Oregon solar panels: The complete guide in 2024

Data updated Jun 11, 2024

Written by: Emily Walker

Interested in going solar? You'll need to install a 11.48 kW solar panel system to cover the average electric bill in Oregon, which will cost you about $22,355 after the federal tax credit.

Cost for an average system in Oregon


Out of pocket cost, cash
$31,935
Federal tax credit (30%)
- $9,581
Price post tax credit
$22,355

20-year savings $29,161
Payback period 10 Years
Electricity offset 91%
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As long as your federal tax bill is high enough, you can take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

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Going solar in Oregon

Oregon has fairly low electricity prices, so it's not an obvious fit for solar. But its commitment to renewable energy has translated to some solid solar incentivesespecially if you're considered a low- or moderate-income household. 

In Oregon, you'll have access to net metering, rebates for solar + battery systems, and, depending on where you live, some pretty lofty local incentives. These incentives help make solar worth it for many Oregonians. 

Here's our guide to going solar in the Beaver State.

Cost

How much do solar panels cost in Oregon?

Solar panels will save you a lot of money over time, but the upfront costs aren't cheap. The average Oregon homeowner needs a 11.48 kW solar panel system to cover their electricity needs, which comes out to $31,935 before incentives. Prices range from $27,145 to $36,725, but after the federal tax credit, that drops by 30%. 

After the federal tax credit, that drops by 30%, and Oregon has some local incentives as well, including the Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program and the Solar Within Reach program. That's why over 14,000 Oregon homeowners have used EnergySage to receive and compare quotes for solar installations. You can expect to earn back your initial solar investment through electricity savings in about 9.78 years, while most systems last at least 25 years. You'll often see this number referenced as your solar payback period.

There are a few ways to finance your solar panel system so you don't have to provide all that money upfront. 

  • Cash purchase: You'll own the system and pay for it upfront. This provides the best long-term savings. 

  • Solar loan: Allows you to retain ownership of your system, while owing little to no money upfront. Solar loans aren't all created equal: If you have access to subsidized clean energy loans through local incentive programs, that's usually your best bet. A home equity loan or a personal loan are often your next best options – private solar loans typically come with higher interest rates or upfront fees.

  • Solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA): A third-party company owns your system and either leases you the solar panels (solar lease) or allows you to purchase the electricity they generate (PPA). These generally provide the lowest savings and generate the most negative press about solar. If you choose this financing option, read the fine print: You can get trapped in them for longer than you'd like.

Solar panels on a house

Incentives

What are the best solar rebates and incentives in Oregon?

Incentives help bring solar's price tag down considerably in Oregon. Here are the major ones to know about:

Incentive
Average savings in Oregon
Description

Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit, formerly the federal investment tax credit (ITC)

$9,581

Lowers your solar panel system's cost by 30%

Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program

Up to $5,000 for solar

If you install a battery with your solar panels, it lowers your solar panel cost by up to $5,000 and your battery cost by up to $2,500

Solar Within Reach

Up to $6,000 for solar

If you're income-eligible, it lowers your solar panel cost by up to $6,000 and your battery cost by up to $10,000

Local rebates

Up to $2,500 for solar

Depending on your utility company and where you live, additional rebates may lower your system's cost

Is net metering available in Oregon?

In some states, you'll earn bill credits from your utility company when your solar panel system generates excess electricity and sends it to the grid. This incentive is known as net metering—basically a solar buyback program—and makes it so you will owe very little, or even nothing, on your electric bills with solar panels. 

As long as your system is under 25 kW, you can benefit from net metering in Oregon, though Idaho Power is trying to stop offering it. Check out the details on net metering in Oregon or see the specific programs below:

A house with rooftop solar panels connected to the grid

Equipment

Equipment quality

Each year, solar panels get more and more efficient—that is, they produce more power per square foot. As of 2024, the most popular solar panels can produce about 400 watts of electricity when they’re in full sunlight. If you want to make the most of your roof’s solar potential, get panels with at least that much power output.  

You should also make sure to select a solar inverter setup that makes sense for your roof’s layout. 

And if you want or need a solar battery, be sure to pick one that can integrate cleanly with that inverter. 

Premium equipment can come with a high price tag, but it will often save you more money in the long run. The best equipment tends to have the best warranty terms, often guaranteed to 25 years (sometimes even 40!), so you’re covered in case you need repairs or replacements. The highest-quality panels also degrade more slowly, so they’ll maintain more of their power output further into the future. 

See our list of the best solar panels

Companies

Who are the best solar installers in Oregon?

We pre-screen all of the solar companies on EnergySage to ensure they'll provide you with a high-quality installation. We then rate them based on their results, reputation, and responsiveness. Here are the highest-rated EnergySage installers in Oregon:

resources

Top solar resources for Oregon

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