(Update: adding video, comments from Sunlight Solar and Habitat for Humanity)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Central Oregonians served by Pacific Power, Central Electric Cooperative and Mid-State Electric Cooperative are now eligible for rebates for solar and solar paired with battery systems.
Central Oregon homeowners are eligible for rebates up to $5,000 for solar and an additional $2,500 for paired energy storage installed together. Low-income service providers – such as nonprofits, municipalities, or other organizations serving low-income Oregonians – are eligible for up to $30,000 for solar plus $15,000 for paired storage.
Rebates are issued to ODOE-approved contractors, such as Sunlight Solar Energy (www.sunlightsolar.com) who pass the full amount of the rebate on as savings to their customers.
The program has a special focus on expanding access to renewable energy to Central Oregonians who may not otherwise be able to afford the investment in solar. At least 25 percent of rebate funds each year will be reserved for low- or moderate-income residential customers and low-income service providers.
"“So the way the incentives were changed have really helped the folks in the low to moderate income. Solar had the stigma of being solar for the rich, but now it allows all families within Central Oregon to go solar,” said Paul Israel, the founder and President of Sunlight Solar Energy in Bend.
“We’re thankful that all Central Oregonians can consider getting solar and battery storage to decrease their electric power bills. This is very important as all of us feel the burden of cost of living increases in Central Oregon." Israel said.
The program, which provides rebates to homeowners and organizations that serve Oregonians with low incomes, first launched in January 2020. The additional $10 million investment will continue supporting even more solar and storage projects.
Scott Nordquist, the director of grant management for Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity, says the solar rebate program is helping them create more affordable homes with renewable energy.
“We've served over 220 families with affordable homeownership. And right now, we have about 50 homes that have solar on them. And that's something that we're going to keep doing through the rebates that we get, because it helped to offset more than half the cost of putting solar on those homes.”
To date, the program has made funding commitments, either as rebates or reservations for rebates, to more than 4,600 projects, representing over $14 million in rebates. Those rebates leveraged $166 million in total project costs – projects that produce 60,000 kilowatts in annual solar production.
To receive more program information or a free estimate, contact Kayla at Sunlight Solar at 541/322-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.