How we support your renewable ambitions.
Did you know that the electricity that you use every day consists of more than 50 percent clean, renewable energy? In fact, Avista is ranked one of the cleanest utilities in the nation when it comes to greenhouse gases, our standard electric mix is fueled by 49 percent hydro and another 4.5 percent wind power. Interested in doing more? Here's how.
What is Buck-A-Block? It's clean, renewable energy. It's low cost. And it's up to you! Whether you rent or own, as an Avista electric customer you have the option to make a difference. Avista's Buck-A-Block program offers you a simple way to support renewable energy with no contracts and the option to cancel at any time.
How does it work?
First, you commit to adding one or more $1 blocks of renewable energy offsets to your monthly bill, on top of your normal energy charges.
Avista will use these funds to purchase Renewable Energy Certifications (think wind and solar) from regional sources on your behalf. Each $1 block you purchase represents 300 kWh of clean, renewable energy.
If you consider that the average customer uses between 600-1,000 kWh of electricity each month, then it only takes 2-4 $1 blocks to offset the average home's usage! Not too shabby for just a few bucks extra each month.
Ready to enroll?
There's no better time than now to start offsetting your energy usage with clean, renewable energy.
Solar adds up to savings. But since it's based on your rooftop characteristics, your electricity use, and available tax credits and incentives, take time to do your homework. We promise, the payoff is worth it: a lower electric bill and smaller carbon footprint.
Follow these simple steps to help ensure success:
- Is solar right for me? Read the solar FAQs below and try the solar estimator to evaluate your solar potential.
- Involve Avista early in your project. We're here to help. Avista offers net metering benefits to help maximize the value of your system. But first, take time to learn more about interconnection.
- Look for an experienced contractor. Shop around. Avista considers it a best practice to request bids from at least three contractors and request customer references. View a list of licensed and insured contractors. If you're not sure what qualifications to look for, give us a call at (800) 227-9187.
Avista now has a solar array, with 650+ Washington electric customers as subscribers.
- Located in Spokane Valley off Barker Road
- Comprised of 54 Solectria Inverters and 1,512, 280-watt polycrystalline silica photovoltaic solar panels
- Made locally, with all parts by Itek Energy in Washington
Solar Select® is a renewable energy program that allows Avista’s commercial and industrial electric customers, in Washington, the unique opportunity to acquire solar electricity and the associated Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) with no additional costs to your business.
Reservation request form
The Solar Select® program is currently fully subscribed. If you are interested in requesting your business be added to the waitlist, please complete a reservation request form.
Reservation forms must be electronically submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avista is working to bring you more renewable choices. To be included in communications about new renewable opportunities, email us your contact information.
How much does a distributed generation system cost?
It depends on a number of factors, such as design complexity, size of your system, system configuration, equipment options, and contractor expertise. Local distributed generation vendors or contractors can provide you with estimates or bids.
What are the incentives?
Federal and state tax incentives depend on where you install your system. Find more details here.
Will Avista pay me for what I generate?
If you have a Power Purchase Agreement with Avista, then we'll buy the power generated. If you take part in the net metering program, we don't pay for the generation, but we do allow it to offset your monthly usage.
What equipment do I need?
Typically, installing solar panels on your rooftop requires:
- DC-to-AC inverter
- Production meter
- Meter base
- Disconnect switch
- Other accessories depending on what type of renewable generation is being installed.
What is net metering?
A "net meter" measures the difference between the amount of electricity supplied by Avista and the amount of electricity generated by the customer over the course of a month. Learn more about net metering.
What is a production meter?
A production meter is a separate meter used to measure the amount of generation from the customer's system. Avista will install the production meter using the meter base provided by the customer.
How many solar panels do I need for my house?
It depends on several factors, like how much electricity you use, how much you want to generate, and the space available for the solar panels.
How do I determine my current power usage?
Log in to your account to find this information on your monthly energy bills. Get an estimate of sizing your system based on your usage.
What happens to my system when there's an outage?
Your generation system will not produce power in the event of an outage to your house or business. The inverter acts as a safety measure to prevent back feed to the Avista system until utility power is restored. IMPORTANT: A current is still present on the generator side of the inverter, so the system is still dangerous. If you require uninterrupted service, then you'll need an emergency generator.
What steps does Avista require to install a distributed generation system?
Involve us early. You can get a helpful step-by-step guide here.
Should I hire a contractor or install the system myself?
An experienced contractor can help you avoid frustration, delays, and extra expenses.
Does Avista sell and install solar generation systems?
No, Avista does not sell or install solar generation systems or equipment.
What permits are required?
Electrical and building permits. Check with your local building authority for assistance.