Oregon is home to the beautiful Crater Lake National Park, the Cascade Mountains, and some incredible solar rebates and incentives. Homeowners in the Beaver State are going solar and saving money on their electricity bills, all while conserving their natural environment.
What are the best Oregon solar tax credits and rebates?
Oregon residents have access to significant state and utility rebates that reduce the cost of installing a home solar energy system. You can grow your 20-year solar savings when you take advantage of these solar incentives and rebates in Oregon:
Oregon residential energy tax credit
When you install solar panels on your home, you get a credit on your Oregon state taxes to help you recover your expenses. For solar panel systems, the credit is $1.70 per watt (W) of installed capacity, up to $6,000. That’s a pretty good complement to the federal solar tax credit, which reduces your costs by 30 percent.
Note that this tax credit will expire at the end of 2017, so now is the time to get started on your solar project.
Solar electric incentive rebate program
If you’re a customer of Portland General Electric (PGE) or Pacific Power, you’re eligible for Oregon’s solar electric incentive program, which pays you a rebate of anywhere from $0.60/W to $0.75/W (as long as you own your system and don’t lease it from a third party owner). For an average 6-kilowatt (kW) solar panel system, that could be an additional $4,500 in your pocket.
Other Oregon solar benefits to help you save
Local and municipal utility rebates
Even if you aren’t in PGE or Pacific Power’s service territory, there are plenty of local solar rebates available in Oregon that can help you offset the cost of going solar. These are just a few:
- The City of Ashland offers homeowners a cash rebate of $0.50/W when they go solar.
- In Eugene, the Eugene Water and Electric Board will pay $0.40/W to solar homeowners.
- If you’re a customer of Salem Electric, you can receive a $600 rebate for the first 3 kW installed and $300 for every additional kW.
Net metering in Oregon
Thanks to Oregon’s net metering policies, you’ll receive full credit on your utility electric bills for the extra electricity that your solar panels generate. When you make more power than you use, you can “bank” it with your utility and draw from it later when you need extra electricity to cover your usage.
Oregon loves the federal solar tax credit (ITC)
The value of solar incentives in Oregon is even greater when taking into account the recent extension of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar. In addition to the state-specific incentives mentioned above, you can cut the cost of your solar panel system by 30 percent. Remember, however, that the ITC applies only to those who buy their solar energy system outright with a cash purchase or a solar loan, and that you must have enough income for the tax credit to have an economic impact.