Are you considering going solar in Hood River County, Oregon? If so, you may be interested in learning about the incentives available to you. In this article, we will discuss the various incentives provided by the government and energy organizations that can help make your transition to solar energy more affordable.
Energy Trust of Oregon Incentives
One of the primary sources of incentives in Oregon is the Energy Trust of Oregon. This organization offers two types of incentives: the standard incentive of $600 and the Solar Within Reach incentive, which can go up to $6,000 for Pacific Power customers. The Solar Within Reach incentive is income-based, meaning that if your income falls below a certain threshold, you may qualify for higher incentives. It’s important to note that the Energy Trust of Oregon incentives are specific to the utilities they serve, which includes Pacific Power but not the Hood River Electric Co-op or Cascade Electric Municipal Electric.
Oregon State Solar and Storage Rebates
In addition to the incentives provided by the Energy Trust of Oregon, the state of Oregon also offers a Solar and Storage Rebate. This rebate can provide up to $5,000 for solar installations and an additional $2,500 for energy storage if the battery is tied to a solar system. The amount of the rebate depends on your specific situation, with different rates based on factors such as your utility provider and income level. For example, if you have access to Energy Trust of Oregon incentives and are a Pacific Power customer, the rebate is 20 cents per watt of your system size. If you do not have access to Energy Trust incentives, the rebate increases to 40 cents per watt, and if you meet certain income requirements, it further increases to $1.80 per watt.
Solar Investment Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a federal incentive that has been in place since 2008. It offers a tax credit of 30% of the cost of your solar system installation. This incentive was recently extended by legislation, making it a valuable opportunity for homeowners considering solar energy. Unlike other incentives, the Solar ITC is claimed on your taxes the following year and requires a tax liability to fully take advantage of the credit.
Understanding Income-Based Incentives
There are specific income-based incentives available for customers of Pacific Power. The Solar Within Reach incentive, which can provide up to $6,000, is available to households that fall below certain income thresholds. For example, a family of four must earn no more than $112,860 to be eligible for this incentive. More information on income brackets and eligibility can be found in the provided links.
A Sample Budget for a Solar System
To better understand the cost of installing a solar system and the impact of incentives, let’s take a look at a sample budget for an eight-kilowatt (kW) system. It’s important to note that this is just an example, and actual costs may vary depending on factors such as system size and installation requirements.
Assuming a pre-incentive cost of $26,400, we can apply the available incentives to calculate the out-of-pocket costs for different scenarios. For customers who do not qualify for income-based incentives, the out-of-pocket cost after applying the various incentives is $23,200. However, for those who are eligible for income-based incentives, the out-of-pocket cost can be as low as $14,400. Additionally, the Solar ITC provides a tax credit of almost $7,000 for those without income-based incentives, further reducing the net cost of installation.
Solarize Hood River Electric Co-op and Cascade Locks
For customers of the Hood River Electric Co-op or Cascade Locks, the incentives vary slightly. Starting with the same assumption of $26,400 as the pre-incentive cost, the out-of-pocket cost after applying incentives is $21,000 for those without income-based incentives and $20,000 for those who qualify. After considering the Solar ITC, the net cost of installation can be around $14,000 or $15,000, respectively.
Going solar in Hood River County, Oregon, comes with numerous incentives that can help make the transition more affordable. The Energy Trust of Oregon, state rebates, and the Solar Investment Tax Credit all play a role in reducing the cost of installation for homeowners. By taking advantage of these incentives, you can not only save money on your initial investment but also enjoy the long-term benefits of clean, renewable energy. Remember to consult with a qualified contractor to assess your specific situation and receive an accurate quote for your solar system installation.