Solar pool heating is the most cost effective way to use solar energy – and with generous tax credits and incentives, the system will pay for itself in a few seasons. When you schedule a free solar site visit, your technician will explain how cost effective solar pool heating can be. Below are the current incentives that apply to most Oregon residents. If you are a Washington resident, the Energy Trust of Oregon recently added parts of Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties (Region 12) for Solar Pool Heating. You can check the Energy Trust Region Map to see if you are within the Energy Trust incentive boundaries. Please note that incentives and tax credits can change frequently and are generally lowered or eliminated with short notice.
Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit Program: $0.15 per kWh saved for solar spa and pool heating systems, up to 50% of the cost (maximum $1,500). The kWh saved = the total solar collector area times 30 for systems west of the Cascades, or 35 for systems east of the Cascades.
Energy Trust of Oregon utility incentive: The Energy Trust of Oregon: $3.00 per sq. ft. of collector area for PGE or Pacific Power customers, or $2.25 per sq. ft. of collector area for Northwest Natural or Cascade Natural Gas customers ($1,500 maximum) for seasonal use pools.
Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit: up to 35% of the system cost. The credit is filed over 5 years: 10% in the first and second years, and 5% per year thereafter.**
Energy Trust of Oregon utility incentive: $3.00/sq. ft. of solar collector for outdoor, seasonal use pools that are less than 1,000 square feet for PGE and Pacific Power customers, and $2.25/sq.ft. of solar collector for NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas customers. The maximum incentive is $1,500.
For year-round use or indoor pools greater than 1,000 square feet, $0.10 per kWh of first year energy savings with backup heating provided by PGE and Pacific Power, and $1.50 per therm of first-year savings for backup heating provided by NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas. The maximum incentive amount is 35% of the project cost. For more information, see Energy Trust Solar Pool Heating for Business.
Many other states offer incentives for residents and businesses to invest in renewable energy projects. You can learn more about renewable energy incentives in other states at the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) website.
**The Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) has experienced a number of changes, including legislative modifications in February 2010 that set up a tiered system for renewable energy proposals. These are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and all funds have currently been allocated.
Disclaimer: Consult your tax professional to learn how tax credits and rules apply to your project. This information does not constitute tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties.