Solar Incentives & Rebates for Homeowners
Current Oregon solar incentives allow homeowners to lower the upfront cost associated with a brand new solar energy system. By combining free, renewable energy with lucrative state and federal solar tax credits you can see why thousands of Oregonians from across the state are choosing solar to realize short and long-term competitive benefits.
Energy Trust of Oregon Solar Incentives 2019
If you are a Portland General Electric (PGE) or Pacific Power customer, you will receive a cash rebate from the Energy Trust of Oregon. This rebate goes to the solar installer and drops your cost of going solar. How much you will receive can vary a bit depending on your home or business. Current incentive levels are below.
Residential - PGE
$400 per Kilowatt
up to $3,200
Residential - pacificpower
$400 per Kilowatt
Up to $3,200
how to calculate
The ETO incentive is calculated based on how much solar power is installed. The larger the system, the larger the cash-incentive. If you purchase a 5 kilowatt system, the Energy Trust of Oregon they will give you $2,000 towards the installing solar panels for your home. The homeowner will not get the cash-incentive themselves, instead it will be paid to the installer directly. Here is how it works.
Calculation: (5 kilowatts) x ($400) = $2,000 cash-incentive.
The solar installer must be a certified Solar Trade Ally by the Energy Trust of Oregon.
All solar equipment must be new and UL listed.
Verification from Energy Trust tax inspectors.
Federal Investment Solar Tax Credit
The Federal Solar Tax Credit will directly credit your federal business taxes, wiping out any tax liability that you have on a dollar-to-dollar basis. This incentive is a credit to your tax return worth 30% of the total cost of your solar electric system. The credits can be used within 5 years from the date of installation.
Example Using The Federal Solar Tax Credit
The tax credit is calculated from a percentage. For ever dollar you spend, the government will give you $0.30 or 30% back in tax credits dropping your total federal tax liability. There is no limit on how much you can get back unlike the Energy Trust incentive. What this means is the government is incentivizing you to install clean renewable energy by dropping the price by 30% and putting no ceiling on how much you wish to invest. The exact rules apply for commercial customers.
Calculation: ($10,000) x (0.30) = $3,000 federal tax credits
Solar Net Energy Metering
Net Energy Metering is how your utility compensates homeowners with solar panels for providing clean, renewable energy to your neighbors. Your utility must keep a “running tab” on how much solar energy you generate and then subtracts what you gained from your bills reducing your monthly electric bills. Any extra energy credits that you save up must be carried forward to the next month’s bill for a full year.
Each credit is worth equal the market rate which is the price you pay for electricity. This means that you can bank up energy credits for solar power that you create in the summer, then use it in the winter when the sun isn’t shining so much.
Example of Net Energy Metering
When you generate 1,000 kilowatt-hours of solar power while only consuming 650 kilowatt-hours you will net 350 bankable solar credits. This always happens when you are producing more than your home is using at the time. When you are generating less energy than you need the credits are automatically applied when the utility grid energy flows into your home, such as at night.