Solarize Northwest allows homeowners and businesses to tap into lowered upfront costs through program participation. Combining government incentives and the Solarize group discount, many program participants are able to recoup approximately 50% of their cost within one year! Here’s how it breaks down:
Available in both Washington and Oregon:
The Solarize Discount: group purchase brings down the cost of a solar system
By participating in Solarize Northwest, solar installers are able to offer significant group discounts on the purchase and installation of solar systems through the program’s focus on participant education, outreach, and economies of scale. Solarize discounts average between 10-15%.
Federal Tax Credit: 30% off total system cost
The federal government provides a tax credit to cover 30% of the total installed cost of your solar system. If you do not have the tax appetite to take the entire 30% credit in the first year, the remaining credit can be rolled over to your next tax return. This incentive begins to phase out after December 31, 2019.
Net Metering: retail value for the energy you send into the grid
Receive credit on your utility bill for excess electricity produced by your system. In Washington, credits carry forward month to month for a year. In Oregon, the policy depends on the utility. This billing arrangement does not expire.
Available in Washington:
Washington State Production Incentive: Up to $0.54 per kilowatt-hour produced by your solar system
Washington state has established an annual production incentive that pays you for every kilowatt-hour of energy your solar system produces for eight years after installation. The rate you receive depends on when it was installed, the size of the system, and whether the solar panels were manufactured in Washington or out of state. For systems under 12 kW installed between June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the “base rate” is $.14/kWh. For Washington-made solar panels, you also receive a $.04 bonus. The total amount that you receive from this incentive cannot be more than 50% of the total system cost, including sales tax. This rate steps down annually and sunsets June 30, 2021.
Available in Oregon:
Renewable Energy Tax Credit: $1.30 per watt installed
You can get a credit on your Oregon income taxes for adding a solar system to your home. The credit is currently $1.30 per watt of installed capacity up to $6,000 per residence taken over four years ($1,500 per year) limited to 50 percent of the cost of the system. This incentive expired January 1, 2018.
Many Oregon utilities have solar incentives. Most of these incentives are cash payments based on system size that are paid once your system is installed. Find more information about some of these incentives below.
- Eugene Water and Electric Board
- Portland General Electric
- Pacific Power
- For other utilities, refer to the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
Solar Incentive Database: 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.