What Are They?
In most of the state of Oregon, solar cash-incentives for solar panel systems are provided by the Energy Trust of Oregon. They are also the state’s largest provider when it comes to incentives. Unfortunately, these incentives are not available to every Oregonian. Only homeowners and business owners that are customers to Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power are eligible.
How Is It Funded?
The reason why only customers of PGE and Pacific power are able to get these cash-incentives is that these utilities fund the Energy Trust via a charge meant for a public purpose that is imposed on the monthly electric bills of ratepayers.
The money happens to be disbursed only when there is qualified renewable energy. If you are a customer of PGE and Pacific Power, you will qualify to receive a cash-based incentive as soon as you have the solar panel system installed.
How It Works
These incentives are basically available to residential PGE, as well as, Pacific Power clients alone. The Energy Trust of Oregon solar incentive amount that you get is basically dependent on two factors which are –
- Your system’s size
- Your electric utility
The larger the system will get you a higher cash-incentive compared to a smaller one. And depending on which utility you are a customer to will depend on the maximum and per kilowatt amount. Below we have the current rates and some examples:
My Utility It Portland General Electric
If you are a customer to Portland General Electric (PGE), how much you will get in solar incentives back is the same as what a customer of Pacific Power will get. Most times they are different, but some times they are the same depending on how much solar has been installed in each utilities’ territory.
For every kilowatt of solar power installed you will get $300 up to $2400 in cash incentives. And just like the other utility, this incentive will decrease over time once more homes switch to solar.
My Utility Is Pacific Power
The maximum amount of cash-incentives you are able to get to switch to solar at Pacific Power is $350 for every kilowatt up to $2,800. To calculate this, you simply multiply the size of the system the solar company quoted you (4.6 kilowatts) and multiply it by $350.
For example, the 4.6-kilowatt system for your home will get back $1,610in cash-incentives through the Energy Trust of Oregon.
Over time, the Energy Trust will decrease this incentive when a certain amount of homeowners switch to solar power. It doesn’t happen quickly, but it does happen and without warning.
So while it might be beneficial to wait until prices to drop more, this certain Oregon solar incentive is now at the highest it will be and will only continue to decrease when more and more homes switch to clean, renewable solar energy.
How Do I Qualify?
The conditions, however, stipulate that you need to confirm, at least, a 75% solar window, called Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF), on the property in which the solar panels will be installed. Anything less will disqualify you despite being a customer of either PGE or Pacific Power.
Is There Any Way Around It?
Yes! If the only thing shading your home is a tree, you may opt-in to have the tree cut-down. Before any cutting, we can show you a report on what your roof will look like before and after the tree cutting.
This way, we help by informing you how much you have to trim the tree back or if it needs to be removed entirely.