Have you ever thought about switching to solar energy, but dismissed it as too difficult or expensive? Do you want to add a solar array to your roof, but have no idea where to start? Or are you feeling left out of the solar craze because you don’t own a home? Well, read on! Now is the time to go solar, for the sake of both the environment and your energy bill, and it’s easier than it has ever been before.
Option 1. Install a solar array for your home.
First, you’ll want to get a solar assessment to figure out the best way to install solar panels for your home. Luckily, the Energy Trust of Oregon will do a free custom analysis for you that will assess the potential of your building for rooftop solar and show your likely costs and savings. They will also connect you with trusted contractors to help you get started with the installation process.
Worried about cost? Solar arrays can be expensive to install, but the combination of rebates, tax credits, and incentives available can make the process surprisingly affordable! The Oregon Department of Energy is accepting rebate reservations for up to 40% of the cost of a residential solar installation, and that goes up to as much as 60% for those who qualify as low-income. Energy Trust also offers cash incentives per watt based on the size of your array, your income level, and your utility. If all that isn’t enough, remember that you can get a federal tax credit for 26% of your system cost if you install it by the end of 2022.
Option 2. Sign up for Oregon’s Community Solar Program
Installing a solar system is great, but what if it’s out of reach for you? Maybe you don’t own a home and rent instead, or maybe your roof is in bad shape or doesn’t get much sun. Community solar is the answer! This unique program allows you to subscribe to a local solar installation and use that electricity in your home. Anyone in Oregon who pays a utility bill to Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, or Idaho Power is eligible to participate. Plus, if you move, your community solar subscription can move with you.
Costs vary, but you can use the calculator on the program’s website to get a more accurate picture of what the savings would be for your household. For low-income subscribers, subscription discounts and guaranteed savings on your energy bill make this program affordable as well as accessible.