Solar Panel Cost in Oregon (2023 Local Savings Guide)
In this guide to Oregon solar panel costs, you’ll learn:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.60
- Cost of Average System: $17,290*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $40,348
- Payback Period: 14 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $23,058
*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Oregon?
Solar panel systems in Oregon cost around $2.60 per watt. The capacity of the average system in the area is about 9.5 kilowatts (kW), making the system cost $24,700 before the federal solar tax credit, or $17,290 after the 30% credit.
Although the typical per-watt price is below the national average, the total system cost is above the national average because a larger system is needed in Oregon than in most other areas in the country.
Solar panel systems prices vary per person and are calculated by the system size, which is in turn determined by the quantity of electricity you need to generate to offset your energy costs. Although Oregonians enjoy relatively low electricity rates, most homeowners in the state have higher energy needs — around 916 kW per month — than the national average.
- Most efficient panels on the market
- National coverage
- Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
- Great warranty coverage
- Customer service varies by local dealer
- Offers products from leading manufacturers
- Great warranty coverage
- Outstanding customer service
- Relatively young company
- Quality of installation may vary by location
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
The table below provides estimated pricing of common system sizes before and after the federal tax credit.
Want to see which size system is right for your home and get a free quote from a top installer in your area?
How Does the Current Cost of Solar in Oregon Compare to the National Average?
On average and without any incentives applied, Oregon residents pay $24,700 for their solar systems. When the solar tax credit is applied, the average cost comes out to around $17,290. Because the national average cost for solar panels is $23,940 before incentives are applied or $16,758 accounting for the federal credit, Oregon residents end up paying more for their solar panels.
The average U.S. household consumes about 893 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, and the average Oregon home uses 916 kWh, as mentioned above. One of the pros of installing solar is that energy bills can completely reduce to $0. Unfortunately, because Oregon homes typically use more energy, Oregonians require more solar panels to completely offset their electric bills. This means solar power systems in Oregon tend to be larger, and thus more expensive upfront.
To see how the cost of Oregon photovoltaic compares to other states across the country, check out the graphic below.
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How Are Solar Costs Trending in Oregon?
Across the U.S., the price of fossil fuels has increased, so Oregon residents have likely seen an increase in their utility bills. The Western U.S. has seen an energy price increase of 24.1 percent1, and there is no indication that prices will be dropping significantly anytime soon.
The cost of electricity may have doubled since 2002, but the price of Oregon solar equipment has dropped more than 53 percent in the past 10 years.2 Since 2019, the number of solar panels installed in Oregon has more than doubled, and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) expects to see more than 5,211 MW installed in the next five years, which boosts environmental sustainability and improves the solar job market.3
As fossil fuel prices skyrocket and Oregon homeowners continue to see the increase reflected in their energy bills, more will turn to solar power and other renewable energy sources as the solution. Because the cost of solar panel installation has become more affordable than ever before, now is the time to invest in home solar.
How Much Can You Save by Going Solar in Oregon Today?
Solar power and renewable energy systems may be expensive initially, but the cost of sticking with status quo pencils out to be far greater. Without solar energy, Oregonians will spend nearly $40,348 on energy over the next 25 years. However, if you install solar, you’ll pay mostly just the cost of your system — meaning you stand to save a 25-year sum of $15,648 or more.
If you consider the ever-increasing cost of energy in Oregon, installing solar panels becomes more and more of a bargain. We’ve seen energy prices more than double in the past 20 years, and the cost of energy will continue to rise due to factors including increased demand for energy in general and the supplies made available at any given time.
Even when Oregon solar incentives are applied, not everyone has the means to pay for a solar panel system in cash up front. Luckily, many solar companies understand that paying for panels can be hard to manage and offer payment options, as described below:
- Cash purchase: With a cash purchase, you’ll pay for your panels in full prior to installation.
- Solar loan: You can get a solar loan through your solar contractor or a third-party company.
- Solar lease or power purchase agreements (PPA): Often $0 down, solar leases allow you to purchase your solar energy from a company that installs a solar system that you don’t own on your property.
In the chart below and the following sections, we’ll compare how your payment method affects your average energy savings when converting to renewable energy.
|Solar Financing Option||Initial Cost||Payback Period||Est. 25-Year Savings|
|Cash||$17,290 (after federal tax credit)||14 years*||$15,648|
|Loan||Often $0, but sometimes requires a down payment||16 years*||$11,736|
|Lease||Often $0 down||N/A||$6,000*|
*These are conservative estimates intended to represent base-level averages. In most cases, customers can see an even higher ROI and shorter payback periods.
Cash Purchase of Solar System
A cash purchase may be the most expensive option upfront to pay for your solar panels, but it does offer the greatest savings of $15,648 or more over 25 years. In Oregon, solar panel systems often cost $24,700 or more due to Oregon homes needing larger systems to offset energy costs.
When you pay for your solar panels up front, the solar payback period, or time it takes your energy savings from going solar to equal the cost of the panels, is 14 years. The payback period for a system purchased with a solar loan is longer because interest payments on your loan essentially make the system more expensive.
Many local Oregon incentives can be applied before you pay for your solar panels, so there is a good chance that you can get at least some of the total cost deducted. To maximize your savings, make sure you work with an Energy Trust of Oregon-approved contractor, because these individuals are the most knowledgeable about Oregon’s state and local incentives as well as any other incentives such as low income solar incentive programs you may qualify for. .
Pros of a Cash Purchase in Oregon
- Shortest payback period
- Access to money-saving incentives
- Opportunity to save the most on your energy bill each month
Cons of a Cash Purchase in Oregon
- You pay for the entire system upfront
Although the most cost-effective option is to pay for your solar panels up front in cash, we know this isn’t feasible for every homeowner. Solar loans are often $0 down, but you’ll have to make monthly payments until your system is paid off. These payments include interest, which raises the overall cost of your system and extends the payback period.
You can make solar loans more affordable by paying some of the cost up front to lessen the amount you owe. Not only does this make your monthly payments smaller, but it can also lower your interest rate and allow you to repay your loan faster.
If you’re thinking about adding extra to your monthly payment to reduce the principal on your loan and save on interest, be aware that with some solar loan terms include a penalty for overpayments.
Below you’ll find a list of local solar lenders that can help you finance your Oregon solar project.
- Clean Energy Credit Union: Fixed interest rate loans for solar and storage homeowners
- GreenSavers: Home energy loans available to homeowners in Portland and Bend through lenders Craft3 or Mid Oregon Credit Union
- Oregon On-Bill Loan Repayment: Loan up to $10,000 with up to 10-year repayment period for qualifying projects
- Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union: Rates as low as 4.49% for qualifying solar projects
- Savings Within Reach: Loans for energy-efficient upgrades up to $10,000 with a 10- year repayment period
- Umpqua Bank: Offers various home construction loans to homeowners looking to add renewable energy equipment or make energy-efficient upgrades.
- USDA REAP: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) that extends to Oregon agricultural producers. If more than 50% of your gross annual income comes from agriculture, you may qualify for a grant of up to 25% of your total system cost or a loan to cover up to 75%.
Your solar installer should also be able to help answer any questions about solar financing and may even have an in-house loan program.
Pros of a Solar Loan in Oregon
- Leads to panel ownership
- Provides a better ROI than leases
- Makes solar far more accessible and affordable
- Often requires no money down
Cons of a Solar Loan in Oregon
- Lower savings compared to a cash purchase
- Higher overall system cost due to added interest
- Decent credit is required to qualify
When you go the route of the solar lease, you often pay no money up front and still experience monthly energy savings. Solar leases are an excellent option for homeowners who don’t want to buy their own systems but do want to support renewable energy.
Most solar leases in Oregon are 15- to 20-year contracts that cover the cost of solar panel installation, maintenance and energy production. Oregonians do have the option to cancel their contracts, but be warned that this can be quite the sum and may come with penalties.
In Oregon, there are generally three payment options to lease your solar panels:
- $0 upfront and monthly payments
- Combination of down payment and monthly payments
- 100% prepaid and no monthly payments
The main difference between a solar loan and a solar lease is who owns the system. When you pay cash for your panels up front or opt for a solar loan, the solar panels are yours. But with a solar lease, the company you lease from is the true owner of the solar panels. This means that the money you save each month comes from purchasing solar energy at a lower price than electricity costs.
Another major downside to solar leases is that you can’t benefit from state or federal tax incentives. Instead, the solar installation company that leases the solar panel to you gets to cash out on those savings.
As more solar loan programs become available, such as the mosaic solar loan, solar leases are generally becoming less popular. If you think a solar lease is the right solution for your home, make sure you talk to several contractors to find a company that can offer this payment option and offer you the best terms.
Pros of Solar Lease
- Your solar panel and installation costs are fully covered
- You don’t have to pay for a system out of pocket
- The leasing company maintains your solar panels
Cons of Solar Lease
- You don’t own the solar system
- You don’t benefit from solar tax and other incentives
- Least amount of lifetime savings
Not ready to get solar quotes but still want to see how much it would cost to get solar panels installed on your home? Use this solar calculator to estimate your expected savings.
How Do You Get the Best Solar Prices in Oregon?
All Oregon residents will be able to credit solar energy overproduction to future energy bills due to great net metering provisions in Oregon, but there are several other tricks to getting the best prices for your solar energy system:
- Apply for the Solar + Storage Rebate program
- Apply for the Solar Within Reach program
- Invest in community solar initiatives
- Get an Energy Trust of Oregon-approved installer
Apply for the Solar + Storage Rebate Program
The Solar + Storage program issues rebates to homeowners who install solar panels and solar storage systems. The maximum rebate amount is $5,000 for solar panels and $2,500 for solar storage. Qualifying low- and moderate-income households receive a higher rate of rebate.
To get started, you need to connect with an Oregon Department of Energy-approved solar contractor that can help you through the application and qualifying processes. The rebate is paid directly to the installer, decreasing the amount you have to pay for your system.
Apply for Solar Within Reach
If your household is low to moderate income, you may qualify for the Solar Within Reach rebate program in addition to the Solar + Storage Program.
The Solar Within Reach program, administered by the Energy Trust of Oregon, provides an excellent opportunity for income-qualified households to gain access to solar technology. To quality for this incentive, you must:
- Be an Oregon customer of Portland General Electric or Pacific Power
- Work with an Energy Trust solar trade ally contactor that participates in the program
- Meet income requirements
Invest in Community Solar Initiatives
Numerous Oregon communities have begun to install community solar so that more people can invest in renewables and save money on energy. With these shared solar communities popping up across the state, renters and homeowners who were previously unable to invest in solar now have the opportunity to do so without making major up-front cash outlay.
Most customers — including renters, businesses, and nonprofits — of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, and Idaho Power (which serves parts of Eastern Oregon) can subscribe to a community solar project in their area through the Oregon Community Solar Program. Learn more about the subscription process here.
Get an Energy Trust of Oregon-Approved Installer
One of the best ways to save money on your solar panel system is to work with an Energy Trust of Oregon-approved installer. Not only is this often a requirement to qualify for Oregon solar incentives, but these installers are among the most knowledgeable solar experts in the state.
Approved installers have proven experience in the Oregon solar industry, so they know how to best work with top energy providers such as Pacific Power and PGE and they know exactly what kind of solar system you need for your home. In addition, these contractors have insider knowledge of local incentives programs that can save you additional money on your solar system.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Solar Panel Systems in Oregon?
The price for solar panels in Oregon is slightly below the national average of $2.66 per watt, but solar panel systems in Oregon tend to cost more than systems installed in other parts of the country. You can expect the following to impact the total price of your solar project:
- Type and brand of solar equipment
- Size of your solar panel system
- The company you choose to install your system
Type and Brand of Solar Equipment
Because Oregon only sees 143 days of sunshine a year, high-efficiency solar panels are needed to take full advantage of the sun that does fall on rooftops in the state. That makes top-name solar panels and batteries like Maxeon and Tesla Powerwall more advantageous in The Beaver State.
While they’ll cost more up front, they’ll produce more energy and come with better performance guarantees and warranty coverage than lower-tier panels, giving you the most energy savings and protection over time.
All home solar energy systems come with panels and inverters, but many installers provide access to add-on products like solar batteries, electric vehicle (EV) chargers and solar roofing. These options can increase the value of your solar project but will definitely increase the up-front cost.
Size of Your Solar Panel System
Because Oregon residents experience fewer days of sunshine per year than those in most states, most Oregon homes need larger systems to create enough electricity to offset energy costs. So even though the price per watt for solar panels in Oregon is slightly less than the national average, many Oregonians pay more for their solar panels because they need a larger amount of panels than other U.S. homeowners.
In Oregon, it’s fairly common to need a 9.5 kW or larger solar panel system. If you do need a larger system, you can expect to pay more. If you need a smaller system or only want solar to cover partial energy costs, then you can expect to pay less.
The Company You Choose to Install Your System
Every solar company prices its products and services differently — even for the same size project. Companies base their quotes on local labor and materials costs, the solar equipment brands they carry, warranty coverage, availability and more.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are 55 solar installation companies in Oregon.4 We’ve vetted the majority of these companies and found the best solar installers servicing Oregon to be Sunlight Solar, SunPower, Purelight Power, Blue Raven Solar and Tesla.
SunPower is a bit on the expensive side, but its Maxeon solar panels are the most efficient on the market, which — as mentioned above — is important in a state like Oregon that has fewer- than-average sunny days per year. Plus, the company offers many different financing options to make solar more accessible.
Blue Raven Solar offers more affordable options and great financing plans, but the brands it carries may not be as top-drawer as SunPower or Tesla. Blue Raven might be a good choice for homeowners in Southern Oregon who get greater-than-average sunshine than their neighbors to the north.
We always recommend getting solar quotes from several installers to find the most cost-effective system for your home.
Are There Any Maintenance Costs of Going Solar in Oregon?
Typically, solar panels require little maintenance after installation. But if your solar panels are covered by snow, leaves or other debris they generate less, or even no, electricity. In a given year, the most maintenance you will have to do is clear off dirt, leaves and any other debris that covers the panels.
Although it depends on the size of your system and the extent of the debris, you can expect to pay as little as $150 and as much as $1,000 to have your solar panels cleaned. The process is relatively simple and quick, and it’s important to regularly check your panels to make sure there is no debris blocking them.
You can clean your panels yourself to save money, but it is not recommended because you can damage the panels if you aren’t careful. If you do choose to clean your panels, don’t walk on them and carefully brush away leaves, branches and other debris.
Typical Costs of Solar Providers In Oregon
As with any other product, brand name matters for solar equipment and can have a significant impact on your total system cost. Typically, higher-quality panels with better warranties cost more on a per-watt basis compared to lower-efficiency brands with less coverage.
Below you’ll find relative pricing for the top solar panel brands in Oregon so you can get a better idea of which will best fit your budget.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
Ready to see how much solar panels would cost for your Oregon home? You can get a free, no-obligation quote based on your household’s energy needs by selecting one of our preferred providers below.
Read More About Going Solar in Oregon
FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Oregon
The EcoWatch team is thrilled to get questions regularly from Oregon homeowners, signifying that the interest in solar power is only increasing in the Pacific Northwest. Below are some of the questions we get asked most frequently, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at email@example.com.
The average cost to install a solar panel system in Oregon is $24,700 before the federal tax credit or $18,278 after. These figures are based on the average cost per watt in the area — $2.60 — and the fact that a 9.5-kW system is usually needed to offset the relatively high energy consumption in OR.
With that being said, every system will vary in size and cost, so your best option is to get a customized quote from a reputable solar installer in your area.
Yes, absolutely, solar boost property value in Oregon! In fact, the bump in value you can expect from going solar is one of the more significant benefits of converting.
Based on data from Zillow, a solar panel system will increase your property value by an average of 4.1%. Given the average home price in Oregon of $492,101, that comes out to an average value increase of $20,176! This benefit alone entirely makes up for the average cost of going solar after the federal tax credit in OR.
It’s crucial to understand that only buying your panels outright or financing them will provide this benefit. Solar leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) will not bump up your home value.
In almost every situation, buying your solar panels with cash or solar financing is a better option than leasing. Leasing doesn’t give you access to the same incentives and benefits.
For example, your home value won’t increase if you lease your system, which means you’ll be passing up a bump in the value of around $20,176, on average in Oregon. You also won’t have access to the federal tax credit if you lease, which is another $6,422 you’re passing up by leasing. The other state incentives mentioned above will also be off the table if you lease.
Leasing can be helpful for some customers whose credit scores are too low to secure financing, but in most cases, solar loans are a better option, and many financing options often have similar no-money-down perks to leases.
No, solar panels are not free in Oregon. Some less reputable companies use “free panels” as a marketing tactic to get you to sign a lease or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). These options are far less beneficial than purchasing or financing your panels, so it’s best to stay away, as enticing as “free panels” sound.
Yes, absolutely. Although the energy needs are higher in Oregon than in many other areas throughout the country, it’s still possible to offset your utility bills entirely by going solar. Provided your roof can support the system size you need, the net metering program can help you bring your electric bills down to $0.
Comparing authorized solar partners
- Most efficient panels on the market
- National coverage
- Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
- Great warranty coverage
A+Best National Provider1985SunPower Panels25-year all-inclusive warranty
- Customer service varies by local dealer
Having trouble deciding? Click below and use our process to receive multiple quotes instead: