Figuring Out the Oregon Solar Incentives for 2024
Oregon, known for its stunning natural landscapes from Crater Lake National Park to the Cascade Mountains, is also paving the way for renewable energy with attractive solar incentives. If you’re considering going solar in the Beaver State, understanding these incentives can significantly reduce your initial investment and ongoing costs. Let’s dive into the details of Oregon solar incentives for 2024.
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Before delving into Oregon incentives and rebates, it’s important to note the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This substantial federal incentive allows Oregon homeowners to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. Available until 2032, this credit can mean an average saving of $9,348 for Oregonians.
Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program
This program, provided by the Oregon Department of Energy, offers rebates for solar electric systems and paired solar and storage systems. Residential customers and low-income service providers can receive up to $5,000 for a solar electric system and up to $2,500 for an energy storage system. This unique Oregon solar rebate is paid to your solar contractor and directly reduces the total project cost.
Solar Within Reach
Administered by the Energy Trust of Oregon to assist low-income residents, the Solar Within Reach program offers cash Oregon solar incentives to reduce the cost of installed solar systems. Depending on your utility provider, you can receive $0.90 per watt (up to $5,400) for PGE customers and $1.00 per watt (up to $6,000) for Pacific Power customers.
Net metering in Oregon is a game-changer for solar panel owners. It allows you to use excess solar energy generated by your panels as a credit on your next power bill. In Oregon, all power companies provide net metering, crediting you for excess electricity at the retail rate, which can significantly offset future energy bills.
Local and Municipal Utility Rebates
Oregon also offers a variety of local solar rebates, depending on your location:
- In Eugene, the Eugene Water and Electric Board offers a rebate of $0.40/W, with a maximum amount of $2,500.
- Salem Electric provides a rebate equal to $300 per kW installed, up to $1,500 or 50% of project costs.
Solar Electric Incentive Program
Specific to PGE or Pacific Power customers, this program offers an upfront cash rebate of $1,200 for PGE customers and $900 for Pacific Power customers. This can significantly reduce the initial cost of your solar installation.
Oregon Solar Sales Tax Exemption
Oregon’s lack of sales tax extends to solar energy systems, giving an extra financial edge to Oregon residents installing solar panels. You won’t have to worry about additional sales tax on your solar system , unlike our neighbors in Washington State. They will have to pay 8% to 10% more to install solar (ouch).
Increased Property Value
When you install solar panels, your property value increases, which could typically lead to higher property taxes. However, Oregon’s property tax incentive prevents your taxes from rising as a result of your solar investment. This could result in thousands of dollars in savings over the life of your solar panels.
Oregon Solar Property Tax Exemption
This exemption by the state of Oregon (150-307-0210) ensures that your property taxes will not increase due to the added value from your solar panel installation. For example, if your home was valued at $450,000 before and $475,000 after installation, your property taxes will be calculated on the original $450,000 value.
What is Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF)?
The Total Solar Resource Fraction (TSRF) is a crucial concept in the realm of solar energy. It measures the amount of sunlight a specific area receives annually, factoring in elements like shading and the Tilt and Orientation Factor (TOF). TSRF is essentially a ratio that compares the available sunlight exposure (insolation) against the maximum potential insolation at an optimal tilt and orientation, without any shading interference.
In simpler terms, TSRF assesses how much of the sun’s energy a particular site can realistically capture for solar power. A site with a 100% TSRF is ideal, receiving unobstructed sunlight throughout the year. However, such perfect scenarios are rare due to common obstructions like trees and buildings.
Why is TSRF Important for Oregon Solar Incentives?
- Incentive Eligibility: To qualify for various Oregon solar incentives, a certain TSRF threshold must be met. For example, in Oregon, a physical, on-site assessment requires a TSRF of 75% or higher, while a remote assessment demands a TSRF of 80% or above to qualify for solar incentives.
- Optimizing Solar Power Systems: Understanding the TSRF of a location is vital for designing a system that maximizes solar energy capture. This ensures efficient energy production and a better return on investment.
- Customized Solutions: TSRF measurements enable the tailoring of solar power systems to the unique characteristics of each site, ensuring optimal performance.
Is Solar Worth it in Oregon?
This is the most asked question about solar in Oregon. Solar panels are generally a worthwhile investment in Oregon. The long-term financial benefits, combined with environmental sustainability and the potential for increased property value, make solar panels an appealing option for homeowners. While there are considerations like climate variability and upfront costs, the available incentives and advancements in solar technology significantly enhance the value proposition of going solar in Oregon. Transitioning to solar power not only reduces your carbon footprint but also contributes to a more sustainable energy future while offering economic rewards.
The available Oregon solar incentives for 2024 make it an opportune time to consider solar energy for your home. With a combination of federal, state, and local incentives, the financial barriers to solar installation are significantly lowered. Not only does going solar reduce your carbon footprint, but it also offers substantial savings on energy costs in the long run. If you’re ready to make the switch to renewable energy, Oregon solar incentives provide a compelling reason to do so now.
FAQ: Oregon Solar Incentives
1. Do I have to be a homeowner to install solar in Oregon?
Yes, to install solar panels in Oregon, you typically need to be a homeowner. Most Oregon solar incentive programs, including the Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program and federal tax credits, are designed for property owners. Being a homeowner allows you to modify the property and take full advantage of the financial benefits associated with solar installations.
2. How does the Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program specifically benefit homeowners?
The Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program offers substantial financial assistance to homeowners looking to install solar electric systems and energy storage units. The program provides up to $5,000 in rebates for solar electric systems and up to $2,500 for paired solar and storage systems. These two Oregon solar rebates are directly issued to approved contractors, who then deduct the amount from the overall installation cost, thereby reducing the upfront expense for homeowners.
3. What are the specific benefits of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit for Oregon residents?
Oregon homeowners can significantly reduce the cost of their solar installations through the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This solar tax credit allows homeowners to claim 30% of the total cost of their solar installation as a credit on their federal income taxes. For example, if the total cost of a solar system is $20,000, the homeowner can claim a $6,000 credit on their federal tax return, effectively reducing the system’s net cost.
4. Can you elaborate on the Solar Within Reach program’s incentives for low-income residents in Oregon?
The Solar Within Reach program is designed to make solar energy more accessible to low-income households in Oregon. It provides enhanced cash Oregon solar incentives to reduce the installation cost of solar systems for eligible customers. Specifically, the program offers $0.90 per watt up to a maximum of $5,400 for Portland General Electric customers and $1.00 per watt up to $6,000 for Pacific Power customers. These incentives are directly applied to reduce the cost of the solar system installation, making solar more affordable for low-income residents.
5. Can solar panels in Oregon store power for use during outages?
Yes, homeowners in Oregon can add smart battery storage to their solar systems. These systems store solar power in batteries to be used during power outages, providing backup power for essentials like lights, refrigerators, and critical medical equipment