How would you like to save thousands AND install clean, renewable energy that you own on your roof?
Until the end of 2022, homeowners in Oregon have three great ways to save money when they switch to solar and own their power. Some homeowners who have their solar energy system connected to the electrical grid managed by certain power providers can even get credit for helping to provide their community with clean power along with their home.
While figuring out how to take advantage of the rebates and tax incentives available to homeowners can feel daunting, it doesn’t have to.
At Purelight Power, our goal is to make the switch to solar easy and affordable for every homeowner. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll guide you through the rebates and incentives available in the State of Oregon, and explain how each one works.
Rebates and Incentives for Solar in Oregon
Before we dive in, let’s clarify the different ways you can save: tax incentives and rebates.
While the federal solar tax incentive is claimed on your income taxes the year you had your solar energy system installed, other tax incentives may be automatically applied exemptions from things like property taxes.
Rebates, on the other hand, tend to be something you have to do a bit of legwork for ahead of time, or directly after purchase, to qualify. For instance, homeowners who want to receive rebates from certain power companies across Oregon will need to participate in net metering, and have their system installed by an Oregon Department of Energy approved installer like Purelight Power.
Save 26% With The Solar Investment Tax Credit
Homeowners who have solar installed before December 31st, 2022 can claim a credit up to 26% worth the cost of their system on their federal income taxes. Oregonians who want to claim this credit need to have the solar installed at their primary or secondary residence, and the solar energy system must be new, and being used for the first time.
Some other caveats to know prior to claiming the Solar ITC:
- The credit can only be claimed on systems that are owned, whether through financing or having paid for the total cost upfront. Leased systems cannot be claimed.
- The Solar ITC can’t be claimed on residential properties rented to others with the exception of if you also live at the property at least half time. If you rent to your roommates, but also live in the home, you’re good.
- Even if your tax liability (how much you owe in taxes based on your income) is less than the credit amount you’d claim, you can still claim the Solar ITC. The current year you simply wouldn’t owe any federal tax, and the next year you can carry the credit forward to reduce your tax liability by whatever amount is left on the credit.
For example, if you purchase or finance a solar energy system worth $30,000, you can claim up to $7,800. If your tax liability is $5,000 for 2022, you wouldn’t owe any federal taxes, and in 2023 you’d have another $2,800 from the original credit to put towards lowering your tax liability.
To find out more about how to claim the Solar ITC on your federal income tax return, we have a blog with a more in-depth look.
Solar Adds Value Without Raising Property Taxes
While Oregon doesn’t have a state level income tax incentive, they do have one other tax related incentive that can save homeowners thousands.
A law passed in 2011 saves homeowners on solar by exempting the assessed value of the solar system being included in annual property assessments for taxes. Or, in plain terms, while your solar system will raise the value of your home by upwards of 4% on average, you won’t have to pay more in property taxes every year because of that increased value.
While many homeowners who go solar intend to stay at their homes for the foreseeable future, it’s great to know that the increased value of solar is there when you sell and protected by law from causing any increase in your property taxes. If and when you do sell your home, you’re getting the complete added value of your solar back in your pocket.
Save With Rebates From Your Utility Company
Across Oregon, certain utility companies offer per watt rebates for homeowners with solar installed on their homes. Similar to the rules for the Solar ITC, you do need to own your solar energy system. So leased systems don’t apply.
For instance, homeowners in Ashland can save up to $5,000 (or $0.25 per watt) on their home solar. Meanwhile, homeowners who have their solar system tied to a grid managed by PGE or Pacific Power can save hundreds by qualifying for a Renewable Energy Certificate with the Energy Trust of Oregon.
Other utility providers who have solar rebate programs for residential customers include Salem Electricity and EWEB in Eugene.
Solar Within Reach Helps Make Solar Affordable For Lower Income Families
The Energy Trust of Oregon has one more program that can help homeowners who are lower income afford solar if they currently get their power from PGE or Pacific Power. This program, called Solar Within Reach, is income restricted. So you’ll need to check and make sure that your income and family size match up to their requirements.
Go Solar Now and Save More!
With the Solar ITC savings on your income taxes, rebates from the utility company that manages the grid in your area, and Purelight Power designing a system to wipe out your power bill and help you go solar for zero down, solar has become an affordable investment for every Oregonian who owns their home.
Sounds too good to be true? There is a catch: after December of this year, that 26% drops to 22% for 2023, and then disappears. Don’t miss out on your chance to go solar while there are incentives to help you save!
With a quick 30 second survey, you can find out if your roof qualifies today!