Oregon State Incentives & Financing
- Residential Energy Tax Credit: Oregon income tax payers who purchase qualifying solar electric systems are eligible for a residential tax credit from the Oregon Department of Energy. Systems are eligible for $2.10/Watt with a maximum limit of $6,000, up to 50% of the net cost.
- Energy Trust of Oregon Rebate: Solar customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power are eligible for a system rebate. Residential systems qualify for $0.75/Watt with a maximum limit of $5,000. Rebates are available while funding lasts; rates are periodically adjusted.
- Volumetric Incentive Rate (VIR) Program: Customers of PGE, Pacific Power, and Idaho Power have been eligible to participate in the VIR Program. System owners are paid for production over a 15 year period, at a rate set when the system is enrolled in the program. Small and medium systems enroll via lottery; large systems participate in a competitive bidding process. Participants in the VIR program are not eligible for Energy Trust incentives or state residential energy tax credits. The VIR program is nearing the program capacity target of 27.5 MW. A final enrollment period is planned for April of 2015.
- Renewable Energy Development Grant: The Oregon Department of Energy awards grants up to a maximum of $250,000 per project, not to exceed 35% of eligible project costs. Grants are made available once per year and are subject to a competitive application process.
- Federal Tax Credit: A taxpayer may claim a one-time tax credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a solar PV system on the taxpayer’s residence.
- Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System Depreciation: Businesses can depreciate investments in solar PV equipment through an accelerated schedule that uses a property life of six years.
- ODOE State Energy Loan Program (SELP): The State offers competitive fixed interest rate loans to projects that promote energy conservation and renewable energy resource development. Loans can be made to individuals, businesses, schools, cities, counties, special districts, state and federal agencies, public corporations, cooperatives, tribes, and non-profits. Projects must be primarily in Oregon.
Rules, Regulations, and Policy
- Net Metering: System owners receive credit for excess electricity produced by their system. Credits are accrued and retired on a monthly basis or on an annual basis, depending on the utility.
- Renewable Portfolio Standard: Large utilities with more than 3% of the state’s electricity load must acquire at least 25% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2025.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) provides comprehensive information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that support solar energy.