Oregon is quickly reaching the forefront as one of the most supportive states of solar energy. In recent years, Oregon has finalized some of the most forward thinking solar incentives in the United States. Here is a list of some of the most comprehensive rebates in the nation.
Energy Trust of Oregon: Solar Electric Buy-Down Program
In 2003, the Solar Electric Buy-Down Program became available for those who use of Pacific Power and PGE as their utility company who also install new photovoltaic systems on new or already existing buildings. The program offers a "per watt" incentive, according to system size, sector, and utility company.
Residential, commercial, government and non-profit buildings are all eligible to receive this credit, based on expected per watt output and specific per photovoltaic and solar water heating system. In order to be eligible, the solar system must align with several guidelines and warranty requirements.
Energy Trust of Oregon: Solar Water Heating Buy-Down Program
This program is available to Pacific Power and PGE customers that install solar water systems and/or pool heating systems in their home or commercial building. Incentives are comparable to the amount of energy savings from the solar water system.
Residential, industrial, commercial, non-profit, and government buildings are all eligible for this program as long as the solar heating system meets standard specific guidelines and warranty requirements. This program is often used in conjunction with the personal and business tax credit granted by the state of Oregon.
Utility-Sponsored Rebate Programs
Due to strong support from the state government, Oregon provides several utility-based rebate programs to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. For example, Ashland Electric Utility offers $2.25 per watt (up to $7,500) for PV and solar water heating systems. Central Electric Cooperative gives a solar water heater rebate of $375-$500, and up to $1,500 for photovoltaic systems. Consumers Power, Inc gives a solar energy rebate of $500 per kilowatt for a PV system, and $500 for a solar water heater, while Douglas Electric Cooperative gives residential sectors a $500 rebate for solar water heating systems. Here is a list of other utility sponsored rebates:
Emerald People's Utility District Solar Water Heater Rebate: $500 for solar water heating systems (residential Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB):
Bright Way to Heat Water Rebate
$500 for a solar water heater and up to $1,100 for solar pool heating
Solar Water Heater Rebate: $600 for a solar water heating system for residential sector
Salem Electric - Photovoltaic Rebate Program
$600/kW-AC (for first 3 kilowatts) for photovoltaic systems for both residential and commercial use.
Oregon Tax Incentives
Recently, Oregon increased its business tax credit from 35% to 50%, which makes it the largest tax incentive in the entire United States. Individual homeowners also get a tax inventive up to $6,000.
Business Energy Tax Credit
This tax credit is available for all PV, solar water heating systems, space heat, and wind energy and provides 50% of the project costs (distributed over five years). Renewable Energy Systems Exemption
Solar and other renewable energy home improvements are exempt from property tax, so your tax liability (for homeowners or businesses) will not increase.
Oregon Grants and Loans
Ashland Electric Utility
Bright Way to Heat Water Loan is available for solar water heating systems for residencies. This is a 0% interest loan.
Central Electric Cooperative
Solar Water Heater Loan provides 100% financing up to $5,000 and is available for solar water heaters for residencies. This loan has a prime-lending rate with a five-year lending agreement.
Emerald People's Utility District (EPUD)
Solar Water Heater Loan is available for solar water heaters for residencies. This loan provides 0% interest up to $7,500 with a five-year lending agreement.
Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB)
Bright Way to Heat Water Loan those installing solar water heating systems and solar pool heating systems for homes are eligible for this 0% interest loan (up to $4,000 with five-year lending agreement).
Solar Water Heater Loan is for residential solar water systems and is a 5% interested loan (up to $7,500 for one-five years).
Oregon Production Incentives
Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB): Solar Electric Program
This program is for Photovoltaic systems at least 10kwH in capacity. It provides $0.7-0.12/kwH for up to ten years, and systems must adhere to a EWEB interconnection agreement. All systems must also be UL listed, with photovoltaic modules and inverters listed by the CEC.
Oregon Pilot Volumetric Incentive Rates and Payments Program
Oregon established a pilot solar volumetric incentive rate and payment program in June 2009, where solar systems are compensated for the kilowatt-hours (kWh) that are generated over a 15-year period. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) is left to establish rates and regulations, so incentive amounts may vary.