Washington Needs New Solar Policy!

Clean energy requires legislative support. Olympia Community Solar is committed to advancing legislation that makes Solar more accessible to renters, low-income households, and communities overlooked by past programs. Learn more about our efforts below. 

Help us create a better planet:

Protect consumers and increase transparency.
Kingston Community Solar
Empower communities to build our energy future together.
Benton County PUD Community Solar
Catalyze new investment in clean energy resources.
Hummingbird Community Solar in Olympia

2023 Legislative Session

Major action is needed to update Washington’s aging net metering policy and expand access to solar energy. 


We’re partnering with the Washington Solar Energy Industry Association and the Coalition for Community Solar Access to advance a solar policy platform! Please sign up for updates. We need your support talking to legislators and testifying to legislative committees.


Community Solar - HB 1509

Community solar projects are solar arrays that benefit multiple, often dispersed customers. Conventionally, state community solar programs empower ratepayers with the choice to enroll as subscribers to a community solar project, which enables them to receive credits on their electricity bills based on their share of the project’s energy generation.

  • Allows customers to receive financial benefits from a
    community solar subscription on their utility electric bill.
    Provides utilities a mechanism to pay for billing system
    upgrades and recover the costs of bill crediting services.
  • Requires that 50% of all community solar subscriptions reduce the energy burdens of low-income customers and low-income service providers.
  • Updates the Washington State University Energy Extension’s low-income Community Solar Incentive Program definitions to match the new program and removes limitations on tribal owned community solar projects.

Net Metering - HB 1427

Over the past two decades the solar energy industry in Washington  has made headway in Washington thanks to the State’s net metering policy (RCW 80.60). This  policy allows solar customers who generate excess power to return it to their utility’s grid and  earn credits to use at a later date, offsetting future costs. Thanks to the policy, more than 3,500  green collar jobs have been created and more than 30,000 Washington homes and businesses  are powered by the sun.1 Homeowners and businesses that have invested in solar benefit from  reduced energy costs, financial security amidst fluctuating energy markets, and a reduction in  their climate footprint.  

  • Extend the availability of net metering to ensure fair access to solar and maximize potential to leverage new federal dollars.
  • Direct the Washington State University Energy Program  to convene a diverse and representative stakeholder workgroup to determine the long-term future of net metering.
  • Increase the size of eligible solar projects so that communities and households of all sizes can benefit from net metering.  The size of projects eligible for net metering would rise to a maximum of 1 MW AC
  • Expand low-income energy assistance programs using surplus net metering credits.
  • Provide for robust consumer protections for solar customers.

Legislative Partners

House Bill 2248 – 2020 Legislative Session

$20 Million Dollars for Low Income Solar and Virtual Net Metering.

View the Bill’s Legislative page. 

Sponsored by LD-22 Representative Beth Doglio, this bill sought to enable community solar bill crediting and fund low income solar access.

During policy committee, opponents successfully striped the community solar bill crediting portion out of the bill but the low income funding advanced through both the House and the Senate.  As it was sent to the Governors desk in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic caused economic concerns for the State. Governor Inslee vetoes hundreds of fiscal bills including 2248.

Our team committed to return and try again.

House Bill 1814 – 2022 Legislative Session

$100 Million Dollars for Low-Income Solar Projects!

An advocacy effort to pass legislation expanding access to solar energy.

Washington is seeing new investments in solar energy every day, bringing the state closer to achieving its targets for the clean energy transition. However, very few people have access to the full benefits of solar energy, especially renters and low-income households.

Under the proposed program, the State of Washington would fund a grant program to support low-income customers installing solar. Sponsored by Representative Sharon Shewmake, the bipartisan supported policy seeks to overcome financial barriers to clean energy.

Our Policy Goals:

  • Improve solar access for low income households, renters, and marginalized communities
  • Catalyze new investment in clean energy
  • Create good paying jobs and expand Washington’s solar market
  • Take measures to protect valuable natural and working lands. 

Supporting Organizations:

Update: We passed low-income incentives! 

The Washington legislature passed HB 1814 and it was signed into law on March 30th, 2022.  Read our press release HERE.

The first round of funding will be available in late 2023. 

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