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Question DetailsAsked on 5/23/2013

What is the return on investment for solar panels in Seattle?

While bidding for something else, our electrician mentioned that his company installs solar panels, and that eight solar panels would cover all of our utility bill plus pay us $1300 cash back per year from Seattle City Light. If you are reading this and have solar panels in the city limits of Seattle, can you tell me if this is true? What is your ROI? Who did you use for installation and what products (manufacturer names) did they install? Any caveats I should watch out for? Thanks much!

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2 Answers


Caveats all over the place. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you believe that all your utility bills will be paid and they will pay you to boot in a generally cloudy, northern city like Seattle then I have a Bridge to Nowhere to sell you - if that was the case, there would be solar panel farms all along Puget Sound.

However, Seattle Light has decided, being a good "ultra-liberal greenie city" like Seattle is, to highly subsidize alternative energy - so those who put in alternative energy systems are highly subsidized by the rest of the rate payers.

Google this search string - "seattle energy efficiency help" for further info on rebates, credits, subsidized programs, etc. Complex put potentially beneficial.

I am sure the local TV stations and newspapers have done articles on this program - google for those.

Personally I would not go into something like this without having an attorney carefully go through the contract first.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Hi there.

While I don't have anything specific to the ROI on a solar panel investment in Seattle, I did manage to find some articles we've published on that might be of help to you. It's always good to do some thorough research before a big home improvement project.

Curious how much a solar panel system will cost in your neck of the woods? Check out the solar calculator at for a rough estimate including any federal or local incentives/rebates.

Answered 7 years ago by HughV

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