Oregon is known for beautiful mountains, rugged coastlines, and endless evergreen trees. But did you know Oregon is also in the top 20 states for solar energy capacity? Over 34,000 Oregon homeowners have already made the move to producing their own, clean energy with solar.
Although energy is considered relatively cheap in Oregon, the cost of electricity is steadily rising. Since 2003, residential electricity rates have increased 38% . This escalation in price indicates that an investment in solar could be the way to go for Oregonians looking for long-term savings. To encourage residents to make the move to solar, Oregon is offering a substantial rebate on all new installations. However, this program is set to expire on December 31, 2017, so homeowners interested in saving should move quickly.
There are many incentives available to Oregonians that help to reduce the upfront cost of installing a home solar system:
Federal Solar Tax Credit: For homeowners who purchase their solar system outright, the federal government provides a tax rebate for 30% of the cost of installation. This rebate will be decreasing in percentage in 2020 and phased out completely by 2022.
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion: Another nationwide incentive, this program exempts 100% of all subsidies received on your solar installation from being taxed.
Oregon’s Residential Energy Tax Credit: Oregon offers a rebate of $1.30/watt of installed solar panels, up to $6,000. This program is set to expire at the end of 2017.
Oregon’s Solar Electric Tax Program: Available to all PGE and Pacific Power customers who install a new solar system, this program provides a rebate of $0.35/watt up to $2,450 (Pacific Power) or $2,800 (PGE).
Net metering: Oregon has a net metering law that allows residents with solar to sell unused energy back to the grid for credits on future bills. This means that any excess energy you produce in the sunny Pacific Northwest summer can be credited to energy bills in the cloudier winter months.
The price of installing solar in Oregon has been dropping substantially- down about 60% since 2012. Before any incentives or rebates, the average cost of a new solar system is anywhere from $16,000 – $20,000. While this is still a large sum, with the incredible rebate programs offered in Oregon you could be paying as little as $3,100 – $5,200. If you opt to take advantage of a lease or loan program offered by many solar companies, you won’t be paying nearly as much for an initial investment.
Solar prices are expected to keep dropping as the industry continues to grow in Oregon. However, keep in mind that many of these great incentive programs have quickly approaching deadlines, some as early as December 2017.
The foliage isn’t the only thing that’s green about the Beaver State. Known for valuing environmental stewardship, Oregon has been on the forefront of the solar movement for many years. In fact, Oregon was the first state to install solar panels on its capitol building in 2002. As a state, Oregon mandated that 50% of its energy come from renewables by 2040. A clean renewable resource, solar helps improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. And in a state home to the Columbia River Valley, the Oregon Coast, and Crater Lake, it’s easy to see that there are so many natural areas worth protecting.
Ultimately, going solar is a big decision that requires some thoughtful consideration on the part of homeowners. However, the many incentive programs available to Oregonians often result in low initial investments and huge long-term savings. Rising energy costs mean that you will be saving big on monthly bills, and statewide rebates make the move an easy choice for many families. If you’re interested in taking the first steps to producing your own clean energy at home, check out our solar calculator. We make it easy to find price estimates and reliable installers in your area. From lush Portland to sunny Bend, join the thousands of homeowners in Oregon who have already made the switch to solar.