You will be spending a decent amount of money, get more than 1 quote. I have recently seen others quote as high as $6.50/watt, the state average is now $4.56/watt I am between $2 and $3/watt. The $6.50/watt came with a poor explanation as to the energy savings and a $3,500 fee to get out of the contract. This is outragous.
Don't be rushed into buying a system.
If some Ad or salesperson says you may qualifty for a free system if you live in a certain zip code or utility district, walk away, There is no free lunch or free solar system. The absolute best deal is to qualify for the Solar Within Reach with ETO and the higher, low to moderate income (LMI) grant with ODOE, and then get a 30% federal tax credit on the rest (everyone in the US is eligible for that). With all that a solar system is still not free. If you qualify for these two programs in Oregon and then the federal credit the payback is very reasonable.
Overall there isn't much bad eqpt out there, though there are some buyer beware sales people.
The Federal tax credit is 30% of the net cost after any utility incentive. The ODOE grant if available is taxable. The Federal tax credit is not a check, it is a tax credit against your taxes. It can be carried forward if you can't use it all in one year.
My quotes figure in a 3% increase in electric rates per year, No one knows what future rates will be .
The Energy Trust incentives usually go down over time (they went up once) and the Or. Dept of Energy funds are capped. and what is remaining will run out I would thik my mid to late May, 2023. I have links to see how much is left in these programs.
Solar panel prices have been going up recently due to tariff issues, transportation, covid, shortages of the basic ingredient... these issues are very slowly improving. Over the last year solar panels have gone up for the first time in pretty much a decade.
I have the lowest prices in the state due to many reasons. I buy solar panels by the truckload get very good deals on them, have little overhead, no sales costs, no advertising and an efficient crew.
If your roof needs to be replaced, do it first.
If someone offers a long contract with lots of fine print, with loans that will last decades, be very cautious.
If you have a very large electric bill, check out why, it is more cost effective to optimize efficiency than installing a large solar system on an inefficient house.
With all that, solar can be a great deal.
If you have a lot of shade or are a renter, consider Community Solar. https://www.oregoncsp.org/
(I really need all of this, please don't write with no info and say you want a quote for solar)
For a quote we need the following:
Pictures texted or emailed to us at 541-905-2271 or email@example.com the following info:
SEND IN HIGH RESOLUTION.
Income levels for the higher grant/incentive thru ODOE and ETO Solar Within Reach Program
If your Annual Adjusted Gross Income (from your last tax return) is at or below these numbers for your household size, you get higher incentives.
If it is above these numbers there are lower incentives. The grants for higher income folks is out of money, ideally the legislature will add more, we won't know until mid May or June of 2023. It depends on the next financial outlook by the state and then votes of the state legislature.
People ODOE program ETO program
1 $52,110 $58,688
2 $68,143 $76,744
3 $84,176 $94,802
4 $100,210 $112,860
5 $116,245 $130,918
6 $132,278 $148,976
Congratulations to one of our customers!!!
My basic philopsophy is keep it simple and cost effective. Many people like small inverters for each solar panel (microinverters). I think spending ones life behind a solar panel in cold/hot/dry/humid weather for the next 25 to 30 years is a very tough job. I would rather install the least amount of electronics that can fail in a difficult to get to place (behind solar panels on a roof). A string inverter, if the company goes out of business can be replaced with another brand of string inverter. A micro inverter if it fails and the company goes out of business is more difficult as they are all proprietary.
Saying a micro inverter is more efficient than a string inverter for the most part is simply not true. A typical microinverter has a CEC efficiency of 97%, the inverter I use has a CEC efficiency of 97.5%.
Interestingly when looking at a roof with solar on different sides (East, West and South) the software that most everyone uses and that I use, does not calculate for multi MPPT inverters (which they almost all are these day) where you can have totally independent strings of solar (one string facing east, one west, one south for example). The output from the software shows a lower than actual reading as it shows a mismatch of panels rather than the actual independent strings which are not a mismatch. This makes it appear that micro inverters on roofs with different angles or driections are more efficient when in fact they are not. This is a major glitch that the software folks know about and have not fixed in the last few years. So when they show that microinverters give better energy production, this is not true.
Higher production can be if there is a lot of shading and it makes sense to have individual inverters for each solar panel, this is rarely the case.
Good News and who the heck knows news: The State financial forecast came out 5/18/23 and looked very good. Bad News, apparently the Republicans in the Oregon Legislature feel they have to walk out. Without a quorom of people to vote, nothing gets done. The bill to increase funds to the ODOE program, should pass if they can get to voting on it. We will see what happens.
Big NEWS (Ouch) Pacific Power had a 15% increase to residential rates and PGE 6% starting Jan 1, 2023. Not to be outdone, PGE is now asking for a 14% rate increase.
The Or. Dept of Energy funding for grants for low to moderate income homeowners and some non profits (low income service providers such as Boys and Girls Clubs) should run out sometime in the next 2 months.
The Federal tax credit for residential customer is calculated at 30% of the (cost-utility incentive)*30%.
The ODOE grant is taxable.
ETO and the ODOE raised the income limits for their low to moderate income program, check the table on my webiste to see if you qualify.
In PGE the maximum incentive for Solar Within Reach customers is now $6,000. This will drop to $5400 max. sometime before May 1, 2023 looking at the current funding.
In Pacific Power the Solar Within Reach maximum incentive is at e $6,000 level.
From the Energy Trust of Oregon.
The Inflation Reduction bill passed, the federal tax credit is now 30% from 26% that it was and stays at 30% for the next 10 years. Yah!!! This is retroactive to 1/1/2022. Non profits and governmental agencies are now eligible for a 30% incentive, this is a first!!
Check out this great website for seeing all the options of the Inflation Reduction Act for efficiency and renewables.
Rewiring America guidebooks
Info from the Feds on the Inflation Reduction Act
Over the last 7 months we installed solar systems at Linus Pauling School in Corvallis, 6 group homes for Chamberlin House in Albany, 240 kw for two Salem non profits, a 190 kw solar system on a school in Lake Oswego and a 320 kw solar tracker system for OSU to study what plants grow between rows of solar panels on farms.
Now on to many patient homeowners who have been waiting for us. We have installed 1,192 kw of solar over the last year, or about 3,000 individual solar panels.
I had a successfull trip to Nepal in October to help install a solar system for a school with no electricity with www.gridalternatives.org in October.
Ballpark cost for a 9.8 kw system from us @$25,000
From others a low of $28,000 to a high of $58,000
Cost after "cheap financing from others" at 3.9% after 25 years assuming high ETO incentive and low ODOE grant $73,826
Cost from me after @6% financing for 10 years (same payments as higher system cost but for much shorter loan) $29,220
Naturally your figures will vary depending on energy cost, ODOE grant, ETO incentive, credit score... but you get the idea. Why pay more?
Energy Wise Services has a 5 star rating (out of 5) from the Energy Trust of Oregon. The owner, Peter Greenberg and his company have installed over 35,000 solar panels (which is over 11,000 kw) in the last 12 years. We are installers and also owners on the cutting edge of solar development with over 150 systems that we own in Oregon and many we have installed for others. We monitor our systems daily so we know what is reliable over the long run.
Part of my profit from every job goes to Brighten Hait and adding solar to schools in Haiti which have no electricity.
Dear Peter, Thank you so much for sponsoring the Centre de Formation Classique Isaac Newton school in Haiti. Because of you 527 students will now have electricity, computer labs and meals cooked with electricity instead of charcoal.
Imagine going to school, hungry and having no electricity.
https://www.brightenhaiti.org/ Update 8/4/22 The Brighten Haiti folks turned on a solar system today at their shop and ran a blender at their little office, before starting their school project. This is the first time the bulding has ever had electricty. It took a while to turn on as they can't go to the corner hardware store and buy a light switch that they need as most of the country has no electricity, so parts are hard to find and it is very dangerous to go to many parts of the county.
1/6/2023 Brighten Haiti won an award from PV Magazine for their work!!!
In October, I spent 2 weeks on a trip to Nepal and worked with the volunteer group www.gridalternatives.org. It was a very long way to go, but 200+ kids appreciated that they will now have electricity in their school. The last leg of the flites was about 100 feet over the terrain in a small 15 seater, the pilots in Nepal are amazing. When the stall alarm sounded, like in the movies from an upwind, it definatly gets your attention.
The electrical products we install have between 10 to 30 year warranties for materials. Our labor warranty is 7 years for replacing parts.
Over the last 12 years we have installed over 35,000 solar panels. With our very close relationship with manufacturers we have tested and installed 19 new products helping the solar industry grow and evolve.
We are a socially-oriented company, bringing solar power to both for-profit and non-profit customers. We believe in giving back to the community, while saving our customers as much money and energy as possible. We are most proud to have installed more solar on schools, churches, and other non-profits in the State of Oregon then anyone else. Part of our profits help fund solar on schools in Haiti that have no electricty thru https://www.brightenhaiti.org/
Boys & Girls Clubs in Albany, Corvallis and Lebanon.
Albany: YMCA, Habitat Restore, Safe Haven.
Corvallis: Grace Adult Day Services, Corvallis Housing, Benton Co. Law, Kalapuya , Old Mill, and Cornerstone.
Salem: Garten and Shangri La
Schools: Albany, Corvallis, Turner, Newberg, Medford, Silverton, Mt. Angel, Salem
The Energy Trust is funded by a small fee paid by the customers of Pacific Power, NW Natural and Portland General Electric. This helps pay for energy efficiency and renewable projects. This saves a lot more than it costs for the ratepayers over the long run. Check out their site for all sorts of incentives for energy savings products!! Incentives steps are filling up quicker and dropping to the next lowest rate, check out their site for incentive levels at the insider address below.
Low to moderate income folks, the ETO and Oregon Dept of Energy have a great deal for you. ETO incentives can be as high as $6.000 and the ODOE grant can be as high as $5,000.
Please click below to find out more to see the latest funding from ETO.
The Energy Trust incentives decrease over time. Here's the link so you can see the status of current ETO incentives, it updates often. The ETO incentives in my quotes are only guaranteed once we sign you up with them.
The Oregon Dept of Energy started up a program with grants for solar September 27, 2021, that provides up to $5,000 for homeowners and up to $30,000 for non profit low income service providers. Their income limits are lower than the Energy Trust.
ODOE has run out of grants for non low income households until probably the summer of 2023.
The federal government has a tax credit of 30% of the net cost (for homeowners that is the Cost- Utility incentive ) times 30%. The ETO incentive is non taxable, the ODOE grant is.
If you owe $200 in taxes and have a $100 credit, then you only owe $100. Tax credits can also be carried forward to future years.
For business, the ETO incentive is taxed but you get to depreciate 85% of the total cost in addition to the 30% tax credit on the full cost.
Non profits and Govt. agencies will be able a check from the Feds. for the 30% tax credit with the new Inflation Reduction Act once they work out the rules.
For reasonable financing, please check out this lender who specializes in solar loans or your local lender with a Heloc loan. We don't jack up the price than offer cheap financing.
I use excellent solar panels and inverters. I often tell people that solar panels (or modules) are a commodity and the more expensive ones are not worth the extra price. I lost a customer to a friendly competitor a year ago becuase he wanted "better" solar panels. I did an analysis of the output of a 9 kw system with standard solar panels and Panasonics (they have now stopped making solar panels). They had a very good reputation and impressive output. In our little corner of the world, with basically a reasonable amount of sun and moderate electric rates, if one figures in 1% increase of electric rates per year, the difference over 25 years is about $2,000 in value. The extra cost was $6,000 up front. Personally I wouldn't do that. I buy solar panels a few hundred kw at a time, typically a little under the highest wattage and have very reasonable prices. If you really want to spend a lot more, I can charge you more, but overall I like to do what makes the most sense.
Seeds for the Sol was founded in Corvallis by the great Julie Williams, it is a non-profit, grass-roots organization taking action to remove the financial barriers to residential solar. The neighbor-to-neighbor funding model mimics the natural cycles of planting, harvesting, and renewal, helping more people put solar on their roofs. They are made up of concerned citizens who want to repurpose the benefits they’ve reaped from a fossil fuel economy, passing them on to the next generation in the form of renewable energy. They have helped with financing for over 106 homes and are always looking for more investors to expand. Energy Wise has installed many systems for them.
Oregon Clean Power Coop is an organization also in Corvallis who funds solar for mostly non profits thru small local investors and larger tax equity partners. This is the first organization of its type in the country. They worked on legislation to allow regular folks to be accredited investors. They have helped fund many projects around Oregon. We installed a few projects for them including Hood River Waste Water Treatment Plant, Corvallis Old Mill Center, Benton County Kalapuya building and a few upcoming Corvallis schools.
Blue Sky grants thru Pacific Power This is a voluntary funding mechanism where individuals and business pay a little extra on their Pacific Power electric bill to help fund renewable energy projects. It and the similar organization under Portland General Electric have some of the highest participation in the country. Once a year they award grants to mostly non profits. We have applied for and have been awarded a few grants, totalling over $250,000 for Albany YMCA, Albany and Lebanon Boys and Girls Clubs.
Click to check out how to sign up for Blue Sky!
Installing a solar system in a remote in Peru. This has allowed them to educate kids during covid an
The Solar Within Reach incentive for income qualified customers is between $6,000 (Pac Pwr) and $7,200 (PGE) . This lowers over time.
The Energy Trust residential incentive for non low income customers currently is $600 which decreases over time in Pacific Power and Portland General Electric.
Prices vary depending on the type of racking: Ground, tracker or roof.
Roof: flat, shingled, metal. Single phase or 3Ph and the voltage (208, 240 or 480v) .
We have installed 48 projects with over 1694 kw of solar over the last few years.
We are well behind, where we want to be with our residential installs. it's hard to turn down new customers and I don't want to raise my prices. The State average is about $4.22/watt, I am typicalliy around $2.50/watt. For some reason people keep saying yes. With that in mind, new customers, please expect about a 6 month wait for your install (quotes are fast). If you don't want to wait and spend many thousands more with someone else to save $400 for waiting, well that's up to you. Like a fine wine, we are worth the wait.
We installed what was probably the largest bifacial (two sided solar modules) installation on solar trackers in the country at the time.
Participated in a solar install in Haiti at left, with continuing funding of projects for schools in the country.
We were the first customer of Game Change Solar with their tracker in 2017, buying 1.9 MW. Since then over the last 4 years they have sold @ 16,000 MW. Looks like it caught on.
We were then the first customer of their 2 up in portrait tracker which is at Mt. Angel Middle School and doing extremly well.
We are finishing up the largest Agrovoltaic solar system in the state at an OSU Ag. Farm.
Amory Lovins and RMI have done more to advance energy efficiency and renewables than about anyone in the world. His non profit is great, I helped build their facility a few decades ago and have been a fan and supporter ever since. It's well worth reading their information on all things energy!
Annette Mills has run a great group for many years helping the Corvallis community with energy and sustainability issues. Get involed!!
This is a statewide organization that supports the professional solar industry with education, lobbying (I am on the Policy Committee) and all things that lead to advancing the industry.
I helped install a 24 kw solar system in a very remote area of Haiti in 2019 where we installed solar thru a non profit for 2 schools with about 450 kids that had no electricity. Now they have lights, fans and power. One of the participants, Kevin Keene is working on fundraising for low enegy and very cost effective Kindles for the kids to read books and lesson plans at the kids homes with no electricity. We are working with them to fund more schools in Haiti with solar.
A great oragnization that trains women from around the world to spread solar back in their communities. https://www.barefootcollege.org/solution/solar/
One of my favorite organizations. Solar Mamas come to us from around the world, taking training at regional centres to gain the confidence and knowledge that helps them to grow roots of change in their communities. Their backgrounds are vast, the landscapes bounding and local challenges unique. Their positive effects they bring home with them are just the beginning of their potential to create lasting change for women, girls and communities.
We Care Solar is a great group that builds and provides a robust and easy to use solar electric system in a suit case used for very rural medical clinics so kids don't have to be born by kerosene light also providing power for small medical devices and communication.
Early in 2019 I went to Peru to bring solar also with Twende Solar to a remote mountain village that now has power, internet. With Covid locking down the village of 80 or so people from the town and schools hours down the mountain, they can get education over the internet for the kids with the solar we installed.
Also thru Twende, the solar community in Oregon did a group build of a 100kw solar system on a womens shelter and training site in Portland.
Many thanks for the great work they do and to its founders John and Brandon of Elemental Energy in Portland and Marissa its director!!
In 2019 I I installed solar in remote villages in Nicaragua with www.gridalternatives.org I helped with an install with Grid Alternatives at a school with no electricity in Nepal in October of 2022 (after waiting for 2 years for Covid to lighten up). To read about this project and to donate. https://gridalternatives.org/fighting-gender-inequality-ashok-namuna-public-school-jumla-nepal
One of our sites was part of a US Dept of Energy study on bifacial (two sided) thru the National Renewable Energy Labs.
We have installed 19 products where we were the 1st in the Country or Oregon!
Utility scale solar is now in most parts of the country cheaper than the operating cost of coal and nuclear plant (not figuring the cost of building or the cost of the waste and pollution), with the lowest cost system at .014/kwh. That's almost what Reddy Kilowatt said decades ago incorrectly about nuclear, Energy too cheap to meter.
Aptera: The most efficient electric vehicle ever designed.www.aptera.us For a little discount for you and credit for me https://lz953.isrefer.com/go/preorder/GD037G21
Albany: Boys and Girls Club , YMCA
Corvallis: Boys and Girls Club , Old Mill Center, Benton Co office building and Law Enforcement Center., Cornerstone, Grace Adult Day Services, Corvallis Housing
Schools: Albany, Turner, Mt. Angel, Silverton, Newberg
Safe Haven Animal Shelter
Garten Industries and Shangri La. Non profits in Salem
George Fox University, Newberg
Oregon State University, Aurora
Lake Oswego schools
Cascade Christian School, Medford
Albany Habitat for Humanity Restore
Dallas, Dundee and Hood River Waste Water Treatment
Dundee Fire Department
Tri City Water (Myrtle Creek)
Farms and Nurseries: Case Farms, Hammerich, JF Schmidt, Golden Valley,
Kauer Farms, KCK Farms, Cloud Cap Dairy, NW Onion, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
12 or so Churches
and lots of smaller projects too numerous to mention
Heat pump water heaters using the same refrigerant technolgy as a heat pump can save up to 75% of your electric hot water uses. A self install pays for itself in a few years. Available at Home Depot, Lowes and other stores. There is a new very large federal tax credit under the new Inflation Reduction Act. Also you get a water heater with a 10 yr. warranty instead of the typical 6 year.
The Energy Trust and Consumers Power
Consumers Power and Energy Trust which serves customers of NW Natural, Pacific Corp and Portland General Electric have many incentives to save you money and energy in your house, office, farm... check them out
One of the odder solar systems we installed using a robot to turn solar trackers.
My sister, Marcy is a extraordinary craftsperson, as well as my sister. Her company makes beautiful stuffed anmial and tapestries. She is a tapestry weaver, soft toy maker, clothing designer, Check them out!! www.peartreestudio.com Her hubby, Hans is a highly skilled craftsman who makes stain glass in geometrically correct shapes. He even has one in the Math Museum in NYC. www.glassgeometry.com
My other sister, Ricki is also an extraordinary craftsperson. Most of the home cheesemakers in the country got their start from either her books, her supplies or her classes www.cheesemaking.com
My Dad who has passed away some years ago, was the original Willy Wonka. As a mechanical engineer he designed the machines that make some of the most famous candies. Resus Peanut Butter Cups, Nestle's $100,000 bar, Mike and Ike's, Salted peanut rolls, Masons Dots and many other are made on machines he designed and his company built.
My Mom at 94 years lived Englewood, NJ where she was Mayor for 7 years. Dizzy Gillespie played at her inauguration. The Eisley Brothers grew up across the street from us, John Travolta went to High School with me. Sylvia Robinson and her family including Joey, produced the famous Rappers Delight. Their are a lot of famous people as Englewood is very close to NY and a fine place to live. If there was a major event in town politcally or in the Arts, she has been involved. My Mom died in late Dec. 2022. The Mayor had the flags flown at half mast, the Governor of NJ called to wish his condolenses, she had a great life, was very active in local politics and influenced a lot of people with the good that she did. She is missed.