Oregon Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Oregon Rebates and Incentives Summary

OregonOregon is a state with good solar resources, with most of the state getting an average of more than 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of sunlight per square meter a day. Only the northwestern area of the state gets less, with about 4 kWh of sunlight per square meter a day. The state and its utilities are pushing to make its homes and buildings more efficient and self-powered through a veritable plethora of incentives, including tax breaks, rebates, performance-based incentives, low-interest rate loans and more.

Oregon’s energy market is dominated by large hydroelectric power plants. In fact, the state produces nearly two-thirds of its energy from dams on rivers, with its four largest power plants on the Columbia River. But the state also has bountiful natural renewable resources. The DOE’s Energy Information Administration said that the state already generates roughly 4 percent of the nation’s wind power and has considerably more wind power potential and the potential to generate as much as 2.2 gigawatts of geothermal power.

The state also has one of the nation’s stronger renewable portfolio standards, which requires the state’s utilities to produce or purchase at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable resources, like solar, wind, geothermal or tidal, by 2025. The renewable portfolio standard covers all 39 utilities to varying degrees. By 2025, the state’s largest utilities must source 25 percent of their power from renewable sources. In addition, the largest utilities—those with more than 3 percent of the state’s electricity load—must source 5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2011, 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020.

Only three states, California, Colorado, and Hawaii, have higher renewable energy requirements. Renewable-energy-portfolio standards are a powerful tool that states are using to bring more renewable power generation into their states. This means that utilities are being pushed into developing local renewable resources and in many cases, as in Oregon’s, they will offer incentives in addition to those offered by the state and federal government.

Search Federal Programs, Rebates or Incentives

Ashland Electric - Net Metering


In 1996, Ashland adopted a net metering program that includes simple interconnection guidelines. The program encourages the adoption of renewable-energy systems by committing the city to purchase, at 1.25 times the highest residential rate block, up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of net excess generation (NEG) that remains at the end of the year in December from customers that generate electricity using small wind turbines or small solar-energy systems.  Any NEG above 1,000 kWh is paid out at the wholesale rate.  Prior to the year-end reconciliation, NEG rolls-over and is credited to the

Bandon Electric Dept - Conservation Program

The City offers Free Energy Audits to its electric customers. The City has a qualifying window replacement incentive program to go along with our Heat Pump, Insulation, Appliance and Hot-Water Heater programs. The lighting program includes some commercial retrofit light projects. Also, a small rebate is available for the purchase of compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) not to exceed 20 per home, and retrofit of some light fixtures.

Building Energy Code


Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The Oregon Energy Code amendments were most recently updated for both residential and non-residential construction in 2014. In October 2010 Oregon also adopted the Oregon Solar Installation Specialty Code which establishes structural requirements for all photovoltaic installations, replacements and repairs.

The Oregon

City of Ashland - Green Building Incentive


Developers in Ashland may increase the base density of units in residential developments by incorporating energy efficiency, architectural creativity and innovation, and the use of natural features of the landscape. Density may be increased up to a maximum of 15% based on bonus points earned for meeting the minimum requirements for certification as an Earth Advantage home, which includes an evaluation of energy usage, water usage, and air quality guidelines. Conservation features can also include passive solar design.

City of Ashland - Solar Rights Ordinance


The City of Ashland has been promoting the use of solar energy since 1981, when it passed one of the first city-wide solar rights, or access, protection ordinances in the United States. This ordinance contains solar setback provisions designed to ensure that shadows at the north property line do not exceed a certain height, depending on the zone in which the property is located.

Property owners can apply for a Solar Access Permit for protection of shading by vegetation only. Shading by buildings is protected by the solar setback provision.

City of Eugene - Solar Standards


Solar Standards

The purpose of Eugene's Solar Standards, as described in sections 9.2780 through 9.2795 of the City of Eugene's City Code, is to create lot divisions, layouts and building configurations in a manner conducive to the availability of solar energy on one- and two-family dwellings. The goal is to promote the use of solar energy and to minimize shading of buildings by other buildings.

Solar Lot Standards

Solar lot standards apply to the creation of lots within subdivisions in R-1 and R-2 zones. In these zones, at least 70% of the lots in a subdivision must be designed as "solar

City of Portland - Streamlined Building Permits for Residential Solar Systems


The City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services (BDS) developed a streamlined permitting process for residential solar energy system installations. The City of Portland has staff at the permitting desk trained as solar experts to assist solar contractors who need help filing their permits in person. Simple residential installations may apply for a combination building and plumbing/electrical permit, and proceed through planning and zoning and plan review process. If the installation complies with all requirements and all fees are paid, the permit will be issued the same day. 


Clean Energy Works


Clean Energy Works began in 2009 as a pilot program run by the City of Portland. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $20 million to create a statewide nonprofit to expand the program beyond Portland and serve thousands of homeowners in urban, suburban and rural Oregon. Clean Energy Works Oregon also has funding from the State of Oregon, local governments, workforce investment boards and national foundations to support its efforts. The goal of Clean Energy Works Oregon is to finance energy efficiency retrofits for approximately 6,000 homes throughout Oregon, by offering a one-stop

Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate for Existing Buildings


Energy Trust of Oregon offers incentives for commercial and institutional customers of any of the state's investor owned utilities to increase the energy efficiency of their existing buildings. The standard incentive program provides prescriptive rebates for the retrofit of insulation, water heaters, lighting equipment, and HVAC equipment, as well as equipment specific to data centers, grocery stores, and the food service and lodging industries. For more information on incentives specific to different industries, see the Energy Trust web site. Projects must be pre-approved before making any

Consumers Power, Inc - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


Consumers Power Inc. offers rebates to its residential members for a wide variety of energy efficient products and measures. Rebates are offered for certain Energy Star appliances, weatherization measures, water heating, heat pumps, and Energy Star new and manufactured homes. All equipment must meet specific energy efficiency requirements stated on the program web site.  Applications for all residential rebates can be found on the program web site.

Specific incentive amounts listed apply for the period October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. Incentives are subject to availability and change

Consumers Power, Inc. - New Homes Energy Efficiency Program


Consumer's Power, Inc.(CPI)  offers a $1,500 incentive for homes which attain Northwest Energy Star Certification.  To qualify, homes must use CPI electricity, be new construction (remodels do not qualify), and be approved for the incentive before construction begins.  Builders must be Energy Star qualified to participate in this program. Detailed steps on becoming an Energy Star approved builder and guidelines for ensuring new homes are eligible to participate in CPI's incentive program can be found on the utility's website.

Custom Renewable Energy Projects


Energy Trust of Oregon offers cash incentives and project development assistance for renewable energy projects that are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in capacity. Eligible resources include wind, hydropower, biomass, fuel cells, and geothermal. Separate standard incentives are available for solar electric up to 200 or 250 kilowatts (kW) and small wind projects under 50 kilowatts. 

Project development assistance funding is available for a variety of purposes, including grant writing, feasibility studies, or technical assistance with design, permitting, or utility interconnection. Energy Trust

Douglas Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Loans


Douglas Electric Cooperative offers financing for heat pumps and weatherization. Insulation levels for this climate zone should be a minimum of R-38 in the ceiling, R-30 in the floor and R-11 in the walls. All equipment and project requirements must be met in order to be eligible, check the website above for specifics regarding heat pump requirements. Coop members must choose between financing and rebate incentives, they cannot be used together. See the program website listed above for more information or contact Douglas Electric directly.

Energy Conservation Tax Credits - Competitively-Selected Projects (Corporate)


The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) periodically releases Opportunity Announcements for tax credits for energy conservation projects.  Check ODOE's website for announcements and complete information. 

Energy conservation projects include projects with investments for which the first year energy savings yields a simple payback period of greater than three years. Categories for solicitations include: Commercial Buildings; Renewable Thermal; Commercial, Agricultural and Industrial Processes; and Combined Heat and Power. Projects must intend to begin construction within 12 months of the award.

Energy Conservation Tax Credits - Competitively-Selected Projects (Personal)


The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) periodically releases Opportunity Announcements for tax credits for energy conservation projects.  Check ODOE's website for announcements and complete information.  

Energy conservation projects include projects with investments for which the first year energy savings yields a simple payback period of greater than three years. Categories for solicitations include: Commercial Buildings; Renewable Thermal; Commercial, Agricultural and Industrial Processes; and Combined Heat and Power. Projects must intend to begin construction within 12 months of the

Energy Conservation Tax Credits - Small Premium Projects (Corporate)


The Oregon Department of Energy periodically releases Opportunity Announcements for tax credits for energy conservation projects. There is currently $2 million available in tax credits for conservation projects on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum tax credit per project is $7,000. Projects must submit completed applications by June 30, 2017, with the form available on the program website listed above.

The Energy Conservation Tax Credits program is set to sunset at the end of the 2017 tax year.  

Energy conservation projects include projects with investments for which the first year

Energy Conservation Tax Credits - Small Premium Projects (Personal)


The Oregon Department of Energy periodically releases Opportunity Announcements for tax credits for energy conservation projects. There is currently $2 million available in tax credits for conservation projects on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum tax credit per project is $7,000. Projects must submit completed applications by June 30, 2017, with the form available on the program website listed above. 

The Energy Conservation Tax Credits program is set to sunset at the end of the 2017 tax year.  

Energy conservation projects include projects with investments for which the first

EWEB - Net Metering


The Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) offers net metering for customers with renewable energy generation systems with an installed capacity of 25 kW or less. Eligible systems use solar power, wind power, fuel cells, hydroelectric power, landfill gas, digester gas, waste, dedicated energy crops, or certain biomass to generate electricity. Systems should be sized to primarily offset the customer's energy usage at the site. 

Excess generation is compensated at a rate of $0.0311/kWh. Credits are applied to the full EWEB bill, including amounts for water and waste water service. Should excess

EWEB - Solar Electric Program (Rebate)


Note: Applications for 2016 incentives are currently available on EWEB's website. As of February 1, 2016, 47% of the incentive funding available for the year has been allocated.

The Eugene Water & Electric Board's (EWEB) Solar Electric Program offers financial incentives for residential, nonprofit, and government customers that generate electricity solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. 

The 2016 incentive amount for residential net metered customers is $0.40 per watt-AC, with a maximum incentive of $2,500. The rebate for non-residential customers is $0.50 per watt-AC, with a maximum incentive

Green Energy Technology in Public Buildings


Enacted in June 2007, HB 2620 introduced a unique requirement for installing solar energy systems on public buildings. In 2012, S.B. 1533 amended the requirement to allow the use of any green energy technology (including geothermal electric, geothermal direct use, solar electric, solar thermal, and passive solar) to meet the requirement. The law requires public agencies to spend at least 1.5% of the total contract price of an eligible public building on green energy technologies. SB 3169 of 2013 allows green energy technologies located away from the site of a public building to satisfy the

Home Energy Solutions for Existing Homes


Energy Trust of Oregon offers a variety of incentives and services through their Home Energy Solutions program. All equipment eligible for incentives needs to meet the efficiency requirements stated in the program guidelines. Customers can see all individual product incentives here.

The first step to participate in this program is to evaluate a home's energy use by using Energy Trust's online Home Energy Profile Tool or by calling 1-866-368-7878. Homeowners may also opt for a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR assessment. After the new measures have been installed by a licensed trade ally

Idaho Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs


Idaho Power offers a variety of incentives for energy efficiency measures for residential customers living in Oregon or Idaho. 

The Heating and Cooling Program offers incentives for residential customers who purchase and install qualifying energy efficient heating and cooling equipment. In order to qualify for the incentive, customers must use a participating contractor for equipment installations and comply with all program requirements. Eligible homes may be a primary residence, vacation home or rental.

Residential customers may also participate in the A/C Cool Credit program and receive a $5

Interconnection Standards


Oregon has three separate interconnection standards: one for net-metered systems; one for small generator facilities (non-net metered systems); and one for large generator facilities (non-net metered systems). Oregon has also established separate net metering requirements and interconnection standards for the state's primary investor-owned utilities (PGE and PacifiCorp), and for its municipal utilities and electric cooperatives.

Interconnection for Net Metered Systems

PGE and PacifiCorp Customers

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted new rules for net metering for PGE and

Local Option - Local Improvement Districts


Note:  In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do

Local Option - Rural Renewable Energy Development Zones


Cities, counties, or several contiguous counties in Oregon can set up Rural Renewable Energy Development Zones. The zone can only cover territory outside of the urban growth boundary of any large city or metropolitan area. Businesses must meet certain employment and/or investment requirements to be eligible.

Commercial renewable energy property in these zones are eligible for a 3 to 5 year local property tax exemption. Eligible property includes either wind, geothermal, solar, biomass, or other unconventional forms of electricity generation, or systems that produce, distribute or store

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option


Since Oregon's electricity restructuring, the state's electric utilities are required to offer at least one power option with significant renewable energy resources. Legislation (S.B. 838) enacted in June 2007 reinforced that requirement. The law requires all electric utilities to offer customers an optional green power program, where a "significant portion" of the electricity sold by a utility as green power must be generated using qualifying renewables, including wind energy, solar-thermal energy, solar-electric energy, ocean energy, geothermal energy, hydropower and/or certain forms of

Model Ordinance for Renewable Energy Projects


NOTE: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for renewable energy projects. While it was developed by the Oregon Department of Energy, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.

The Oregon Department of Energy issued guidance to local governments to address wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and co-generation project planning needs at the city and county level in July 2005. The Model Ordinance for Energy Projects describes energy projects and siting issues and includes model ordinance language and

New Homes Incentive Program


Energy Trust's New Homes Program offers builders cash incentives for energy efficient measures included in new homes where the measures exceed the building code minimum requirements. Lighting upgrades, whole home performance upgrades, higher levels of insulation, high-efficiency equipment, better windows, air sealing and solar systems are eligible for incentives under this offering. The more energy-efficient a home is above code, the more incentives a builder can qualify for. See the program overview for a sample of some of the incentives available.

Most incentives are based on a home's

Renewable Energy Contractor Licensing


Oregon requires trade licenses for individuals installing solar energy equipment, and contractor licenses for the companies that do construction.

Companies with an electrical contractor license may engage in the business of making electrical installations. Similarly a plumbing contractor license allows a company to engage in the business of making plumbing installations. Companies must also meet licensing and bonding requirements of the Construction Contractors Board.

Individuals doing installations must hold a trade license. Solar electric installers must either hold an Electrical Journeyman

Renewable Energy Development Grant Program


The window for submitting grant applications under the most recent opportunity announcement closed December 15, 2015. Announcements, application materials and more information are available on the program's website.

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) offers competitive grants to renewable energy projects as part of ODOE's Energy Incentives Program.  ODOE created this competitive grant program in 2011, and it took effect on January 1, 2012.  This program replaces the formerly-available Business Energy Tax Credit.  Grants are funded by the proceeds of a tax credit auction, in

Renewable Energy Systems Exemption


Oregon law states that any change in real market value to property due to the installation of a qualifying renewable energy system is exempt from assessment of the property’s value for property tax purposes. Qualifying renewables include solar, geothermal, wind, water, fuel cell or methane gas systems used to heat, cool or generate electricity. This exemption is intended for end users and only applies to systems that are net metered or primarily intended to offset on-site electricity use.  Systems installed on real property that is otherwise exempt from property taxation will continue to be

Residential Energy Star Appliance Rebate Program


Energy Trust of Oregon offers rebates for Energy Star clothes washers to Oregon residential electric service customers of Portland General Electric (PGE) and Pacific Power and to Oregon residential natural gas service customers of NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista.

Clothes washers installed in homes with an electric water heater must be within the PGE or Pacific Power service territory. Clothes washers installed in homes with a gas water heater must subscribe to NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas or Avista service to qualify. A rebate of $75 is available for clothes washers. Clothes

Residential Energy Tax Credit


Note: ODOE recently filed final rules to implement SB 1507 (2016), which places a limit of $1,500 for all tax credits that can be claimed in a year. SB 1507 is effective in June 2016. It is also considering input on calculating first-year energy savings for solar thermal systems. More information can be found here.


Homeowners and renters who pay Oregon income taxes are eligible for the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) if they purchase qualified heating, efficiency, and renewable energy systems. Third-party owned systems are eligible for the tax credit, though specific requirements

Salem Electric - Solar Water Heater Rebate


Salem Electric residential customers with electric water heating are eligible for a $600 rebate through Salem's Bright Way program. A program brochure with details is available on the program website. In order to receive the rebate, all guidelines and terms must be followed.

Systems must be installed by a tax credit-certified solar technician.

Instead of the rebate, customers can also apply for a low-interest loan. Customers cannot apply for both the rebate and the low-interest loan.

SB 1149 Schools Program


Oregon's retail electricity restructuring law, SB 1149, includes a requirement for the state's two largest utilities, Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, to collect a 3% public purpose charge from all customers. Ten percent of the collected public purpose funds are designated for energy efficiency programs in public K-12 schools within the utilities' service areas.

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) administers the public purpose funds for schools, along with Education Service Districts and local school districts. ODOE has complete information for schools available on its website,

Self-Direction of Public Purpose Charges (LECPPP)


Oregon's 1999 electric-utility restructuring legislation (SB 1149) required Pacific Power and Portland General Electric (PGE) to collect a 3% public-purpose charge from their customers to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Large electric consumers may be eligible to direct a portion of their public purpose charge for conservation projects and renewable energy resources on qualified sites.

To qualify, consumers must use over one average megawatt or 8,760,000 kilowatt hours a year. The site must either be metered through a single meter or be contiguous (buildings within 1

Small Wind Incentive Program


The Energy Trust of Oregon’s Small Wind Incentive program provides resources and cash incentives for customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power that are installing turbines up to 50 kilowatts (kW).  Larger systems are allowed to participate, but must contact Energy Trust for approval. Incentive levels are based on a project’s cost in comparison to the market value of the energy produced, called above-market cost.

    If a project owner installs more than one system on a single property at the same time, the systems will be considered as one turbine, and their estimated annual

    Solar and Wind Easements & Rights Laws & Local Option Solar Rights Law


    Oregon has several laws that protect access to solar and wind resources and the use of solar energy systems. Oregon's solar access laws date back to 1979 and state that no person conveying or contracting to convey a property title can include provisions that prohibit the use of solar energy systems on the property. Any provisions that prohibit the use of solar energy systems are void and unenforceable. Solar energy systems are defined broadly to include anything that uses solar radiation for heating, cooling, or electrical energy.  In June 2011, this law was expanded upon with the passage of

    Solar Electric Incentive Program


    Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar Electric Incentive Program, launched in May 2003, is available to customers of Pacific Power and PGE who install new photovoltaic (PV) systems on new or existing homes, commercial and community buildings, farms, and municipal facilities. Energy Trust allocates solar incentives into steps, such that when funding in a given allocation is fully subscribed, the incentive amount steps down. A status report with current funding allocations and availability is available on Energy Trust's website. Current incentive amounts are as follows:


    • Residential PGE:

    Solar Permitting Law


    With the passage of HB 3516 in June 2011, solar permit application approval is a "ministerial function", provided a system meets certain guidelines. To qualify for this simplified permitting process, a solar system must not expand the footprint or peak height of the residential or commercial structure that the system is installed upon. The system must also be aligned so that it is parallel to the slope of the roof.

    This legislation also addressed permitting fees for solar systems.  Counties and cities may not charge permit fees for solar permit applications specifically, but they can

    State Energy Loan Program


    The Oregon State Energy Loan Program (SELP) was created in 1981 after voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the sale of bonds to finance small-scale, local energy projects and is administered by the Oregon Department of Energy. The sale of bonds is made on a periodic basis and, occasionally, may be done to accommodate a particularly large loan request.

    The program offers low-interest loans for projects that:

    • Save energy;
    • Produce energy from renewable resources such as water, wind, geothermal, solar, biomass, waste materials or waste heat;
    • Use recycled materials

    State Home Oil Weatherization (SHOW) Program


    Oregon homeowners and renters who heat with oil, wood, propane, kerosene, or butane are eligible for home weatherization rebates for up to $500 per dwelling. A variety of measures, including insulation, HVAC, and gas technologies qualify for the rebates, which go directly to the homeowner, tenant, or contractor who installed the measure on the owner's behalf.

    Residents complete an energy audit independently, or with the assistance of a certified contractor, to decide which measures are appropriate. After installing the new products, the “Energy Rebate” form must be filled out and mailed,

    Tillamook County PUD - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program


    Tillamook PUD offers residential customers a variety of rebates and loans to make energy efficiency improvements to participating homes.

    Loans are available at 5% interest for up to five years for the purchase and installation of heat pumps, for performance duct sealing and testing, weatherization and commercial and dairy lighting. In order to receive this loan, customers must submit a loan application and supporting materials, receive bids for recommended work from approved contractors, and receive authorization from the PUD to proceed. To qualify for a rebate or loan under this program, an

    Tillamook People's Utility District - Energy Efficiency Products and Services

    Tillamook PUD provides a free energy audit to determine eligible measures. After the audit, the customer will receive an energy analysis. The PUD offers rebates and five-year, five-percent interest loans, on approved credit. As part of its Industrial Energy Program, Tillamook PUD evaluates the energy savings of proposed projects and helps customers identify projects through an energy review.

    Utility Scale Solar Incentive Program


    HB 4037 of 2016 created the Solar Incentive Program for utility-scale solar development. The bill directs Oregon's Business Development Department (the Department) to establish and administer a program to provide a production incentive to solar developers, and establishes the Solar Incentivization Fund to provide the incentives.

    Solar photovoltaic systems located in Oregon with a capacity between 2 and 10 MW are eligible for a $0.005 per kilowatt hour (kWh) incentive. The systems must become operational after January 1, 2016 but within a year of enrollment in the program. The incentives are

    West Oregon Electric Cooperative - Equal Pay (Net Metering)

    Net metering is a policy that allows people and their facilities that generate their own electricity from solar power to get credit for the energy they provide to their communities. Solar energy is pretty powerful and solar systems tend to produce more electricity than any one customer can consume each day. The extra electricity made by the solar system then goes onto the electric grid and is used by the customer’s neighbors. As a result, when one customer in a neighborhood goes solar, the entire neighborhood ends up using solar electricity as well. Net Metering will give you credit for the