Seattle City Light Nears Incentive Cap as Solar Generation Increases

As more people install solar panels on their homes, Seattle City Light is approaching the state-set limit for payments of solar energy production incentives.


Rapid growth in the installation of solar energy systems is pushing Seattle City Light to the state-imposed cap for solar production incentives.

City Light anticipates reaching the limit for incentives, which is set as a percentage of the utility’s revenue, during the state’s 2016 fiscal year (July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016). Solar customers should expect to see a proportional reduction in incentive payments.

Among the reasons City Light is about to reach its cap are:

  • A trend toward the installation of larger solar systems
  • Sunnier weather that has increased solar production
  • And decreasing retail electricity sales for the utility.

At this time, City Light estimates that the proportional reduction in incentive payments for solar customers will be 31 percent for the state’s 2016 fiscal year.

Solar customers receive a variety of additional benefits for engaging in solar generation. Benefits include federal solar investment Tax Credit, Washington State sales tax exemption for systems less than 10 kilowatts and net metering benefits. These benefits will not be affected by the incentive payment reduction.

To stay updated on details of the solar incentive cap, visit the City Light Solar Incentive Website at .

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.