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Oregon solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Last updated 12.02.21

Oregon State 53 solar panels available

  • $2.09 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of January 2023
  • 12 years Average system payback period
  • $39 324 Average savings from going solar in Oregon
  • 7 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 6.56 kW Recommended system size

Benefit from a PV system
in Oregon

Solar panels in Oregon

Oregon #14 in the US
Solar Ranking

What our happy customers say

I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
I was choosing between a1solar and another store, the prices finally convinced me,
and I contacted A1. Everything was processed, packed and delivered to Fresno, CA
in under a week. We kept in contact during the installation and I got a few additional
parts from them. A1SolarStore deserves a solid five stars!
Michael Grubb
Via Google
Sep 7, 2022
I ordered some solar panels. The top 4 ones were damaged during delivery (A1 had emailed me in advance what to check for before I took delivery which I followed even though the truck driver was pushing not to inspect them as thouroughly) and A1 replaced them in a timely manner and kept me informed. The price on the panels were some of the best on the internet (delivered). I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Google
Nov 27, 2021
Ordering online was easy.
Price was reasonable even with shipping added. Actually, it was the best I could find with the panels I wanted.
Customer service was beyond expectations. I received a phone call after the order to verify everything. The rep also went over receiving instructions. I got an email with recieving procedure. I got a follow up call the day before the panels were to be delivered. The day of delivery, the FedEx call also called. I got a follow call afterwards verifying everything was good.I had 8 350 watt panels shipped. They arrived via FedEx on a pallet. Recieving instructions said to not sign the recieving doc until I inspected everything. I am half paralyzed so I asked my neighbor ahead of time to help unpack the panels to inspect for physical damage. The FedEx guy dropped the pallet in my driveway and handed me the package list and then he very quickly left before I was able to inspect the panels. He said he did not need a signature. My mindset immidiately turned negative since fraud, burglary, murders, etc are now legal, encouraged, and even rewarded in the US. To my relief, the panels turned out to be in good shape.
I have had several different panels prior to ordering from A1 Solar. I am used to solar panels outputting 70% or less of the rated output.I hooked up one panel yesterday and I was getting over 85% at 9:30 AM in direct sun output which really suprised me. This number is what the charge controller reported while charging a 12 volt battery bank. My current project that these panels will be used for is my second offgrid system.
Next year after I have my house electrical panels rebuilt to allow for a whole house battery bank, I will be ordering another 7KWH in panels and I plan to order those from A1 Solar Store.
Junkyard Dog
Via Google
Aug 12, 2021
Solar panels are great quality at a good price! Pick up was very easy!
Quirino Passione
Via Google
Jul 27, 2021
Great price and AWESOME service.
Sam McCleary
Via Google
Jun 23, 2021

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

Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels, but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. 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.

Stay tuned

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