Cost of Solar Panels in Oregon: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Oregon:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.60
- Cost of Average System: $18,278*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $40,348
- Payback Period: 14 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $15,648
*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.
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Cost of Solar Panels in Oregon
Solar panel systems in Oregon usually cost around $2.60 per watt. The average system in the area is about 9.5 kilowatts, which would cost an average of $24,700 before the federal solar tax credit or $18,278 after the credit. Although the typical per-watt price is below average, this total cost is above the national average because a larger system is needed in Oregon than in most other areas throughout the country.
Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Oregon
Solar panel systems are priced primarily on the system size required to offset your energy costs. Although residents enjoy relatively low electricity rates, most homeowners in Oregon have higher energy needs than average — around 916 kW per month — so a larger system will be required. A 9.5-kW system is typical throughout Oregon, but the table below provides estimated pricing of other common system sizes before and after the federal tax credit.
|Size of Solar Panel System||Oregon Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
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What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Oregon?
The size of your system will almost always be the most significant factor, but other things can affect your price as well. We’ll include some information on three additional cost factors you’ll need to consider to estimate your price accurately.
The solar equipment you choose will, of course, have a major effect on your total cost. Both the brand and the type of equipment are crucial.
Many manufacturers offer solar equipment and, just like with any other product, the brand you choose can determine the overall quality, durability and price. Some brands and their equipment — like Maxeon panels and Tesla Powerwalls — come with a larger price tag, but they also deliver greater quality. These products will cost more upfront but tend to last longer, be more energy-efficient and come with more appealing warranty coverage.
The type of equipment you choose can affect your total price as well. All home solar energy systems come with panels and inverters, but many installers provide access to add-on products like solar batteries to provide power through outages, electric vehicle chargers and solar roofing. These additional options will increase the value of your solar project but also the upfront cost.
Many solar customers fail to consider the cost of financing. Even if you get a zero-money-down or low-APR loan, your financing will still cost you in the long run. It might be wise to use a solar calculator to figure out your all-in cost of going solar. That total would include the price of your system and labor to install it, plus the total interest you’ll pay over the term of the loan. In some cases, financing can add thousands of dollars to your all-in costs.
While a cash purchase will cost the most upfront, it’s the least expensive way overall to go solar. To that same end, the larger your down payment is, the lower your total cost will be. Choosing a low-APR loan and paying as much as you comfortably can upfront is a great way to bring down your total cost of solar panel installation.
Solar Installation Company
Finally, the solar installer you choose can have a significant effect on what you’ll pay to go solar.
First, every solar contractor will charge different amounts for their labor, and some tack on upcharges to the equipment they install. One company could cost more than another even if they both plan to provide the same solar equipment and services.
Second, solar panel installation companies typically offer a select number of solar equipment brands, so the cost of installation can vary depending on the brands your installer supplies. For example, a company that only installs high-quality and high-efficiency equipment will naturally have higher pricing than a competitor that cuts costs by installing lower-quality panels. When it comes to solar, cheaper is always better, so it’s best to consider the value a company provides in addition to the overall cost.
Oregon Solar Incentives
For many homeowners, the idea of spending an average of $24,700 to install a solar panel system is unrealistic. Thankfully, the local and federal governments provide Oregon homeowners with a number of solar tax incentives and rebates to bring down those costs. Below are the most appealing nationwide and local incentives available to Oregon residents.
Federal Solar Tax Credit For Oregon Homeowners
The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is available to homeowners across the country, including those in Oregon. This credit comes off of the federal taxes you owe. While it’s not an instant credit, it is one of the most substantial incentives. The credit is for a massive 26% of your entire system cost. In Oregon, where the average system costs around $24,700, that’s a credit of $6,422!
Homeowners looking to capitalize on the federal tax credit should plan on completing their solar conversion in 2022. The credit is scheduled to dip to 22% in 2023 and, as of right now, will no longer be available in 2024.
Net Metering Policies in Oregon
Net metering is a billing option offered by countless electric companies and mandated by many states throughout the country. It allows energy to flow back and forth between your solar power system and the grid. When you don’t produce enough energy for what you’re consuming, the grid makes up the difference. When you overproduce energy, you send the excess to the grid and get credited for anything you don’t need back to cover usage.
Essentially, you’ll be able to overproduce and use the excess energy to bring down your energy costs if you ever underproduce — like at night or on cloudy days.
Oregon state law requires that all utility companies offer net metering pursuant to Oregon Revised Statutes 757.300. Your particular net metering arrangement will depend on your energy company, as the requirements are different for the state’s primary investor-owner utilities (PGE and PacifiCorp), municipal utilities, electric cooperatives and people’s utility districts. Make sure to check with your electricity provider before committing to solar and a net metering arrangement.
Local Solar Rebates in Oregon
In addition to the federal solar investment tax credit and the positive net metering policies in Oregon, the state government provides some additional incentives to entice homeowners to convert to solar.
First, the Solar + Storage Rebate Program is provided by the state in an effort to reduce the costs of installing solar panels and solar batteries. Homeowners can apply to receive the credit, which is based on system size and cost. This rebate could total $7,500 if you qualify and install both panels and an energy storage system.
The Renewable Energy Systems Exemption is a property tax exemption offered by the State of Oregon. In most cases, a property improvement will cause your property taxes to increase. The tax exemption states that your taxes won’t go up because of your solar conversion. Even though your panels will increase the value of your home, your taxes won’t go up as a result. Over time, this could save you thousands of dollars.
There are also some utility-specific rebates available for customers of a particular electric provider. For example, the Solar Within Reach is available for customers of Pacific Power and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). It aims to reduce the cost of going solar for low-income households.
It’s best to check for additional utility-specific rebates, as these are quite common in Oregon. You can look for others on the DSIRE database before going solar.
Best Solar Panel Brands and Installed Solar System Costs in 2022
Oregon homeowners have many equipment brand choices that are suitable for the weather and conditions in the area. Below are some of the best solar panel brands, along with relative pricing to help you decide which might be best for you.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
People Also Ask
EcoWatch FAQ: 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.
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.
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. 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.
We get this question frequently, but, unfortunately, there is no universal answer, even based on the size of your home. In addition to your home’s square footage, a solar installer will have to consider a number of factors to determine the appropriate system size. These factors include shading on your property, the direction your roof faces, the efficiency of the equipment you need, your average monthly electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours, and much more.
If you’re looking for an accurate quote, your best option is to contact a reputable solar installer to get a personalized estimate.