Oregon residential solar energy incentives

Residential energy tax credit

Oregon tax payers who purchase solar water and space heating systems, photovoltaics, closed-loop geothermal space or water heating systems, as well as a number of other energy efficient systems for their homes are eligible for this tax credit. Photovoltaic systems and fuel cells have a tax credit of $3 per watt with a maximum limit of $6,000, up to 50% of the installed cost. The amount claimed in any one tax year may not exceed $1,500 or the taxpayer's tax liability, whichever is less. Solar space and water heating systems, and wind-powered mechanical systems have a credit of 60 cents per kWh up to $1,500 during the first year.

Renewable energy systems exemption

100% property tax exemption on renewable energy systems. Eligible renewable and other technologies include; passive solar space heat, solar water heat, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, solar thermal process heat, photovoltaics, landfill gas, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps, methane gas and solar pool heating. The assessment of the property’s value may not include the added value of the installed renewable energy system for tax purposes.

EWEB - Solar electric program: production incentive

This program provided by Eugene Water & Electric Board offers financial incentives for residential and commercial customers who generate electricity using solar photovoltaic systems. Customers who choose to net meter are eligible for rebates. For residential customers who choose to net meter the rebate is $2.00 per watt-AC, with a maximum incentive of $10,000. Customers that have a PV system that is greater than 10 kilowatts and choose not to net meter and do not use any of the electricity generated, are eligible for a production incentive. The production payment is $0.12 per kilowatt-hour generated, payable for 10 years and we be subject to annual review. Energy Trust - solar electric buy-down program This program is available to customers of Pacific Power and PGE who install new photovoltaic (PV) systems on new or existing homes. The residential incentive amounts for Pacific Power customers are $2.00/W-DC installed and $2.25/W for PGE customers, with a $20,000 cap per site. Systems must be new and carry at least a 2-year warranty on parts and labor. They must also comply with all applicable standards and be UL listed. Inverters must carry a minimum 5-year warranty Panels must carry a minimum 20-year warranty.

Energy Trust - Solar Water Heating Buy-Down Program

$1,500 for residential solar water heaters; $1,000 for residential pool heating; 35% of system cost for commercial. Initiated in the fall of 2003, the Energy Trust of Oregon's Solar Water Heating (SWH) Buy-down Program offers incentives to customers of Pacific Power, PGE, NW Natural Gas and Cascade Natural Gas who install solar water or pool heating systems on their homes, office buildings, community buildings, agricultural, and municipal facilities. The Energy Trust is a nonprofit organization created to invest public purpose funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy in Oregon.

Northwest Solar Cooperative - Green Tag Purchase

Through December 31, 2009, the Northwest Solar Cooperative offers to purchase “Green Tags” (the rights to the environmental attributes) derived from grid-connected photovoltaic or wind energy for $0.02 per kilowatt-hour. At the start of December 2009 these contracts may be renewed for another three-year term. Residential and non-residential owners who install PV and wind-energy systems are eligible to participate in the Green Tag Purchase Program. Other states aside from Oregon that are eligible to participate in this program include; Washington, Idaho and Montana. An agreement with NWSC must be signed by participants. The agreement includes the following; Participants agree to sell their Green Tags, report system malfunctions or failures, and submit meter readings of AC production every year. The NWSC will pay the participants by March 31 the following year of the Green Tag production.

Utility-sponsored loan and solar rebate programs

Many utility loan and rebate programs are available throughout the state of Oregon, provided by municipal cities and utility companies. Information and details on all the different programs are available on the internet. Details and requirements for each program will vary. Loan and rebate programs are generally available for customers who install solar photovoltaic and solar water heat systems. Loans are usually 0% interest or low interest loans to help with the purchase and installation of solar and other energy efficiency technologies. Rebate amounts are typically determined by a per-watt AC basis and depending on the system’s size and applicable sector.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

This personal tax credit allows the taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of expenditures including labor costs and installation of qualified residential solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems or fuel cells. Small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps can also be accredited for. Solar-electric systems and solar water heaters have a maximum incentive of $2,000 if placed in service before 2009. There is no maximum incentive for systems placed after 2008. The excess amount of the federal tax credit may be carried forward to the next taxable year if it exceeds tax liability. This can be carried forward until 2016, but after that, it is unknown if the unused credit will be able to be forwarded.

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion

This is a personal exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities. The value of a purchase or installation of any energy conservation measure by a customer such as solar water heat, solar space heat or photovoltaics will not be included in the customer’s gross income. Customers of an electric utility company, who participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, may receive a rate reduction of electricity furnished or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity on each monthly electric bill.

Energy-Efficient Mortgages

This is a federal loan program where homeowners can use EEM (energy-efficient mortgages) to finance renewable energy technologies in a home.