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Residential Energy Tax Credits for Solar

General Information 
  
Residents can get a credit on their Oregon income taxes for adding solar energy system(s) to their homes, helping to reduce imported fossil fuels and preserve Oregon’s environment.
 
After the system is installed, residents can file a Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) application. Each solar technology must be installed according to minimum requirements. The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) maintains a list of solar companies that understand these requirements.
 
Residential – Solar Electric (PV) Tax Credits
 
Solar electric systems, also called “PV” systems generate electricity directly from the sun using photovoltaic modules. More information is available on solar electric (PV) page.
  1. Tax credit is based on $2.10 per watt of installed capacity (DC) up to $6,000 per residence taken over four years ($1,500 per year) limited to 50 percent of the cost of the system.
  2. Must be verified by a tax credit technician. 
  3. Must be comprised of new UL listed equipment.
  4. Be a minimum of 200 watts.
 
Solar Domestic Water Heating Residential Tax Credits

Solar domestic water heating systems use roof-mounted solar collectors to pre-heat incoming cold water so that on a sunny day, little or no backup water heating is needed. More information is available on the solar water heating page.
  1. System must be verified by a tax credit technician.
  2. Tax credit is based on estimated energy savings for a typical four-person household.
  3. Tax credit amount is $0.60 per kWh saved up to $1,500.
  4. Credit is limited to 100 percent of the total system cost.
  5. Equipment must be new and either OG-300 certified or listed as a “Research and Development” system by ODOE.

 

Residential – Solar Pool Heating Tax Credits

Solar Pool heating systems are very effective for increasing swimming pool temperatures under warm sunny conditions. Most collector systems use unglazed type collectors that are not effective under cloudy, rainy or cool conditions. These systems can eliminate the need for backup heat during most of a typical outdoor swimming season. Annual savings vary greatly, depending on the size of the pool and the number of months used each year. Use of a pool blanket is highly recommended with or without a solar pool heating system.

  1. Equipment must be new and collector must come with a 10-year warranty. 
  2. Collector area must be at least 40 percent of the pool surface area if there is a pool blanket. 
  3. Collector area must be at least 60 percent of the pool surface area without pool blanket. 
  4. Tax credit amount is $0.15 per kWh saved up to $1,500. 
  5. Credit is limited to 50 percent of the total system cost.

 
Residential – Passive Solar Space Heating Tax Credits 
 
Passive solar space heating relies on the use of windows, a home’s design and construction materials to collect and store heating energy.

  1. Systems must produce energy savings equal to or greater than 20 percent of the annual energy used for space heating in the dwelling. 
  2. New or retrofit homes are eligible. 
  3. Tax credit amount is $0.60 per kWh saved up to $1,500. 
  4. Energy savings are determined by ODOE. 
  5. Systems must meet minimum passive solar design criteria.

 
Residential – Active Solar Space Heating Tax Credits

Active solar space heating systems use solar collectors to heat water that is used to heat the home. These systems are more complicated than any of the other solar energy systems; should be designed and built by trained or experienced professionals. A RETC is based on:

  1. Systems that produce energy savings equal to not less than 15 percent of the annual energy used for space heating in the dwelling 
  2. A tax credit amount is $0.60 per kWh saved up to $1,500. 
  3. Energy savings estimated by the solar professional and reviewed by ODOE. 
  4. Verification by a tax-credit technician.

Favorite Files  

Residential Energy Tax Credit Program Administrative Rules 
(effective January 1, 2013
 
Residential Energy Tax Credit Program Administrative Rules(January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2012) (PDF)

List of Tax Credit Technicians for solar 
 
Sun Chart for PV and ST 


 
ODOE Solar Web Pages

Solar Home Page
 
Business Solar Incentives 
  
Information for Tax Credit Technicians for Solar 
 
Solar Publications