Solar power is becoming increasingly popular and accessible in Oregon. Though Oregon doesn’t get as much sunshine as many parts of the nation, residents can still see long-term cost savings by installing solar panels on their homes. Oregon, like many states, has seen a significant increase in solar installations over the past several years. Not only does the industry help to power people’s homes, but solar energy has also become a fixture in Oregon’s economy. There are over 114 solar companies in Oregon, providing more than 3,500 jobs around the state. Wondering whether solar is right for you? Keep reading to learn how solar power in Oregon works and whether it’s right for your home.
Oregon solar panel cost
The cost of solar panels in Oregon depends on various factors, including the size, complexity, components, and configuration of your system. On average, homeowners page between $3 and $5 per watt. The average cost of a five-kilowatt residential solar system costs between $15,000 and $25,000. Oregon also offers solar tax credits and rebates, which help reduce the overall cost of getting the best solar panels on your home. Thanks to the cost savings you’ll enjoy with solar panels, the typical time to make your money back is between six and nine years.
Why choose Oregon solar power?
Lower energy costs
Installing solar panels on your home reduces your energy costs. For every hour that you’re using solar to power your home, you aren’t having to rely on purchasing energy from the traditional power grid. Depending on how much you pay for your utility bill, you could save hundreds of dollars per year. Having a solar panel system also increases the value of your home, which allows you to get a return on your solar investment if you sell your home.
Establish energy independence
Installing solar panels on your home and powering your home with solar energy gives you the ability to reach energy independence, meaning you aren’t reliant on the traditional energy grid. If you get a solar battery with your system, you can even save energy to use during periods of low sun. There are several advantages to energy independence. First, you aren’t vulnerable to price hikes when electricity demand is high, and prices go up. Additionally, because your stored solar power can keep your electricity running, you don’t have to worry about power outages when the local power goes down.
Traditional electricity generation emits greenhouse gasses into the air, which pollute the air and water and contribute to climate change. By installing solar panels, you’re relying on renewable solar energy and helping to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Green energy outputs, such as solar and wind power, stand to become more popular as fossil fuels become more scarce.
Oregon solar panel incentives or rebates
Federal, state, and local governments have used tax credits and rebates to incentivize homeowners to switch to renewable energy. The government offers a federal tax credit to homeowners who install solar panels on their homes. The tax credit is currently available for up to 26% of your costs, though it’s scheduled to decrease in future years.
Oregon residents also have access to several state incentives to help them save money. The state previously offered a tax credit to homeowners who installed solar panels, though it has since expired. However, Oregon allows net metering to allow homeowners with residential solar systems to earn credits on their electricity bills for the energy they produce. Depending on where you live, rebates range from $0.20 to $0.50 per watt.
Should I buy or lease my solar panels?
While there are benefits to buying and leasing solar panels, buying your solar panels has more financial benefits.
For homeowners, installing solar panels increase the resale value of your residence by $15,000. Additionally, while leasing will require monthly payments as long as you have the panels, buying your panels allows you to pay them off eventually. Finally, solar tax credits are only available for those who purchase their panels.
That said, leasing solar panels also has some benefits. For those who don’t own their own homes or don’t want the upfront investment required to buy, leasing does help to make solar power more accessible. A similar option is to enter a solar power purchase agreement, which is an arrangement when a company is responsible for the building and maintenance of solar panels on your property. You then pay the company a set rate for the green electricity you consume.
What if you can’t have solar panels on your property at all? There are still some options for you to participate in using green solar energy. Community solar programs allow residents to enjoy the benefits of solar power without installing their own panels.
Oregon solar panel companies
For Oregon residents interested in learning more about solar power, you’re in luck. Several companies offer solar services in Oregon, meaning you’ll have an easy time finding a company that’s right for you. Before choosing a solar installer, check out our other solar energy resources to become familiar with the solar industry. We also have energy experts on hand to answer your questions.
The history of solar power in Oregon
The history of solar power in Oregon began as far back as 1976 when the state started implementing pro-renewable energy policies with the passage of its Renewable Energy Systems Exemption. Since then, the state has passed plenty of other initiatives to invest in solar energy and encourage residents to do the same.
Today, Oregon ranks 16th in the nation for solar energy production. Additional infrastructure is a challenge for the solar industry. Currently, utility companies are responsible for most of the state’s solar investment, but Oregon has also seen increased residential, commercial, and community solar programs. Currently, about 1.4% of Oregon’s electricity comes from solar power.
Important solar installation factors to consider
Installing solar panels on your home can be an excellent investment, but there are a few things you should consider first:
- According to the Department of Energy (DOE), solar panels work best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees. Panels are also most suitable for roofs in good condition that won’t need to be replaced soon.
- Solar panels rely on sunshine to power your home. Certain regions of the country, including Oregon, are known for getting less sunshine than other areas. So, consider how much sun exposure your panels would get.
- Some homeowners associations and other neighborhood organizations may have rules regarding the use of solar panels. It’s essential to check with your neighborhood before you buy panels in case approval is required.
Solar power FAQs
How much would solar cost in Oregon?
Overall, an entire residential solar system will typically cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000. Your exact cost will depend on factors such as how many panels you need and the components of your system.
Is solar power a good investment in Oregon?
Solar panels can lead to long-term cost savings, but it’s important to consider your specific circumstances. Where are you located? How often does the sunshine near you? What are your energy usage habits? These questions can all help you decide whether it’s worth the investment.
How much could I save by investing in solar?
Oregon residents have an average utility bill of $105.58 per month, meaning most homeowners have the potential for more than $1,200 per year in cost savings.
Where can I find a good solar panel installer in Oregon?
There are plenty of solar installers available in Oregon. Be sure to thoroughly research your options before signing a solar contract. If you like to travel, some solar installers will even install solar panels on your RV.
How does solar power help the environment?
Solar power is a renewable resource that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the air as traditional electricity generation does. Installing solar panels reduces your home’s carbon footprint and reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere.