What Was the Oregon Energy Tax Credit?
The Oregon Department of Energy Residential Energy Tax Credit, or simply called RETC for short, was a program that benefited nearly 600,000 Oregonians who received tax credits for purchasing and installing energy-efficient devices like ductless heat pumps, rooftop solar arrays, and electric vehicle chargers.
When Did RETC End?
The program started in 1977 and ended on December 31, 2017, although the final round of applications was accepted up until June 1, 2018. As of December 31, 2017 all eligible devices must have been purchased and applications for solar energy projects must have been inputted into the system. On April 1, 2018, all eligible devices had to have been installed and operational. By June 1, 2018, all final applications were due, including any tax credit pass-through applications.
What Replaced the Oregon Energy Tax Credit?
This particular program was actually not replaced. It was so successful in reducing the overall cost of solar installations in Oregon that it was not deemed necessary to implement another program along the same lines. Rather, other Oregon solar incentives offer assistance with the upfront costs of installing a solar energy system. The Energy Trust of Oregon still offers several solar incentives, including the following:
Portland General Electric and Pacific Power both offer cash rebates to their customers who choose to install solar energy systems. The incentive levels vary by company and according to whether you are a home or business.
The current incentive from Portland General Electric is 30 cents per watt up to $2,400 and for Pacific Power, it is 35 cents per watt, up to $2,800. Please be aware that this incentive decreases over time as more people install solar panels.
In order to qualify for this incentive, you must have the equipment installed by an Energy Trust of Oregon certified Solar Trade Ally*, all equipment must be purchased new and UL-listed, and the Energy Trust tax inspectors must verify your project.
Solar Within Reach is a program that helps make installing solar energy systems more affordable for income-qualified households. In order to qualify, your household income must fall below a certain amount based on the number of residents, and the home is a single-family home, a floating home, a manufactured home, a condo, or a multi-family residence. The maximum gross annual income levels are as follows:
- 1 resident: $54,240
- 2 residents: 62,040
- 3 residents: $69,720
- 4 residents: $77,520
- 5 residents: $83,760
- 6 residents: $89,880
- 7 residents: $96,120
- 8 residents: $102,360
Learn More: What is the New Solar Within Reach Program?
The new Oregon Department of Energy rebate for solar and batteries is designed to lower the cost barrier for stand-alone solar energy systems as well as solar energy systems that are supplemented with battery backup. The available rebates cover up to 60% of the net system cost, up to $5,000 for stand-alone solar energy systems, and up to $7,500 for solar plus storage systems.
Read More: ODOE Solar + Battery Backup Rebate