Incentives for Going Solar

Small house with solar panels

Solarize Northwest allows homeowners and businesses to tap into lowered upfront costs through program participation. 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: 26% off total system cost

The federal government provides a tax credit to cover 26% of the total installed cost of your solar system. If you do not have the tax appetite to take the entire 26% 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, 2022.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP Grant)

The federal government also offers REAP grants for those installing solar systems in rural communities. The maximum grant size is $500k or 25% of total project cost (whichever is lower). These grants are available for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. These categories are defined by the following criteria:

Agricultural Producers:

Individuals who derive over 50% of their gross income from agricultural production (crops, livestock, forestry, dairy, etc.) are able to receive the grant in the form of farm schedules or on their tax returns.

Rural Small Businesses:

Business based in rural communities, defined as communities with populations under 50,000, and that meet SBA Small Business Size Standards are also able to receive the grant on their tax returns. This definition includes for-profit businesses, cooperatives (501(c)(12)), electric utilities, and tribal corps.

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:

Solar Sales Tax Exemption

Pay no sales tax on your solar system, up to 100kW (plenty for homes and businesses).

Available in Oregon:

Utility Incentives

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.

Solar Within Reach

Income-qualified customers on Pacific Power, PGE, and Avista can receive additional incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon. Learn more on the Energy Trust Website.

Additional Resource

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.