Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Embracing solar is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
- Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery backups work through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the grid for your safety and comfort.
- Lowered energy bills: With solar panels, you produce power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Portland Homeowners?
The state of Oregon offers a number of solar incentives to help offset your solar system costs. Here is a breakdown of applicable solar programs where you live.
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: portlandgeneral.com
Heat Pump Instant Discount: $200
Efficient Heat Pumps: $700
Heat Pump Controls: $250
Ductless Heat Pump: $800
Smart Thermostat: $50-$100
Heat Pump Water Heaters: $500 (special pricing available at certain retailers as well)
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: insider.energytrust.org
Varies based on performance above code and the particular energy efficient measures installed; can range from $600 to $4,680
Solar ready incentive: up to $200
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Portland
The more thorough your company research is, the better your solar installation will ultimately operate. Consider each of these factors in your contractor search.
Licensing and Training
Solar companies in Oregon must be licensed and bonded by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. For PV installations, each standard journeyman on the job will have at least 8,000 hours of hands-on experience and must follow continuing education requirements. Installers of solar thermal systems must be either a plumbing journeyman and a licensed solar heating installer. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private credentials. Two of the most recognized are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, awarded by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.
Cost of Solar Panels in Portland
Your solar modules' type will influence how much energy you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.
You can also add electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can maximize your solar system's efficiency. Not all solar providers include these optional components, so look for a company that sells them if it's important for you.
If you're a resident of Portland and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,500 for materials and labor. Find more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Portland
Choosing the optimal financing plan will affect your overall solar system cost and potential savings. Common payment options include cash payments, leases, loans, and power purchase agreements. Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the second most effective option. As with a home or auto loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for cost-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, much like an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Look for contractors that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your pocket.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Portland.
You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, local governments and utilities may have their own financing plans and rebates that could reduce your total cost even more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Portland
How much money could I save by going solar in Portland?
How widespread is solar energy in Portland?
Will a solar PV system boost my Portland home value?
Could I still use solar power if I live in a wooded, dark, or rainy area?
How can I check my site's solar feasibility?
What maintenance do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?
What's the difference between a PPA and traditional financing?
You might consider a PPA if you don’t want to be responsible for maintaining your panels and don’t want to invest in a system, but keep in mind you won’t be paying toward ownership or be able to access any cost-saving solar incentives. Many solar experts don’t recommend PPAs. Our guide covers other financing options above.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.