Oregon Commercial Incentives Explained
The cost of solar has come down by more than 50 percent in the last few years, making solar a better investment than ever before. Join over 1,000 Oregon companies have decided to cut their energy costs and gain the solar competitive edge.
Oregon commercial solar incentives, allow business owners to get back up to 80% of the upfront costs associated with a brand new solar energy system. By combining free, sustainable power with healthy tax credits business are choosing solar energy to realize short and long-term competitive benefits.
Click On The Tabs To Learn More About Earn Incentive
- Utility Solar Cash Incentive
- Solar Investment Tax Credit
- Accelerated Depreciation
- USDA Grant
- Net Metering
Utility Solar Cash Incentive
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 the cost of a brand new solar panel system. How much you will receive can vary a bit depending on which company services your home. Current incentive levels are below.
Current Cash Cash Incentives
Portland General Electric (PGE):
$0.20 – $0.50 per watt
(up to $40,000).
$0.25 – $0.45 per watt
(up to $35,000).
Please remember, Energy Trust solar incentive can decrease because each incentive level is only allocated a certain amount of funding. Once this “step funding” is used up, incentive rates DROP to a new level. As a result, be cautious about waiting too long before reaching out to us for an official quote. See the live PDF status update at the Energy Trust of Oregon’s website.
- 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 technicians.
Solar Investment Tax Credit
The solar investment tax credit will directly reduce or “credit” your federal 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 and can be used within 5 years from the date of installation. As with any tax benefit, we recommended working with your tax account to achieve the best possible result.
Example Using the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Cost of System:
Federal Tax Credit Gained
Combined with other Oregon commercial solar incentives paybacks are quick and the energy savings are long-lasting.
MACRS Accelerated Depreciation For Solar Panels
50% Bonus Depreciation Is Available, Too!
Depreciation is the loss of value that occurs over time with the item your business purchased for a specific use. As a business owner, you are eligible to deduct this “loss in value” from your taxable income when used for your business. 85% of total solar installation costs are eligible for depreciation. This can add a tremendous amount of financial value to your system. Our example tables below use a project cost of $100,000.
50% Bonus Depreciation Table
In the first year claiming the 50% Bonus Depreciation, the basis is reduced by half or 50% from $85,000 to $42,500 before applying the normal MACRS depreciation rate. In Year One, you will gain an addition $8,500 in depreciation ($42,500 x 20% = $8,500). After year one, you will continue to apply MACRS rates to the remaining half of the basis ($42,500 x 32% =$136,000 and so on…)
United States Department of Agriculture Grant
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides grant funding to agriculture producers and rural small businesses for solar electric systems. The popular Rural Energy for America Program solar grant, or better known as USDA REAP Grant cover 25% of the total cost of going solar with grants from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Agricultural producers and rural small businesses are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in grant money through their Rural Energy for America Power Program (REAP).
Who May Apply?
- Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations
- Businesses in eligible rural areas
- Agriculture producers may be in rural or non-rural areas
Keep in mind, that “small” is defined by the SBA depending on your NAICS code, and can appear quite “large.”
At Sunbridge, we in-house writing the grant to ensure you have the best possible opportunity to be awarded. We work diligently to secure business grant funding for many projects in a competitive system.
Net Energy Metering In Oregon
Net Energy Metering or NEM, is how utilities compensate the owner of the solar panels for generating clean, renewable energy to your neighbors and beyond. Utilities must keep a “running tab” on how much solar energy is generated and then remove that charge from the total consumption from the meter (see below for an example). Any extra electrical 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 current price of a unit of energy measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This means that any excess kilowatt-hours will be pushed to the electric grid creating an energy credit. In Oregon, energy credits are generated during the cool, long summers. When energy is needed (at night, cloudy weather) energy is drawn from the utility grid using up stored energy credits from the past.
Example of Net Energy Metering
You generate 10,000 kilowatt-hours of solar power.
You consume 6,050 kilowatt-hours of utility energy.
Therefore, you net 3,500 energy credits.