March 2017 updates on House Bill 1048/Senate Bill 5499

Artisan Electric is sharing the most recent update on House Bill 1048 / Senate Bill 5499 and we’re encouraging our customers, friends and solar advocates to reach out to your elected officials to let them know you support the continual growth of clean, renewable solar energy in Washington State.

We need you to take action to keep solar’s progress in Washington moving forward.

Right now, the Legislature has the opportunity to update Washington’s solar program with a more effective, efficient program.

In 2006, Washington State created the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Payment Program to help build a local solar manufacturing sector and to enable residents to put solar power to work on homes, commercial buildings, and community facilities.

This program has been enormously successful:

  • Solar panel prices are dropping
  • 84 megawatts of solar installed since 2006
  • 13,000 homes and businesses have added solar power
  • 3,700 family-wage jobs created and sustained by the solar industry, ranging from local solar manufacturers to solar installers across the state

(Details here)

But now, our legacy solar program is both inefficient and at capacity:

  • Inefficient: With solar panels’ prices dropping, the legacy program we’re locked into does not use state dollars efficiently for deploying more solar power.
  • At capacity: Many of Washington’s 63 utility districts have reached their limits for solar under the legacy program, locking out many people. That means home- and business-owners across our state don’t have equal access to solar.

Right now, Legislators have the opportunity to update Washington’s solar program.

The 2017 Solar Jobs Bill (HB 1048)

Offers fair and equal access to solar power for home- and business-owners in every corner of WA.

Ensures certainty for new solar owners, and protects existing solar owners.

Is more efficient than the old program the state is currently locked into. Without an update, the legacy program will add very few solar panels (or jobs) from now on.

Serious solar bang for our buck: The 2017 Solar Jobs Bill, HB 1048, uses state dollars much more effectively, deploying 5x more solar per dollar than the old program. If passed, the new program is expected to:

  • Deploy 115 megawatts of new solar in three years (it’s taken WA over ten years to install 85MW)
  • Create 2,875 new jobs, or 25 jobs per megawatt of solar
  • Generate nearly $150 Million in payroll across WA, with the average solar job paying more than $50,000 / year
  • Keep over $630 Million of our energy dollars in WA, as utility rates escalate over the 30-year lifetime of a solar system
  • Bring home nearly $10 Million of federal tax credits through the federal solar investment tax credit
  • Deploy approximately $630,000 of new revenue into local towns through sales tax on solar energy system purchases
  • Curbs climate pollution, keeps our air clean, and eases the burden on the ever-declining supply of freshwater to Washington’s dams: priceless. (But we have real data here.)

Assures our home-grown solar industry can continue to grow and hire just like the rest of the US. Nationally, the solar industry is adding jobs 12x faster than the rest of the economy. We could have that growth here in WA, but instability is causing us to miss out.

Legislative Progress

Last Friday, the Solar Jobs Bill had a successful hearing in the House Finance Committee. We hope they will vote it out of that Committee ASAP, so the Solar Jobs Bill can eventually pass the House and make its way to the Senate.

.What You Can Do …

Tell the House Finance Committee to vote the Solar Jobs Bill (HB 1048) out of committee.

Please share this information on the Solar Jobs Bill with the House Finance Committee and your own local legislators. You can forward this email or direct them here.

Member Name District   Phone Email
Cary Condotta 12 (360) 786-7954
Laurie Dolan 22 (360) 786-7940
Noel Frame 36 (360) 786-7814
Kristine Lytton 40 (360) 786-7800
Terry Nealey 16 (360) 786-7828
Ed Orcutt 20 (360) 786-7990
Gerry Pollet 46 (360) 786-7886
Larry Springer 45 (360) 786-7822
Drew Stokesbary 31 (360) 786-7846
J.T. Wilcox 2 (360) 786-7912
Sharon Wylie 49 (360) 786-7924

If you do reach out to a Legislator, please also cc Bonnie Frye Hempill, Campaign Director, Keep WA Solar Strong at

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