How long does it take to recoup the initial investment for solar panels?

Embracing Solar Power in Washington: A Sustainable Investment with MAD Energy NW

In the ever-evolving landscape of energy solutions, solar power emerges as a beacon of sustainability, particularly in regions blessed with ample sunshine like Washington state. With its potential to not only reduce carbon emissions but also generate substantial long-term savings, the adoption of solar panels has become an increasingly attractive option for both homeowners and businesses alike. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the intricacies of solar investment in Washington, highlighting the pivotal role played by MAD Energy NW in facilitating this transition.

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The Rise of Solar Power in Washington

Washington’s commitment to renewable energy is evident in its diverse array of sustainable initiatives, from hydropower to wind farms. However, solar energy has emerged as a particularly promising avenue for harnessing the state’s abundant natural resources. With an average of over 200 days of sunshine per year in many regions, Washington possesses significant untapped potential for solar power generation.

Understanding the Economics of Solar Investment

One of the most pressing questions for prospective solar adopters is the timeframe required to recoup the initial investment. While the answer to this question depends on various factors, including system size, energy consumption, and local incentives, studies indicate that the return on investment (ROI) for solar panels is highly favorable. In Washington, where electricity rates are above the national average and solar incentives are robust, homeowners can often expect to recoup their initial investment within 9 to 14 years. Homeowners will typically choose to finance the installation costs and offset the new payments with the savings from their reduced energy bill.

Washington State

Solar Incentives

30% Federal Tax Credit

100% Sales Tax Exemption

Net Metering

Accelerated Depreciation


MAD Energy NW: Your Trusted Solar Partner

Amidst this burgeoning interest in solar energy, MAD Energy NW stands out as a trusted ally for those looking to embrace solar power. As a leading solar energy solutions provider in Washington, MAD Energy NW offers a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the diverse needs of its customers. From initial consultation and system design to seamless installation and ongoing support, MAD Energy NW ensures a smooth and hassle-free transition to solar power.

Does it take a long time to recoup the initial investment of Solar Panels?

In Washington State, the payback period for solar panels is a crucial metric that determines the time it takes for homeowners or businesses to recoup the initial investment through savings on their electricity bills.

Solar Systems

What we offer

Roof System

This is the most cost-effective application, which in turn provides the best return on your investment. Solar panels are more efficient than ever! Couple that with a 30% income tax credit, there’s never been a better time to install solar panels on your home.

Ground system

Rooftop solar is not your only option for panel placement, and sometimes is not the best option. If you have the space for it, a ground mount solar array offers the opportunity to install more solar than what may fit on your roof. In addition to being easier to clean, ground-mount solar will typically run more efficiently since the system operates under less heat creating less friction as the solar energy transfers to your home electrical system.


Considering a backup source for power during a power outage? Adding battery backup to your solar project is a great way to store energy for those stormy days, and eliminates the need to maintain a gas engine like a generator. These batteries run noise free and automatically transfer power when needed. And YES, these do also qualify for the 30% federal income tax credit!

We are the premier commercial, residential, and new construction solar company in Washington State.

Beyond Financial Returns: Environmental Impact

However, the benefits of solar investment extend far beyond financial returns. By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, solar adopters play a crucial role in combating climate change and preserving Washington’s natural beauty for future generations. With each kilowatt-hour generated from solar panels, homeowners contribute to a cleaner, greener future for all.


What's Included

solar panels


Solar panels, also known as modules within the industry, convert sunlight into electricity using the photovoltaic effect.


Solar Inverters convert the direct current power produced by the modules, into an alternating current to be used.


Solar racking is the mounting system that supports and secures the panels to the roof or ground structure.


Solar Batteries are used to store electricity generated by the solar panels for those times when the utility power drops out.

Crunching the Numbers: A Case Study

The calculation of the solar panel payback period involves several key factors. Initially, the total cost of installing the solar power system is determined. This includes expenses related to equipment, labor, and any associated fees. Subsequently, any applicable solar incentives or rebates, such as federal tax credits, are deducted from the total cost.

For instance, suppose a homeowner invests $16,000 in a solar panel system in Washington State. After accounting for a federal tax credit of $4,800, the net cost of the system stands at $11,200. Following the installation, the solar panels generate electricity, leading to a reduction in the homeowner’s electric bill. If the annual savings amount to $1,500, the payback period would be approximately 7.5 years, assuming that electricity rates remain constant over time. However, we know that electricity rates do not remain constant, but rather increase annually. As electricity rates continue to rise, so does the annual savings for those who are offsetting their electricity needs with the utility therefore speeding up the ROI timeframe.

However, it’s important to note that various factors can influence the payback period, including changes in energy consumption patterns, fluctuations in electricity rates, and the efficiency of the solar panels themselves. Additionally, advancements in solar technology and potential future incentives or policy changes may impact the overall financial equation.

Overall, understanding the payback period for solar panels provides valuable insight for individuals and businesses considering solar investment in Washington State. It serves as a tangible measure of the financial viability of transitioning to solar energy, offering clarity and guidance in the decision-making process. By leveraging available incentives and maximizing energy savings, Washington residents can accelerate their journey towards energy independence and environmental sustainability through solar power adoption.

Work You Can Believe In

The Mad Energy Solar Warranty

25-30 Year Solar Panel Production Warranty

12-25 Year Inverter and Optimizer Warranty

25 Year Racking Warranty

10 Year Workmanship Warranty

10 Year Battery Warranty

a workman carrying a large solar panel at a green house construction site

Making the Switch: Your Path to Solar Independence

In conclusion, the decision to invest in solar panels in Washington is a sound one, offering both economic and environmental advantages. With the expertise and support of MAD Energy NW, the transition to solar power becomes seamless and rewarding. While the exact payback period may vary depending on individual circumstances, the long-term benefits of solar energy far outweigh the initial investment. So, why wait? Take the leap towards a brighter, more sustainable future with solar power today.

For inquiries about solar installation and to learn more about how MAD Energy NW can assist you on your solar journey, contact them at (253) 929-8284, or inquire through their website

As Washington state continues to embrace renewable energy solutions, the widespread adoption of solar power represents a pivotal step towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. With MAD Energy NW at the forefront of this movement, homeowners and businesses alike can confidently navigate the complexities of solar investment, reaping the rewards of reduced energy bills and a reduced environmental footprint for years to come. Whether you’re considering solar for your home or your business, now is the time to harness the power of the sun and join the renewable energy revolution in Washington.

Ground System

Ground mount systems are the best solution for large applications and utility scale generation plants.  With these large systems the scale makes up for additional costs developing and securing a piece of land for a solar array.  Additional ground mount costs are installing new structure for the solar panels, and trenching underground electrical feeders back to the nearest utility service.  Small residential and commercial size ground mount systems cost more than rooftop applications but many home and business owners prefer to locate their solar arrays on poles or ground racks in a vacant field or un-used yard.  If choosing to install ground mount solar panels we recommend thinking about maintenance, including mowing around, or under your array, weed control and protection from people and animals by fencing or elevating the array on poles.

Solar Panels

Solar panels, also known as modules within the industry, convert sunlight into electricity using the photovoltaic effect.  PV, short for Photovoltaic, is solar electricity.  Solar panels today come in two general sizes, 60 cell, 5-1/2’ x 3-1/2’ most often for residential and 72 cell, 6-1/2’ x 3-1/2’ most often for commercial but they are widely used interchangeably.  There are many varieties and unique options, but these are the traditional, most widely used panel types.  Solar panels come with black or silver frames for aesthetic purposes and there are countless manufacturers.  We lead with only the best available panels on the market today to ensure our customers have the most bankable, long-term, reliable and proven options for your solar investment.  Your design consultant will discuss these options with you and recommend the panel that best meets your project goals and preferences.


For solar modules to produce AC power that can be used by homes and businesses, solar inverters are essential. They function as the system’s brains and are matched to your service voltage. They have data logging capabilities and internet connections for tracking system output.

Today’s inverters regulate each solar panel on the roof using a rapid shutdown safety feature that is mandated by current rooftop system codes.

String inverters with DC optimizers and microinverters are the industry standard for rooftop solar arrays due to their shading and string sizing benefits, eliminating reduced production from the intermittent shade and string design challenges.

Solar Racking

Solar racking is the mounting system that supports and secures the solar panels to the roof or ground structure.  Racking must be UL listed for its intended purpose while providing an electrical grounding path.  Most racking rails are anodized aluminum for light-weight strength and corrosion resistance.  Racking systems are designed to safely and structurally mount solar panels to any structure.  They are engineered to meet local codes just like the building and roof structure itself.  They are engineered to withstand the worst-case scenario weather events for the location and jurisdiction where they will be permitted and installed.