Oregon Solar Cost Breakdown

When it comes to solar, last year’s facts are this year’s fiction. The solar industry changes at a rapid pace, leaving prospective solar buyers reading old news when trying to make a decision. This can often get in the way of homeowners making well-informed choices about their solar energy needs.

Despite the cloudy weather, solar power is increasingly becoming more popular with homeowners in Oregon. These homeowners are becoming more environmentally friendly while saving money on their utility bills, locking in their electricity rates, and increasing their property values.

To ensure you get the best possible solar education, we’re going to look at the primary reasons to switch to solar in Oregon, and break down the average cost of a standard solar system after incentives.

The Cost Of Electricity in Oregon Has Increased Drastically

In Oregon, the average cost of a single kilowatt hour of power is about 10.5 cents. In 2010, the average cost of a single kilowatt hour of power was about 6.2 cents. Retail electricity rates have risen drastically across the state over the last 10 years. The trend of utility companies continuing to raise electricity rates is unlikely to change in the near future.

The Cost Of Solar Has Dropped By More Than 55%

An averaged-sized residential system has dropped from a pre-incentive price of $40,000 in 2010 to about $18,000 today. This is one of the primary reasons why more and more Oregonians are choosing to go solar.

Solar Panels Boost Property Resale Value

Solar panels don’t just reduce your energy costs and help the environment; they also increase your property value. According to Zillow, homes with solar sold for nearly 3% more than comparable homes without. That means an average home with solar across the United States sold for an additional $9,274.

Zillow’s findings reflect similar studies published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which drew on a sample of 23,000 homes across the country.

Understanding Property Resale Value

Your property value will increase by an average of 3% the moment you go solar. For instance, if your property value was $400,000 before installing solar, it will be worth $412,000 after installing it.

What About The Clouds?

Germany leads the world in solar power production, yet it’s slightly cloudier than places like Portland, Salem, and Eugene on an annual basis. Much like Germany, Oregon benefits from long summer days with mild temperatures — ideal conditions for maximum solar production. This helps balance out lower production in the cloudy winter months.

When you go solar, you take advantage of Net Energy Metering. During the summer months, your solar system will produce more energy than you consume. The excess energy will be sent back into the grid. Think of it as a sort of “energy storage bank.” During cloudy months, when your solar isn’t producing as much energy as you’re consuming, Net Energy Metering will automatically distribute the excess energy you stored away over the summer.

Oregon Solar Incentives

Federal Solar Investment Tax Incentive (ITC)

The federal government incentivizes you to purchase solar by reducing the barriers to entry. This incentive lowers your federal tax obligations on a dollar-to-dollar basis, through a cash rebate. There is no ceiling on the tax credit. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Incentive is worth
30% of the total purchase price of your solar system, regardless of the system size or cost.

How To Break Down A Solar Panels system cost

The cost of solar panels in Oregon ranges between $3,000 and $4,000 per kilowatt. When it comes to your specific solar price, the size of your solar system and your property’s unique installation conditions will be the determining factors. While installation costs can vary, the average installed cost of solar in Oregon is $3,300 per kilowatt, and the average size of a solar system in Oregon is about 5 kilowatts.

Average Pre-Incentive System Cost in Oregon

Average System Size in Oregon: 5 Kilowatts

Average System Cost Per Kilowatt in Oregon: $3,300


5 Kilowatts in Size x $3,300 Per Kilowatt = $16,500 Initial Cost

Average Pre-Incentive Solar System Cost in Oregon: $16,500

Calculating Average Oregon Solar Incentives

Using the average pre-incentive system cost of $16,500, let’s calculate how Oregon and federal cash incentives will further reduce the cost.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Incentive (ITC)

The federal government will provide a cash incentive of 30% of your total system cost.


$16,500 System Cost x 30% = $4,950 Incentive


Average Federal Solar Incentive in Oregon: $4,950

Calculating the Average Total Cost of Solar in Oregon

Average Pre-Incentive System Cost in Oregon: $16,500


Average Federal Government Incentive in Oregon: $4,950


$16,500 Pre-Incentive Cost – ($4,950 Rebates) = $11,550


Average Post-Incentive System Cost in Oregon: $11,550

Oregon Solar System Purchase Options

Think of purchasing solar like buying or renting a home. You can own it outright by paying cash up front, you can finance it and pay $0 up front, or you can choose to rent it (lease).

At Smart Solar Energy, we don’t believe in renting (leasing) our solar systems. You have to split the savings with your solar company, you don’t get to take advantage of the federal and state solar incentives, and selling your home can be a challenge. 

Much like owning a home, owning your solar system allows you to maximize your investment benefits. While paying for your solar system up front is a great investment, most of our clients would prefer to hold on to their hard-earned cash. That’s why we have a variety of $0 money down financing options with local credit unions and can work to find you a solution that meets your specific needs.

Does The Cost Of Getting Solar Panels In Oregon Make Sense For You?

We believe in educating our prospective clients so you can make well-informed decisions about your solar energy needs. Our Free Solar Audit will help you understand whether your property is a good candidate for solar. From there, we can make recommendations based on the incentives available to you and develop a unique plan that addresses your solar energy needs. 

Factors Affecting the Cost of Solar Panel Systems in Oregon

The total cost of integrating a solar panel system for your home in Oregon can vary considerably based on several key factors. Understanding these factors is crucial for making informed decisions about your solar investment.

Solar System Size: Optimizing for Efficiency

The size of your solar panel system is a major determinant of its cost. If your home has limited electricity consumption or roof space, you’ll likely opt for a smaller solar system, especially in Oregon given many roofs have tree shading on them. Before making the switch to solar, consider ways to reduce your overall energy usage, such as upgrading to energy-efficient appliances or adopting water-saving measures.

Solar Panels, Inverter & Equipment: Quality Matters

The cost of solar equipment, including panels and inverters, can vary based on the manufacturer and product line. While monocrystalline solar panels may be more expensive than polycrystalline alternatives, they often offer higher efficiency and longevity. At Smart Solar Energy, we prioritize quality, installing reliable panels and inverters to ensure your system generates renewable energy for decades.

Solar System Batteries: Backup Power Considerations

Incorporating a battery bank into your solar array increases the overall system cost but provides electricity during power outages. This can lead to additional savings if your utility company offers time-of-use rates. Customers in Oregon, served by utilities like Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, can benefit from solar batteries during peak demand, potentially reducing electricity bills.

Rooftop Solar vs. Ground Mount: Location Matters

Optimal placement for solar panels is on the roof of your house, ideally facing south and in full sun. If this isn’t feasible, alternative locations like garage roofs or sheds are considered. However, a ground-mount system is an option if none of these alternatives work, though it may significantly increase costs due to additional materials, permitting, and labor.

Federal Solar Tax Credits: Financial Incentives

The federal government provides a 30% solar tax credit for installing a solar panel system. This credit applies to the total system cost, covering panels, inverters, equipment, permitting, and labor. To take advantage of this incentive, the system must be installed on a primary or secondary residence, and you must own, not lease, the solar system. Consulting a tax expert is advisable to ensure eligibility.

Cost for a 2,000-Square-Foot Home in Oregon

The cost of a solar system for a 2,000-square-foot home in Oregon varies based on factors like panel quality, system size, and labor rates. Our 6-kilowatt rooftop solar systems in Oregon typically cost around $18,000 before incentives. Applying the 30% federal tax credit and Oregon solar rebates can significantly reduce the net cost, making solar more accessible.

Oregon Solar Rebates: Additional Savings

The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) offers rebates for home solar systems. Homeowners can receive up to $5,000 for a solar system and $2,500 for solar batteries, further reducing the overall cost and payback period.

Oregon Flag

Solar Battery Costs and Financing Options: Planning Ahead

Installing a solar battery, such as the Enphase Encharge 10, Tesla Powerwall 2, or Generac Battery, can add around $16,000 to the total system cost. However, this cost is eligible for the 30% federal solar tax credit, and the Oregon Department of Energy provides rebates of up to $2,500 for solar batteries. Financing options, including solar loans with fixed interest rates, offer homeowners flexibility to invest in solar while enjoying long-term energy savings.

Conclusion: Smart Solar Energy Solutions

The cost of a solar system in Oregon is influenced by various factors, and Smart Solar Energy is committed to providing customized plans tailored to your energy needs and property. Our team offers free solar audits to help you make informed decisions and take advantage of available incentives, making the transition to solar both environmentally and financially rewarding.



Don’t take it from us – hear it from customers like you.
We used Smart Solar Energy out of Medford Oregon to get solar panels installed on my home. They were referred to us by a friend and Jordan was the salesperson who helped us. He was very knowledgeable and explained all the pros and cons of going solar. In the end, the pros outweighed the minimal cons and helped my wife and I make the decision to go solar. The pricing was very competitive and the installation was done professionally. We always felt like we were being kept in the loop with them. They even checked back in to see how we were doing after the installation. Overall, we’re very happy with our decision and are glad to be saving some money!

Sylvia M.
Medford, Oregon
I care about saving money. I care about the investment known as my home. Working with Smart Solar Energy has been such a pleasure! As someone who cares about the environment, it’s important to me to make sure the company I go with feels the same way. They did a very thorough job and were careful to make sure I was aware of what the next steps were in the installation process. The process of getting the roof surveyed and getting solar panels was pain and stress free. I highly recommend Smart Solar Energy out of Bend Oregon because of the quality and respect they provided to me in this process of getting solar panels on my roof. As Oregon is progressing towards renewable energy, I’m glad Smart Solar Energy is the team I'm with. They work with you and for you. I highly recommend!

Jerry L.
Bend, Oregon
The search for solar is a daunting and scary task. With so many choices and so many options it makes it tough to decide which direction to go. Everyone is looking to make your money. Thankfully, I came across Smart Solar Energy in Portland, Oregon. The salesperson was incredibly honest and straightforward. The process was handheld all the way through till the end and they dealt with all my senseless worries and any problems that occurred extremely professionally and quickly. I recommend them to any and everyone that asks me about the solar on my home. Oh, and the work was done very nicely, panels look great, crew was very clean, and my place was left spotless after all was said and done. Highly recommend Smart Solar Energy to anyone looking to go solar!

Sally F.
Portland, Oregon
After almost 2 years of research and multiple solar power company interviews, none of them compared to Smart Solar Energy. They were very professional and thorough. I didn’t feel pressured anytime during the process. The solar consultant understood my needs and some of the headwinds I was facing with such a long term commitment. The fact that their installation company installed more solar in Oregon and Washington than anyone else, combined with the high quality panels made my decision that much easier. The installation went flawless even though some uneventful weather delayed it. The entire process from start to finish took about 40 days. I highly recommend that Smart Solar Energy out of Longview, Washington be one of your finalists when it comes to your solar energy needs.

Kathy T.
Longview, Washington
Just had my solar installed last week! After a year of research and quotes from companies, reviews, systems, material, panels used I finally decided on Smart Solar Energy out of Salem Oregon. Boy did my research payoff. Jordan the salesman explained everything. He didn't waste my time by trying to push me in a direction I wasn't interested. He was knowledgeable and helped me come up with a plan that fit best for what my wants and needs were. Then it moved to my project manager. He was there to explain where we were in the process and ensure it all was taken care of. Install day came. They did a great job and it looks great. They explained what they were doing throughout the process and how it all works together. After install they contacted me to explain how to monitor the solar being produced.

Rick H.
Salem, Oregon


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