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Don’t Delay On Solar

Jun 16, 2015 -

Several customers, driven by a sense of urgency, are racing to install solar systems on their homes and businesses over the next year. But not everyone knows that a key tax credit for renewable energy projects is slated to expire on December 31st, 2016.

Neil Kelly recently announced a new 100kw installation on North Portland’s Best Western Inn at the Meadows. The system, expected to be complete in July, will generate up to 30 percent of the hotel’s electricity for 146 rooms. The federal tax credit is a main driver for the project’s timing. Best Western is one of the first Portland hotels to install rooftop solar, and Neil Kelly has been promoting the project as a way to raise awareness of the expiring credit.

“The cost of installing solar is less than half of what it was 5-6 years ago, and the incentives cover a significant part of the cost,” said Chad Ruhoff, Neil Kelly.  “Bottom line is, now is the time to purchase solar for your home or business.  At the end of next year, the Federal tax credit is set to expire for residential installations and cut to 10% for business from the current rate of 30% of the system.”

Solar is an obvious choice for Bend businesses, due to the amount of sun the area receives. There are several great resources for businesses looking to learn more about incentives and grants. Check out an upcoming free solar grant and loan workshop from Sunlight Solar on June 17th. The workshop will discuss how small, rural businesses and farms can take advantage of the REAP grant and loan program, and will feature representatives from the US Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Energy, and Energy Trust of Oregon.

Now is the time to act. Taking advantage of this tax credit now will help put Bend on the map as a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Local businesses interested in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency are encouraged to take the Bend Energy Challenge pledge to show support for the initiative and their investment to being a green business. By taking the pledge, businesses will also receive resources connecting them with information to complete energy-saving projects. Several Bend leaders have already taken the pledge, including Deschutes Brewery, St. Charles Medical Center and COCC.

“By going solar, businesses become role models for a healthier community and honor the spectacular environment that made us fall in love with Bend in the first place.” Said Kim McClain, Bend Energy Challenge Project Coordinator. “Taking the Business Pledge is a way to show your customers and the community that your business is working towards a better Bend.”

If your business is interested in getting involved or would like more information on solar opportunities, contact Kim at (541) 385-6908 x12 or kim@bendenergychallenge.org.