What Does the New Oregon Solar Program do?
In 2019, HB 2618 was passed, which created this new ODOE solar rebate program through the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE). This rebate program allows residential solar energy customers as well as low-income service providers in Oregon to receive rebates for solar energy systems, whether they are stand-alone systems or paired with a solar energy storage system.
How Much Was Allocated?
This rebate program has $2 million allocated yearly by the ODOE for program administration as well as the rebates themselves. This money is divided into a few categories, with at least 25% of the funding per the calendar year required to go towards rebates for low-income or moderate-income residential solar energy customers and low-income service providers. Additionally, no more than 50% of the annual rebate dollars can go to non-residential solar energy customers.
How Much Can an Individual Get?
Depending on your income bracket and the type of solar energy project, the amount of the rebate varies. For a residential customer that does not qualify as low-income or moderate-income, the rebate may cover up to 40% of the net cost of the solar energy system. For a residential customer that is low-income or moderate-income, the rebate can cover up to 60% of the net cost of the system. Low-income service providers can receive rebates of up to 50% of the net cost.
There are dollar-amount maximums for the rebates as well. For all residential projects regardless of income level, the maximum rebate is $5,000 for a stand-alone solar energy system and $2,500 for a solar energy storage system. If you choose to install both solar energy as well as a storage system as part of the same project, you are eligible to receive these amounts in combination, for a total of $7,500 for the entire project.
For low-income service providers, the maximum rebate amount for solar energy systems is $30,000 and the maximum for a solar energy storage system is $15,000. Again, these can be combined for a maximum of $45,000 if all components are purchased together.
In order to be eligible for the rebate, the solar energy system, as well as the storage system, must be installed on real property within the state of Oregon, and it must be done by an ODOE-approved contractor. All solar energy systems must meet Total Solar Resource Refraction requirements as well as other technical criteria that will be calculated by your contractor.
To qualify for low-income or moderate-income rebate rates, the owner of the property upon which the solar energy system will be installed must qualify for at least one limited-income program offered by Oregon state public agencies or nonprofit organizations. ODOE will supply more information about eligibility and income verification when they receive your application.
Low-income service providers include people and entities such as developers or owners of affordable multifamily housing units, community service organizations, or tribal or local government organizations that use public buildings to provide health or emergency services to low-income individuals.
How Do I Receive A Rebate?
Rebates are received via the ODOE-approved contractor who purchases and installs your solar energy system and/or storage system. Contractors will submit applications on your behalf and then, if selected, receive the rebate, which will lead to savings for you as the customer on the net cost of the system and installation.