Solar Incentives and Rebates in District of Columbia

Peak Sun Hours (PSH): 4.6-4.8
Cost of Grid Power: $0.13/kWh
Number Of Installations: 8,079

What’s the Cost of Solar in Washington, D.C.?

Cost of Grid Power

Washington, D.C.'s electricity prices average $0.13/kWh, just below the national average of $0.14/kWh.

Cost of a Solar Install

A graph of PV Installs annually in Washington, D.C. from 2005-2018

A graph of PV Installs annually in Washington, D.C. from 2005-2018.
Figures include design costs. Data from Berkeley Lab, courtesy of the Washington, D.C. Public Service Commission.

The average cost of a 6kW (equivalent to saving over 100 trees a year) solar power system starts around $15,000 in Washington, D.C. after the Federal Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. That system would pay for itself through energy savings within 6-7.5 years. System life can span well over 25 years, and savings will improve with inflation.

Washington, D.C. is the Solar City

In 2019, biomass and solar accounted for more than 85% of the Federal City's total net power generation. That year half of the power in the entire city came from rooftop solar. Over one third of D.C.'s current solar capacity was installed in 2016. That year the solar industry supported 100 DC-based installers. This may be related to the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act of 2016, which established DC's Solar for All Program. DC didn't even have a utility-scale solar facility until 2019, presumably because it didn't need one. DC also has arguably one of the most ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standards in the world, calling for 100% renewable power by 2032.

Leading By Example - The Greatest Solar Incentive

DC has been home to some of the most famous residential rooftop solar system in the world. Amid the 1979 Oil Crisis, President Jimmy Carter had a system of 38 solar thermal panels installed over the West Wing. The system went live on June 20 of that year. President Ronald Reagan had the solar array removed in 1986. In 1992 sixteen of the panels from this system were installed above the cafeteria of Unity College in Maine, with the remainder of panels on display around the world. The journey of these system components is detailed in the 2010 documentary "A Road Not Taken."

In 2003 President George W. Bush had a 9kW photovoltaic system installed on the roof of the central maintenance building. A solar thermal array was installed on that same rooftop, providing heated water for grounds maintenance. A third solar thermal system was installed on the roof of the White House pool cabana, heating water for the pool and spa.

In 2014 President Barack Obama oversaw completion of a 6.3kW photovoltaic system on the White House roof, which White House Usher James Doherty said was "the typical size for the average American house." Additionally a solar water heater system was installed above the Executive Residence.

What Incentives are Available in Washington, D.C.?

Whatever your installation cost, affordable financing options abound for just about any type of solar power system. Upfront, or "cash" purchases generally lead to the greatest long-term return on investment. However, solar loans and leases/PPAs can empower you to finance a solar energy system with a much lower overhead.

When designing a solar power system, you can customize solar modules, inverters, mounting, and batteries to meet the needs of your house or small business. Often cost and performance need to be balanced. Consider that while the most efficient PV modules may come with the best warranty, they also cost the most. Often buying more, less efficient panels can get you the same power at a lower price. However, how much area do you have to use for the array? Depending on size constraints you may need those high-efficiency solar panels to meet your power demands. These are just a handful of the many factors in solar panel equipment selection.

Want help? Give us a call at 877-878-4060 and our trained solar professionals will work with you to design your own home solar system for FREE!

Data from DSIRE. For more info visit:

Name Implementing Sector Program Type Administrator DSIRE ID
Renewable Portfolio Standard State Renewables Portfolio Standard 303
Interconnection Standards State Interconnection 1058
Energy Star Procurement Requirement for Agencies State Energy Standards for Public Buildings 2439
Energy Efficiency Standards for Appliances State Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards 3132
Solar Energy System and Cogeneration System Personal Property Tax Credit State Property Tax Incentive 5245
Sustainable Energy Utility - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program Sustainable Energy Utility 5399
Solar Advantage Plus Program State Rebate Program 5699
Affordable Solar Program State Rebate Program 5700
DC - Test State Rebate Program 5701
Green Power Purchasing State Green Power Purchasing 5815
PEPCO - Trade Ally Network Utility Energy Analysis PEPCO 17560
PEPCO - Commercial & Industrial Energy Savings Program Utility Energy Analysis PEPCO 17561
PEPCO - Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Incentive Program Utility Training and Information PEPCO 17562
PEPCO - New Construction and Major Renovation Projects Utility Energy Analysis PEPCO 17646
PEPCO - Energy Saving Solutions for Existing Buildings Utility Energy Analysis PEPCO 17647
PEPCO - ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audit Utility Energy Analysis PEPCO 18570
PEPCO - Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Training Utility Training and Information PEPCO 20965
U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): University of Delaware Federal Energy Analysis U.S. Department of Energy 21605
Washington Gas - Energy Benchmarking Utility Energy Analysis Washington Gas 21993
DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) - Benchmarking in the District Utility Energy Analysis DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) 21994
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships - EM&V Forum Non-Profit Training and Information Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships 22029
Sustainable Energy Utility - Commercial and Multifamily Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program Sustainable Energy Utility 22092


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