Pacific Power Solar Program in Oregon
The Energy Trust of Oregon offers a cash-incentive program to customers of Pacific Power who install new solar installations on homes, commercial buildings, farms, non-profits, or government buildings. This rebate can be majorly helpful in lowering the upfront cost of a solar energy system installation, and at Sunbridge Solar, our goal is to help everyone realize their solar dreams, regardless of your budget.
In order to qualify, your building must fall into one of the following sectors: commercial, industrial, local/state/federal government, non-profit, residential (including multifamily and low-income), school, agricultural, or institutional.
The system that you install must be new, UL-listed, in compliance with all applicable standards and laws, and have a two-year minimum warranty on the parts and labor, a five-year minimum warranty on inverters, and a twenty-year minimum warranty on solar panels.
Additionally, the installation must meet all local, state, and federal codes and meet site criteria regarding total solar resource fractions. The system also must be grid-tied, net-metered (for residential installations), and installed by an approved Energy Trust solar trade ally contractor – such as our expert contractors at Sunbridge Solar. Systems up to 1,000 kW are eligible for this incentive.
Maximum Amount for Residential Customers
The Pacific Power Solar Incentive program offers a $0.45 per watt residential rebate with a cap of $3,600 per home. The system must meet all applicable codes and additional site criteria such as total solar resource fractions, be grid-tied, and be installed by an approved Energy Trust solar trade ally contractor (such as our contractors here at Sunbridge Solar). Residential solar energy systems
Maximum Amount for Business Customers
For non-residential customers, the incentive rate varies between $0.25 per watt and $0.45 per watt, with a maximum rebate amount of $25,000.
The commercial incentives are allocated in steps, with the per-watt amount changing as each previous step’s allocation of funds is used up. The amount does not decrease in a linear fashion, but you can estimate the amount that you will receive by checking the Energy Trust of Oregon’s benefits calculator tool.
Solar Net Energy
Normal electricity meters just measure the amount of electricity in kWh that you buy from the utility company, but net metering uses a special two-way energy meter to find the difference between the amount of grid energy that you consume from the utility company and the amount of excess electricity your solar panels produce that flows into the grid.
Get Paid for Producing Too Much
When you generate more power than you require at that moment, the utility will buy back your power at the market rate (the same rate you pay) earning you a credit. When you require more electricity than what you can generate (e.g., nighttime, etc) you will automatically cash in that credit to cover what you need.
The main benefit of net metering is that you do not have to use your solar power as it’s generated, which is often impractical if you work during the day and are not home to take advantage of peak solar generation hours.
Instead, you can essentially store the energy that your solar panels produce on the grid, which helps reduce or even completely offset the cost of the electricity that you would otherwise have to buy entirely from the grid.
Oregon is one of the best states in the nation, with several more solar incentives beyond the Pacific Power rebate program. If applicable, multiple incentives can be applied to the same solar energy system project
The Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar is a national program that allows home or business owners who install new solar energy systems to deduct 26% of the total cost of the system from their federal tax liability. If the credit amount is more than your federal tax liability for the year, you can roll the remaining credit over to subsequent years.
This incentive won’t be around for long though – in 2022 the credit amount will drop to 22% and in 2022 and beyond there will be no incentive available to homeowners and only a 10% credit for business owners.
2024 & Onwards
ODOE Battery Rebate
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) recently rolled out a new rebate program for standalone solar systems as well as solar plus battery backup systems for residential customers. This rebate will cover up to 60% of the net system cost, up to $5,000 for a standalone solar energy system, and up to $7,500 for a solar plus battery backup system.
In order to qualify, the solar energy system and battery backup system must be installed on real property within the state lines of Oregon and the site must have a minimum of 75% total solar resource fraction. Finally, all of the solar and battery equipment must be purchased and installed by the same ODOE-approved contractor – which we at Sunbridge Solar are!
The USDA offers the Rural Energy for America Program Grant (REAP Grant), which provides solar energy grants and guaranteed loan funding for small rural businesses and agricultural producers. This grant and loan money is specifically for installing renewable energy systems or making improvements to the overall energy efficiency of agricultural producers and rural businesses