Demand for solar homes in the Washington market is at an all-time high. Builders offering a solar option on new construction find that their homes sell twice as fast as those without a renewable energy option.
But not everyone understands how simple it is to finance a residential solar system – or just how fast the return on investment is with today’s incentives. Blue Frog Solar is changing that, with its new Simple Solar campaign for builders, developers and homebuyers.
Distributor Blue Frog has partnered with A&R Solar, a Washington solar installer, and Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union to create a complete solar financing, materials and installation package. The Simple Solar program will offer the best pricing and simplest process for installing Made in Washington solar arrays on homes.
“Solar’s time is here in Washington,” said Tim Bailey, director of the Simple Solar campaign for Blue Frog Solar. “It’s been difficult in the past for a builder to include solar as a standard part of a new home package because the financing and incentives haven’t lined up. We’ve figured out a way to let buyers take advantage of current incentives and still have solar be part of the developer’s program.”
Dwell Development of Seattle is the first to offer the Simple Solar package to customers, and a promotional event for Dwell homebuyers in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood formally launched the campaign this week.
“This is the team to go solar with,” said Anthony Maschmedt, Dwell Development founder, hailing the partnership of Blue Frog, A&R Solar and PSCCU. “They’re the best of the best.”
The Simple Solar package takes advantage of the excellent incentives available for consumer investment in residential solar systems. The average Washington homeowner who goes solar today will enjoy $760 in energy savings annually, while state and federal incentives (including sales tax exemptions and energy buyback from utilities) have lowered the payback period to as little as five or six years. With a 30 percent federal tax credit and product incentives through 2020, a homeowner could get a $25,000 residential solar system for a net investment of just over $1,300.
Along with their “1-2-3” steps to Simple Solar — apply for zero-down financing through PSCCU, sign a contract with A&R, and set a date for solar install — Blue Frog is also showing builders and developers how to make their homes solar-ready at the point of design and construction. Measures range from orienting homes to maximize sun exposure and leaving unobstructed roof space, to pre-wiring needed conduit and leaving breaker box space for solar equipment.
“When we say ‘Simple Solar,’ we mean it,” Bailey said. “Blue Frog is the first distributor in the state to offer a solar package like this, and to help builders and homebuyers go solar from the start.”
While the program is focusing on new construction at launch, all Washington homeowners can take advantage of the Simple Solar package. The Blue Frog Solar website will guide anyone through the process in just a few minutes.