
- Sustainable Energy Systems LLC, multi-state,
- Solar Energy World, multi-state,
- Revolution Solar, Washington DC,
- Green Brilliance LLC, multi-state, and
- Ipsun Solar, Washington DC.
Are solar panels free in DC?
You can get free solar panels in DC. DC Solar offers Washington DC residents the ‘no-cost, no-pay solar deal. With no down payment and no installments, you own your solar panels and enjoy the benefits of free energy, saving up to $862 per year.
Can I get solar installed for free?
There are various programs and solar rebates that can decrease the cost of your solar installation. However, getting solar for free can be difficult. However, DC Solar offers exactly this deal, so make sure to check out their website.
Can you cover your entire roof with solar panels?
Yes, you can cover your entire roof with solar panels. In doing so, make sure that the roof has proper orientation and no shade from nearby trees or buildings. Solar technologies work well, but only in good conditions.
How much do you pay monthly for solar panels?
You can pay for your solar panels upfront. If you use a solar loan to purchase your solar panels, the installments depend on the size of the system, the brand, and the bank’s interest rates. Contact your local bank for more information.
Renewable energy sources are becoming a hot topic in a warming climate. To make sure that you secure an energy-independent future and that you have ample solar power in Washington D.C., make your purchase today and watch as your electric bill goes down. Your rooftop solar is the best investment against rising electricity costs and unstable electricity generation in the electric grid. You save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and become independent from your utility company by going solar.