solar panels district of columbia

The District of Columbia, or Washington D.C. as it is commonly known, is the capitol of the United States. It is a city, not a state as commonly thought, bordered by Virginia and Maryland. Since it is the nation’s capitol, you would think the District of Columbia would serve as an example to the states and have generous incentives in place for the purchase of solar panels but, unfortunately, they don’t.

The legislative bodies in the District of Columbia are no strangers to the benefits of using solar panels to generate. Protestors, lobbyists and ordinary citizens have all, in their own way, emphasized that using free energy from the sun lowers the cost of energy as well as lessen dependence on non-renewable resources like oil and coal.

Solar energy also cuts down on pollution. Even though making solar panels requires the use of other resources, creating electricity using the sun’s rays does not add to the pollution in the environment. In fact, a system consisting of 20 solar panels eliminates 3 tons of carbon dioxide, 41 pounds of sulfur and 17 pounds of nitrogen oxide. That is equivalent to planting one acre of trees.

The District of Columbia does participate in net metering. Whether because it an extra sunny day or the resident just didn’t use much electricity, sometimes a homeowner’s solar panels will produce too much energy. When that happens, the extra electricity is dumped into the power grid for use elsewhere and the resident who provided the additional power is compensated with a credit on their utility bill.

But money to fund subsidies for the purchase and installation of solar panels is sorely lacking. The District of Columbia used to have the Renewable Energy Demonstration Project (REDP) which awarded residents who purchased solar panels and other solar technology, up to $3.00 per watt with a maximum grant amount of $9,000. However, funds were severely limited and there is currently a long waiting list.

According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, funding for REDP was expected to be available after October 1, 2009. The District Department of the Environment is also expecting to receive $1.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help fund the program. However, as of yet, nothing has been reinstated and D.C. residents only qualify for the 30% federal tax rebate of the purchase amount of their solar panels.

The District of Columbia has ambitious goals regarding the addition renewable energy to the menu of resources available. In 2005, the legislative body put together the Renewable Portfolio Standard that requires 11% of electricity generated to come from clean energy sources by 2022. Interestingly they require 37% of that to come from solar power which is probably makes that the highest solar carve out in the country.

local solar panels in district of columbia

Washington solar panels