Solarize Bellevue a shiny incentive | Bellevue couple seeing lower bills after installing panels last year

Rodney and Alisa Boleyn bought their south Bellevue home five years ago, partly because the roof was well-suited for solar panels. After years of saving, the city’s Solarize Bellevue program gave the couple the final incentive they needed to make their move.

Rodney and Alisa Boleyn are cranking out energy at their Bellevue home through the use of solar panels they were able to install by using the city’s Solarize Bellevue program and taking advantage of state and federal incentives.

Rodney and Alisa Boleyn are cranking out energy at their Bellevue home through the use of solar panels they were able to install by using the city’s Solarize Bellevue program and taking advantage of state and federal incentives.

Rodney and Alisa Boleyn bought their south Bellevue home five years ago, partly because the roof was well-suited for solar panels. After years of saving, the city’s Solarize Bellevue program gave the couple the final incentive they needed to make their move.

Solarize Bellevue is a campaign started last year by the city to reduce the cost of fitting residences and businesses with solar arrays. The city was initially aiming for 30 users in 2014, but ended up extending it to 51.

“We decided to buy a house that would work with solar, but then the Solarize Bellevue thing was just a coincidence,” said Rodney Boleyn.

Boleyn works in the same Seattle office building as the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, which assisted the city in implementing its program, and saw a poster for Solarize Bellevue in the hall.

One of the best parts of the program, said Alisa Boleyn, was that Bellevue took care of securing a contractor.

“We had gotten quotes a couple of times,” she said.

A&R Solar was selected by community volunteers as the winning bidder, according to the city, and will donate a free system to a local nonprofit after 25 contracts are signed this year. Last year’s recipient was the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club Teen Center, the contractor selected last year being Northwest Electric and Solar.

The Boleyns said the investment in solar panels — they have 24 at 270 kilowatts — can be expensive, but city, state and federal clean energy incentive programs have reduced what once would have taken them 15 to 20 years to see a return to an easier 5 to 6.

“It’s just an incredible deal,” Rodney said of the state’s incentives, “and it goes on until 2020.”

Washington’s Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Exemption can be used when purchasing state manufactured panels and inverters, which meant the Boleyns paid no state sales tax on the equipment or installation.

The Boleyns said the energy they produce is purchased by Puget Sound Energy at a mark up from what it charges per kilowatt hour under the state incentive, adding they estimate they produce about half of the power they use in a year.

“Our bills have gone down a lot,” Rodney said.

Rodney Boleyn said in five months, from November to April, their solar panels generated 1 megawatt hour — enough to power 330 homes during one hour, according to Clean Energy Authority. He credits uncommonly hot and sunny weather that started in May for reaching that figure in just five weeks.

“If you’re producing more than you’re using, it will go back on the grid,” he said.

 


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Pan-fried wontons with chili and spicy garlic sauces (photo credit: Dough Zone Dumpling House)
New Chinese dumpling house to open in downtown Bellevue

Dough Zone menu to feature soup dumplings and pan-fried wontons.

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

An Island Park Elementary teacher and her students hit the books on Feb. 8 in the Mercer Island School District. The single largest amount of Gov. Jay Inslee’s newly announce relief package, $668 million, will go to public elementary and secondary schools to prepare for reopening for some in-person learning and to address students’ learning loss. Courtesy photo
Inslee signs $2.2 billion COVID relief package

The federal funds will go to fight COVID, aid renters and reopen shuttered schools and businesses.

File photo
How the pandemic and coronavirus variants can show us evolution in real time

Scientists say viruses reproduce and mutate at higher rates, creating viral variants.

Dining room at Belle Harbour (photo credit: Koelsch Communities)
New assisted living and memory care community to be opened by Koelsch Communities

$93 million facility planned to open next Spring after construction.

Jay and Beck Enoch celebrating vaccination (photo credit: Aegis Living Bellevue)
Bellevue assisted living community celebrates after receiving final vaccinations

Aegis Living Bellevue threw a “Saturday Night ‘No’ Fever” party to celebrate COVID-19 immunity.

Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an ob-gyn with the University of Washington School of Medicine and senior author of the report (Photo Credit: University of Washington School of Medicine)
UW study shows high COVID infection rates among pregnant women

Study shows infection rates to be two to four times higher than expected among minority groups.

Most Read