Solar in Clark and Cowlitz County!

Posted by Samantha on July 25th, 2014

“Solar is great and all…but does it really work here?”

It’s the most common question we’re asked at SolTerra- in Oregon and Washington, where our rainy days vastly outnumber our sunny ones, it’s understandable that people are wary about the validity of solar in the Pacific Northwest. However, Oregon and Washington have some of the best climates for solar in the US! And while Portland and Seattle were quick to board the solar train, we are finding that more folks in SW Washington are starting to discover what solar can really do for them!

This solar powered home in Normandy Park takes advantage of Washington solar incentives!

Did you know...

Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, Longview, Kelso, and all the areas in between get some of the best sun for solar in the Pacific Northwest! Because our summer days are clear but not too hot, Clark County and Cowlitz County get all the benefits of offsetting their bill with solar electricity, while avoiding the detrimental effects of extreme heat degrading their solar panels at a faster rate. Additionally, solar customers in Clark County and Cowlitz County get to capitalize on the higher sunny day average of the Portland Metro area,  while also taking advantage of the incredible Washington solar incentives!

The ground worked better for this customer, who regularly runs his meter backwards with solar!

“Okay, so we get enough sun….but how much does it cost?"

Solar installations in Clark County and Cowlitz County average about $20,000 to $45,000, depending on the system size. However, between the three major incentives in Washington, solar customers in Washington are seeing an ROI of about 4 - 5 years on their systems; after that, all the power coming off of your roof is FREE energy! Additionally, there is a fantastic solar-specific loan through Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union that allows you to go solar for zero out of pocket!

Home and business owners in Clark County and Cowlitz County can take advantage of these three incentives when installing solar:

30% Federal Income Tax Credit

  • Receive 30% of your total system cost back in the first tax year!
  • No cap!

Net Metering

  • An agreement with your utility to credit your electric bill for power that you push back onto the grid, so no solar power you produce goes to waste!
  • Watch your meter run backwards, and use that power through the winter months, when you really need it!

Washington Production Incentive

  • A State of Washington program that pays the homeowner every year for the solar they generate on their roof, regardless of whether they use it in their home, or push it back to the grid!
  • Receive an annual check from the State June 2020 for 54 cents/kWh that your solar produces: more than 5x what you pay Clark PUD for power!
  • $5,000 annual cap means a potential payback of up to $30,000 right into your pocket over the next 6 years, in addition to monthly bill savings and net metering credits!

Large or small, roof or ground, almost everyone can benefit from solar electricity, just like this Shelton customer!

“That all sounds awesome! How do I get more info? Do you do consultations?”

If you live in Clark County or Cowlitz County and are interested in what solar can do for your home, you can…

  • Call us! We are available at 800-865-9005, 9 - 5, Monday through Friday. You will receive a call back from a solar design consultant within 1 business day to chat about your roof, your electric bill, and your goals for solar!
  • Email us!  Shoot us an email at, or visit our website and click “Ask a Question” or “Request a Bid”. We’ll get back to you ASAP!
  • Attend a Seminar! On the first Saturday of every month, SolTerra hosts a “Solar Power Hour” at Torque Coffee Roasters in downtown Vancouver from 10 - 11 am. Get in-depth answers about state and federal incentives, how solar works, and speak personally with a design tech about your home’s solar potential! PLUS, get a special discount on your solar system, just for showing up! Our next seminar is Saturday, August 2nd at 10 am.

Like what you heard? Our home consultations are always free! We will come out, measure your roof space and sun exposure, and provide you with several solar recommendations to meet your goals. SolTerra is excited to be working with Clark County and Cowlitz County home and business owners to make their solar dreams a reality!

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