Cost of Solar Panels in Oregon: Best Solar Companies, Cost and Installation

Solar is a complicated decision and OhmHome has compiled this guide to Oregon solar with the cost of solar panels in Oregon and advice on how to estimate cost and savings, navigate state and federal incentives, and find the best solar companies in Oregon.

Solar Trends in Oregon

Oregon solar permits decreased 12% to 43 in June from 55 in June 2016 and increased 2% from May 2017 (YTD increase of 0%)

Cost of Solar Panels in Oregon

The cost of solar has dropped significantly in recent years due to the increase in module supplies and other supply chain efficiency improvements. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Q4-16 Sunshot report, the median price of residential solar in major markets was $4.20 per watt with the lowest 20% at approximately $3.50 per watt. 

Solar Incentives in Oregon

Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credits

The Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) is an Oregon state incentive.

The maximum RETC is $6,000 per site and cannot exceed 50% of the project cost after the utility incentive.  Given current solar costs, if the system is greater than 3.5 kW (the average in the U.S. is approximately 6.0 kW), homeowners will receive the full $6,000 RETC. The RETC can only be claimed at a maximum of $1,500 per year, so the full amount is earned over 4 years. The RETC program is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2017.  RETC devices must be purchased by December 31, 2017, operational by April 1, 2018, and applications must be received by ODOE no later than June 1, 2018.

Oregon Utility Cash Incentives

The Energy Trust of Oregon is the largest provider of renewable energy incentives in Oregon via funds from five privately owned utilities (Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural Gas, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista). Customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power qualify for cash incentive if they install a solar PV system. For Portland General Electric, the incentive is $0.35 per watt or $2,800 maximum and for Pacific Power it is $0.30 per watt or $1,800 maximum.

These Energy Trust cash incentive are generally paid directly to the solar contractor and serve as a discount on the total solar system cost, decreasing the amount a homeowner pays the contractor.

Many of the other electric utilities in Oregon also provide incentives to their customers install solar PV systems, and the best source of information on those incentives is the The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).

Federal Solar Tax Incentives

The IRS offers a 30% tax credit for solar systems based on the cost after state rebates and credits (discussed above).  It is important to note that that federal tax credit only applies to purchased systems and you need sufficient tax liability to claim the credit.  The federal solar tax credit was set to expire in 2016, but was recently extended through 2019, at which point it will start to decrease to 10% by 2022.  The IRS form 5695, Residential Energy Credits can be found here.

Solar Financing in Oregon

The number of solar financing options has expanded significantly in recent years to includes a number of low-interest rate loans, as well as power purchase agreements or solar leases. To learn more, refer to our lease or buy solar guide.

Our Major Oregon City Solar Guides

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