Solar Panels for Homes in Oregon and Washington

Navigate residential solar in SW Washington & Oregon: panel types, benefits, incentives, and installation insights.

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    Scappoose or solar panel installation using the federal solar tax credit

    Home Solar Panels

    Embracing solar energy in SW Washington and Oregon is an effective way to minimize environmental impact, achieve significant savings on energy expenses, and gain energy autonomy. The solar panels, mounted on your rooftop, harvest sunlight and transform it into electricity for immediate household use or to charge batteries for later use. It’s akin to having a reserve power supply, right at your home!

    In this article, we’ll discuss:

    • How it works and what benefits it provides
    • The solar installation process
    • Financial incentives available
    • Why the Pacific Northwest is actually an ideal location

    Benefits of Residential Solar Installation

    When you install a residential solar system, you can expect to see some major benefits.

    First of all, your monthly energy costs will decrease dramatically. This is because the amount of money that you save on electricity bills will be greater than what it costs to purchase and maintain your solar panels over time. You can save even more if they’re installed in conjunction with other energy-efficient upgrades like insulation or LED lighting!

    Solar panels are seen as upgrades and homebuyers are willing to pay a premium of about $15000 for a home average-sized solar array, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Homes with solar panels also sell faster than those without. A Zillow study found that solar installations increase a home’s resale value by up to $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed, and another study estimated an increase of 4%. Hence, solar panels not only increase home value.

    Finally, by using renewable resources instead of fossil fuels like coal or natural gas (which release harmful greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere), homeowners are helping protect our planet from climate change while also reducing their carbon footprint.

    Types of Solar Panels

    There are two main types of solar panels:

    Monocrystalline – These are made from a single crystal, which means they can be more efficient than other types. They’re also more expensive and tend to break more easily.

    Polycrystalline – These are made up of many smaller crystals, which makes them cheaper than monocrystalline but less efficient. They can last longer than monocrystalline but not as long as thin films (see below).

    Battery Backup Systems in Oregon and Washington

    Given the risk of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest, a home battery backup system in Oregon or Washington can provide critical peace of mind. In the event of an earthquake, which can strike without warning, a solar + battery system can provide continued electricity supply when grid power is unavailable. 

    Beyond disaster preparedness, these systems offer daily benefits too, like storing excess solar power for use during non-sun hours, reducing reliance on the grid, and potentially lowering your electricity bills. Incorporating battery storage in your solar solution is an excellent way to maximize your energy independence while enhancing household resilience.

    Solar Installation Process

    The solar installation process is a multi-step process that involves:

    • Site assessment, which determines the best locations for your panels and takes into consideration factors such as sunlight and shade.
    • System design, which helps determine how many panels will be needed to meet your energy needs.
    • Installation, during which your system will be installed by a professional solar company like Sunbridge Solar.
    • Inspections, before turning your system on, the utility and city inspectors must first approve it meets the required code.
    • Monitoring and maintenance, so you can ensure that everything is working properly throughout the life of your system

    Financial Incentives

    Both Oregon and Washington state offer incentives to residents who want to install solar panels on their homes. These incentives are designed to make solar energy more affordable and accessible, and they vary depending on the state and utility company. 

    • Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) Incentives: Offers cash rebates to homeowners within PGE or PP service areas. The system must be new, UL-listed, and installed by an approved Energy Trust solar trade ally contractor. Rebate rates are $500 per project for PGE and $600 per project for PP.
    • Solar Within Reach Program: Offers incentives for low-income families to install solar panels. Income qualifications apply, and the incentive ranges from $1.00/watt to $1.40/watt, with a maximum incentive of $6,000 to $8,400 per home.
    • ODOE Rebate for Solar and Battery Backup Systems: Offers a rebate of up to 60% of the net cost of installing a solar system or a solar plus battery system, with a cap of $5,000 to $7,500. Eligibility and rebate calculation vary based on income and utility incentive eligibility.
    • Federal Solar Incentives: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extends the 30% federal tax credit until 2032. The credit then decreases over time and expires in 2035.
    • No Sales Tax on Solar Panels in Washington State: Residents of Washington State enjoy the benefit of not having to pay any sales tax on their solar panel installations. This significant saving can greatly reduce the upfront cost of going solar and make the transition more affordable.
    • Net Energy Metering (NEM): Allows the sale of excess solar energy back to the grid in exchange for utility credits. Oregon’s NEM policy is particularly favorable compared to many other states.

    By taking advantage of these incentives, homeowners can save money on the cost of solar panel installation and enjoy the benefits of renewable energy. Check out our state-specific incentive pages to learn more:

    What to Look for in a Pacific Northwest Solar Company

    When you’re looking for a solar installation company, there are a few things to consider.

    First and foremost, you want to ensure the company has experience installing solar panels. If they don’t have much experience or if their work is subpar, it could end up costing you more money in the long run.

    Secondly, look at customer reviews online and see what people say about them specifically. If there are a lot of negative reviews out there from unhappy customers who have had problems with their installations or service calls after installation (or both), then this may not be the best company for you either!

    Thirdly, find out what kind of warranty/guarantee they offer on their work before signing anything! This way if something goes wrong later down the line due to poor-quality materials used during installation or poor craftsmanship by the workers themselves then hopefully these guys will take care of everything without any hassle at all. 

    If you are in Oregon, your installer will need to be a certified Trade Ally with the Energy Trust of Oregon.

    Common Misconceptions about Solar

    There is a lot to be said about solar energy. We’re here to dispel the rumors and inform you what switching to solar actually entails.

    Cost of Solar Panels

    The cost of solar panels has come down significantly in recent years, but it’s still not cheap. The average homeowner can expect to pay between $15,000 and $25,000 for a typical installation.

    Solar System Reliability

    Advancements in solar technology have made it possible to generate energy even on cloudy days, making it easier for homeowners to harness the power of the sun and money on their energy bills, regardless of their location in the Pacific Northwest.

    The eastern side of the Cascade Mountains receives significantly more sun, allowing residents in cities like Bend and Yakima to benefit from solar energy just as much as those in more traditionally sunny regions, such as Arizona.

    Does Rain Help or Hurt?

    Furthermore, the rain actually helps with keeping your solar panels more efficient because when it rains it removes dirt and debris. So more rainy areas, like Portland, Vancouver, and Salem will fair just as well as dustier eastern Oregon when it comes to power generation (a bit more so in the east still).

    Maintenance Requirements

    Solar panels require very little maintenance once they’re installed; however, regular inspections should be scheduled with an electrician every few years in order to catch any potential problems before they become serious issues that could damage your home’s electrical system. This is why it’s very important to hire a highly qualified installer with knowledge of building and electrical requirements in the PNW.

    The Bottom Line

    The benefits of residential solar are obvious. It’s a smart, cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your utility bills. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are some things you should consider:

    • Costs: How much will it cost me?
    • Installation process: What will happen during installation?
    • Financial incentives: Are there any financial incentives available in my area?
    • Solar company selection: Who should I choose as my installer–and why? (Sunbridge Solar Reviews)

    Tips for Maximizing Your Return on Investment

    The first step to maximizing your return on investment is choosing the right system size. If you’re considering a residential solar installation, it’s important to make sure that your system will meet as much of your energy needs as possible. You may be able to get by with fewer panels than you think–if so, this will save money on installation costs and decrease the amount of time it takes for your investment to pay off (which means more savings!). 

    As mentioned earlier, by using energy-efficient lightbulbs and improving your home insulation, you will see more savings and a quicker payback period.

    Another way to maximize ROI is by using an experienced installer who can help guide you through the process and ensure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish. An experienced installer will also know which panels are best suited for different climates and locations within the Pacific Northwest; this knowledge can help ensure that they select only those products that will perform optimally in the PNW’s climate conditions.

    Free Pacific NW Solar Calculator

    If you’re considering solar, you can use our free Oregon & Washington State Solar Calculators to estimate the potential savings and costs associated with your project in minutes!

    These calculators take into account a variety of factors, including your location, energy usage, and the size of the solar array you’re considering. By inputting this information, you can get an accurate estimate of how much you can expect to save on your energy bill over time, as well as the costs associated with installation.


    Switching to solar to power your home in the Pacific Northwest is a great way to save money on your electricity bills while helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels are an investment that will pay for themselves over time, and they last for decades!

    If you are interested in exploring the benefits of solar energy for your home or business in the Pacific Northwest, we encourage you to contact us for a free on-site inspection and quote. Our team of experts will assess your property and provide you with a customized solar solution that meets your unique needs and budget. You may also call us at 360-843-2592.

    Solar for Your Home

    Make Your Roof Work For You

    Homeowners in the Pacific Northwest are taking advantage of these systems enjoy the financial freedom from rising electricity prices and the comfort and pride of bettering the planet. 

    Check out our Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Battery Backup to learn more.

    Check Out the Latest Solar Incentives

    Why Choose Sunbridge Solar

    Affordable Prices

    We are affordable because we're good at what we do. We're fast, efficient, and accurate.

    Confirmed Quality

    Independently-verified by the Energy Trust of Oregon and through user testimonials.

    Fast Turnaround

    2-3 day installation time.

    25-year Warranties

    Best warranties around.


    Why Go Solar?

    The great thing is, there isn’t just one single benefit of solar. 














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