Calculate how much you can save on your PGE bill with solar panels

Average 25 year solar savings for a PGE customer: $31,685

Average solar panel cost: $19,449 - $23,771*

Estimate solar panel cost and savings based on your location, roof and power use.

*Solar panel cost varies by location, solar panel mqanufacturer, system size and the amount of electricity your home uses.

Adding solar panels and switching rate plans can lower your Portland General Electric electric bill

Updated: October 22, 2020

There are three ways you can reduce your PGE bill: changing your habits, switching your rate plan, and adding solar panels.

You've probably heard a lot about reducing energy consumption by doing things like switching to LED lightbulbs and adding insulation to your walls, but these fixes are relatively easy compared to the far more impactful step of making changes to your lifestyle.

The second thing you can do is switch your rate plan. PGE offers time-of-use billing that can help you save money by shifting your usage of energy-intensive appliances to off-peak hours, and there may be other options for you as well.

Finally, you can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill by installing solar panels on your home.

Solar panel cost calculator

How much can I reduce my Portland General Electric bill by switching to a different rate plan

For some people, the savings from switching rate plans may only be a few dollars per month, but for many it can be $20-$100 per month. That's between $240 and $1,200 that you may now be paying to Portland General Electric each year for no reason.

Finding out what's available to you is as simple as a phone call or email to Portland General Electric. Even a small savings can be worth it.

Are solar panels worth it for Portland General Electric customers?

Yes! With Energy Trust of Oregon solar rebates, the Solar Within Reach low income incentive program, and a solar property tax exemption, home solar panels make a lot of sense for Portland General Electric customers in Oregon. PGE’s net metering rate also allows you to get full credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you can’t use onsite. Your credits accrue at the same rate as retail rates, and roll over to your next monthly bill.

Does Portland General Electric offer full 1 for 1 net metering credits for exported solar power

Yes, Portland General Electric offers 1 for 1 net metering. This means you are paid the same rate for excess solar energy that you export to the utility grid during the middle of the day as what you pay for power purchased from the grid.

In the case of Portland General Electric, Time of Use (TOU) pricing applies. You will earn an average of $0.12 for power exported at peak rate times, and an average of $0.04 for power exported at off-peak times.

Any remaining unused kilowatt-hour credit accumulated over the year will be transferred to PGE's low-income assistance program. That's a laudable policy piece from Salem we'd like to see other state governments across the country enact.

What incentives, tax credits and rebates are available to PGE customers for installing solar?

The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2020 is the 26% federal solar tax credit. The way this works is that the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimed back as cash when you next do your taxes.

Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This help can take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in addition to the federal credit.

Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a PGE customer:

Table 1: Incentives
Upfront Incentives Value*
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Federal) -$6,969
Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program (Fully Subscribed) (State)

"*Program fully subscribed and not taking new applications* $0.50 per watt installed up to $5000 or 40% of the system costs, whichever is cheaper. This is for non-income restricted households. Households with lower incomes are eligible for a higher rebate. Households that are no-income restricted and take advantage of other utility incentives receive a lower rate. Additional incentive of $300/kWh of battery storage installed up to $2,500. Details in this blog post; https://www.solarreviews.com/blog/new-solar-incentive-oregon"

Varies
Net Metering (State)

Investor-owned utilities must credit excess generation as kWh credits that get carried over to the next bill. At the end of the billing cycle, customers are compensated for excess credits at the avoided cost rate. Municipal utilities/cooperatives can bill as kWh credits or at avoided cost rate.

Varies
Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems (State)

100% of solar system cost is exempt from property taxes.

Varies
Energy Trust of Oregon Incentive - Portland General Electric (Utility)

Energy Trust Incentives available via Portland General Electric and Pacific Power.

-$2,400
Solar Within Reach (Utility)

$1,500 per kW of installed solar for customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power. Incentive program administered by Energy Trust of Oregon. Eligibility depends on household income—a family of 4 with an income under $99,934 qualifies.

Varies
TOTAL -$9,369

*Based on 11.00 kW system, average installation cost $29,202

How much does installing solar panels save the average Portland General Electric residential customer?

If you input the details for a PGE customer with a power bill of $140 per month into the best online solar panels calculator, it tells you that you need a 11.00 kW solar system that will produce 13,008 kWh per year and that this system will return the owner a $31,685 profit after repaying the cost of the system.

The solar savings possible for you as a PGE customer will depend on the amount of electricity you use and the cost of the solar system you buy. Savings also vary based on the direction of your roof or any shading of your roof that affects output.

Here is a monthly and lifetime solar savings estimate for the same relatively typical PGE customer with a $140 per month electric bill prior to solar and who installs a 11.00 kW solar system.

How much do residential solar panels cost for PGE customers?

Showing data for:

Prices based on a 12.7kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$23,317-$28,499

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$34,410-$42,057

Payback period

11.6-14.2 years

Recommended size for the selected utility bill

12.7kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Detailed information about your estimate

Table 2: Estimate details

System Size (for 100% usage offset)

11 kW

Annual Power Generation

13,008 kWh

Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase)

12.5 Years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on Investment

0.8%

Gross cost

$29,202

Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates

-$7,593

Net Cost of System after rebates and incentives

$21,609

Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years

$53,294

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value.

What are the environmental impacts of Portland General Electric customers installing solar panels?

While most homeowners decide to install solar panels because of financial savings over time, the environmental impacts of this choice are the primary motive for others. Here is a breakdown of the environmental benefits from a Portland General Electric customer installing a 11 kW solar system on their property:

A solar system generating 13,008 kWh per year will save you money AND make the world a nicer place

Saves you

$1,267

on average per year

Reduces CO2 emissions

6.44

tons per year

Equivalent to planting

45 trees

per year

Equivalent to driving

14,244 mi

less per year

CO2 emissions calculation based on the electricity generation and emissions data for your state in 2015 as published by the US Government Energy Information Administration.

What factors affect the price of solar panels for Portland General Electric customers?

The cost of installing solar panels will vary with brands of solar panels and inverters you choose and also the installation company you choose to install them.

It is common to see really good systems, using quality brands of equipment, being sold for around $2.66 per watt or $21,609 for a standard 11.00 kW solar system after the customer claims the 26% federal solar tax credit.

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