Soon, you will have one more reason to be thankful for a sunny day
Installing solar on your home is easier than you might think. Residential solar systems are usually installed on your roof and the energy that you produce will help to lower the amount of energy you have to buy from your utility.
How much of your utility bill will be covered by solar will depend on a few factors: how much energy you currently use and how much roof space you have. The same size system might cover 25% of your energy use, and 50% of your neighbors’. With that in mind, as you are considering solar, it’s beneficial to also consider how else you can save energy. The less energy you use, the more you will be able to cover with solar (pro tip: get free LEDs installed before you go solar!).
Let’s talk about the money
When you install solar on your home, your net meter is what allows your utility provider to keep track of the energy flowing to and from the electric grid. Net metering is what allows you to be billed for the excess energy from your solar system that you supply to the grid as well as the energy that you consume beyond what your solar installation is producing.
If you are a Pacific Power customer, you may qualify for an Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentive of $0.55 per watt, up to a maximum of $4,400 which is immediately taken off of the total cost of your system. That means less cash that you must come up with to install your solar system.
Incentive offers are subject to funding availability and may change at any time. Check with your contractor.
A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of income taxes you owe on either your federal or state income taxes. You must pay taxes in order to claim the credits.
Consult your tax professional to learn how tax credits and rules may apply to you. This information does not constitute tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties.
Federal Tax Credit
As a homeowner, you can file to receive a credit of 30% of your out-of-pocket cost on your federal taxes for the year that you installed your system, if it is installed before December 31st, 2019. If you use the Energy Trust of Oregon incentive, the 30% tax credit will be applied to your out-of-pocket cost after the incentive is applied (30% of the total project cost less the Energy Trust incentive). View the federal tax credit application and requirements.
State Tax Credit
If you signed a contract by December 31st, 2017, you are eligible for the Residential Energy Tax Credit. To qualify for the RETC, your system must operational by April 1, 2018, and applications must be received by ODOE no later than June 1, 2018.
Your contractor should submit your application to the Oregon Department of Energy on your behalf. Should you have any questions, we recommend you follow up directly with your solar contractor. You can view the state tax credit application and requirements.
First things first, before you get too far along, have a chat with a solar contractor to see if your home is even a good fit for solar. By signing up for a solar assessment, we’ll put you in touch with a qualified local professional to get you started. Your contractor will:
- Assess the solar potential of your home and determine if your home is a good fit for solar power
- Help you determine which incentives and tax credits you qualify for
- Provide you with a bid with estimated annual energy production and utility bill savings
- Help you apply for tax credits and incentives
- Provide you with maintenance and warranty details
- If you decide to go solar, acquire all permits, install your solar electric system, and coordinate all inspections
As you start contact contractors, consider getting at least two bids. Local contractors offer a mix of different solar packages and options. A comparison bid can help ensure that your system is the best fit for your home and family. A list of our current local partner contractors is below.
Learn more about choosing a solar contractor from Energy Trust of Oregon.
Meet our solar contractor partners
Elemental Energy is a solar PV design and installation firm. The owners and staff received tailored renewable energy engineering education as well as NABCEP certifications (the gold standard for solar training), allowing us to offer unparalleled expertise. Elemental Energy specializes in creative, high-quality solutions to home and business energy needs including roof or ground-mounted arrays, battery-ready or backup systems, off-grid, mobile, awnings and shade structures. Locally owned and operated here in Oregon, we pride ourselves on providing honest information empowering our clients to make informed decisions. With a passion and enthusiasm for a global clean energy future, and a humanitarian outlook reflected in our work with Twende Solar, Elemental Energy’s commitment to creating a healthier environment echoes in every consult and install we do.
Neil Kelly Company is an Oregon-based, family-owned, design-build firm specializing in residential remodeling, LEED-certified custom homes, energy retrofits, and solar energy systems. For nearly 70 years, we’ve been building a reputation for award-winning design, outstanding craftsmanship, environmental sustainability, and consistently satisfied clients. As a Certified B Corp, we strive continuously to make meaningful contributions to the people and communities we serve, and the environment we all share.
Sunlight Solar Energy is a sales, design, and installation company dedicated to educating and empowering our customers to make intelligent buying decisions. Our team not only helps you decide if your site is a good fit for solar but helps you choose what is the best fit for your building. When our customers go solar, they feel confident in their decision and are as excited about the project as we are. Sunlight Solar is one of the oldest grid-tied solar contractors in the state, providing quality service since 1997.
E2 installs clean, renewable energy that makes our lives possible. Custom-designed solar electric systems are a reliable and affordable energy solution for any home or business. Located in Bend, Oregon and proudly serving our rural communities, they understand that the choices you make matter – for a simpler, cleaner way of life now, and for a legacy of better, smarter, energy solutions for generations to come.
For more information, contact: