Portland, which is the largest city in the state of Oregon, is lucky enough to be based in a state which is wholeheartedly behind promoting all-types of renewal energy, such as the home solar energy systems. The series of incentives available to residents of Portland include the solar rebates, tax credits, property tax, and net-metering, all of which are covered here -
The average payback time for a standard solar energy system at 5kW is approximately 10 years.
Portland energy rates are at a low $0.13/kWh. If you installed a 5kW PV system might save about $696 per year on your energy bill ($58/month).
The Oregon Energy Trust, which is a non-profit organization, administrates renewable energy and energy efficiency in the state of Oregon. Rebates are available to customers signed up to either Portland General Electric (PGE) or PacificCorp for their energy supplies, with incentives at present set at a figure of $1,000 per kW. Rebate incentives are limited to $5,000 per household. Rebates seem to be dropping in value of late, so it will benefit to sign up as soon as possible.
A maximum tax credit for residents of Portland is $1,500 per year, up to a maximum of $6,000, which means it will take four years to fully benefit from this incentive. A PV system must be installed by a certified contractor if wishing to take advantage of this tax credit.
Sales tax isn’t applicable in the state of Oregon, so unfortunately there is no discount available here. Although the installations of solar PV systems are exempt from property tax in the state of Oregon, so a sizable saving or profits might well be seen due to the increase in a properties marketable value.
Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) varies dependent on the utility company, although the main utilities (Portland General Electric, Eugene Water and Electric Board and PacificCorp) have put in place ambitious goals for achieving their fair share of renewable energy. Up to the year 2025, the aim is to acquire 25% of energy from renewal sources, which started at 5% in 2011, and increases to 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020, and 25% by 2025. Small utilities might have lower expectations, with standards expected to reach 10% by the year 2025.
Portland is able to benefit from 100% net-metering. Net-metering offers a perfect opportunity to off-set the cost of energy by giving you a credit for any excess energy generated but not used. This excess can be deducted from the following month’s bill. A similar scheme open to Portland residents is the specially created Solar Payment Option available through Portland General Electric.