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Oregon solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Oregon State 38 solar panels available

  • $0.69/W Average gross price of a solar power system as of October 2022
  • 3 years Average system payback period
  • 47 341 / year Average savings from going solar in Oregon
  • 4 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 5.31 kW Recommended system size

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in Oregon

Solar panels in Oregon

Oregon #14 in the US
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What our happy customers say

Hi all, i wanted to share my experience of buying from a1solar. I needed panels for my yacht. I wanted to have only 3, but they have a minimum order size for delivery so I opted for pickup. It was good. It went smoothly. I appreciate the split payment that they offer. I basically went to the center, grabbed the panels, loaded ‘em in the truck and drove them home (gotta do it carefully though!). Nice guys too. peace, Carl
Caarl Arlac
Via Trustpilot
Oct 2, 2022
I did business with A1 about half a year ago (it’s september 22 atm) when I needed panels for my home in Phoenix. I took Panasonic, if anyone’s wondering. The system’s doing great, and I think I got really lucky with my installer and the shop as well. If I recall correctly, my order was indeed processed in 24h as promised, delivery took a bit longer than expected but it wasn’t a big deal, these were busy days for fedex. panels were in good shape. I myself checked them thoroughly.
Ryden R
Via Trustpilot
Sep 25, 2022
I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
i read too much about the broken panels and decided to go with the pickup option. Loved the experience overall. One of their centers was nearby, so I ordered some q cells for myself and drove there. They explained in detail how to drive the package home safely so I was really careful and yeah, now they are in my garage, waiting to be installed. Can’t really complain about anything, panels are fine, the service was cool, and the delivery was on me lol
loken
Via Trustpilot
Sep 19, 2022
So I did order a system, and everything arrived on time, and yes, one panel was broken. But you know what? I’m still going to give them 5 stars. Because 1) they warned me about the possibility of this happening and told me what to do in this case; 2) when I contacted them about it, they handled the situation professionally. I sent them all that they asked for and got a replacement relatively quickly. If it’s anyone’s fault that panels break, then it is the carrier's one. My impression: good service, great prices, commendable customer support.
Will Ghost
Via Trustpilot
Sep 14, 2022
I needed just a couple of panels for the boat, but the staff treated me like I was buying the whole warehouse. I decided to pick the order up myself, their center was within reach. Getting my panels and a Magnum inverter was easier than going for groceries. There is a lot of hard work behind this simplicity. This I know from experience
Filip Scot
Via Trustpilot
Sep 11, 2022

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Oregon you need to know

Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program

Solar laws in Oregon oblige all utilities and electric cooperatives to offer Net Metering. It allows residential solar owners to put the excess electricity into the utility grid instead of storing it with batteries. When you sell your solar power to the grid, you receive kWh credits that can be used to offset your next bills. Once every year all unused credits will be transferred to the utilities’ low-income assistance programs. There are slight differences between the state’s two largest utilities and smaller local providers.

  • Pacific Power and PGE provide more than 70% of Oregon’s electricity. They both grant kWh credits and direct unused funds to assist low-income households once a year.
  • Smaller local players may use different approaches to net metering. For example, the City of Ashland buys the remaining kWh credits instead of using them for other purposes, while EWEB uses net billing, compensating their customers at a rate of $0.036/kWh.

Save additional $300 to $1,000 a year trading RECs

Renewable Energy Credits are certificates granted to any person or entity upon generation of each MWh of clean electricity. Unlike with Net Metering, you don’t need to sell any electricity to get credits. The value of RECs is always changing, which makes them similar to stock market assets. Based on the available data, selling RECs could mean anywhere from $300 to $1,000 annually for a 10 kW solar system. To participate, first you may want to contact the Oregon Public Utilities Commission for relevant details. After that, you can create a REC account with the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) to begin storing and selling your credits.

Save additional $2,000 with Energy Trust rebates

This program allows you to claim $0.20 or $0.25 per watt depending on your utility company: Portland General Electric’s clients are luckier than those serviced by Pacific Power. Their maximum incentive is also twice as big, reaching $2,000. If you qualify, you can take part in a variation of this program called Solar Within Reach. To participate, your income has to be below a certain level depending on the number of family members. Your home must belong to one of the types listed on the program’s page. In case of success, the incentive grows to $0.90 and $1.50 per watt for Pacific Power and Portland General Electric clients respectively. The maximum amounts are limited to $5,400 and $9,000. All paperwork will be handled by your contractor.

Freeze your property tax with Renewable Energy Systems Exemption

A solar PV system installed in a home increases its value by about 4%. This would mean higher property taxes in other states, but not in Oregon. According to the state’s legislature, any increase in property value caused by the installation of renewable energy equipment, including solar PV systems, may not be considered for the purposes of taxation.

Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements

A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to ensure that your PV system will always have adequate sun exposure, protecting you from potential obstacles. It is voluntary, but can not be cancelled unless a specific clause is included in the document. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner.

Install your solar panels in Oregon with no worries

It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Oregon. The state has several laws to protect its residents from unreasonable restrictions, including those implemented by homeowners associations (HOAs). Thus, any prohibition shall be considered unlawful. The legislation grants HOAs the right to place size or aesthetic requirements, but only if they are sensible.

Something you should remember:

  • The state doesn’t allow HOAs to prohibit or significantly restrict installation of a solar system in Oregon.
  • Aesthetic, placement and size requirements are legal as long as they have a good reason to back them up.
  • In Oregon, a solar permit is necessary to operate a PV system. Normally, this process is handled by your contractor.
  • Individuals involved in the installation process must hold a licence.

Solar panels help Oregon survive wildfires

Oregon is among the top 10 states with the highest risk of wildfires. These natural disasters go hand in hand with strong gusts of wind and power outages. Solar panels are able to go through it as they can withstand even hurricanes, and they certainly come in handy in case of a blackout. Year 2020 brought one of the worst wildfires in Oregon’s history. Thousands of homes were left without electricity due to infrastructural damages or controlled blackouts. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, extreme weather events occur more often and gain in intensity – yet one more reason to consider going solar.

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