Lake Oswego Solar Installations
Solar power has become one of the fastest-growing energy sources for homes across the U.S., and for good reason. The number of residential solar installations has surged over the last decade as homeowners realize the financial, environmental, and lifestyle benefits solar energy provides.
According to industry reports, there was a 43% increase in residential solar installations nationally in 2021 alone. As solar technology improves and costs continue to decline, experts predict accelerated growth in the years ahead.
For homeowners in Lake Oswego, joining the solar revolution is now easier and more affordable than ever. With ample sunshine, favorable state policies, and flexible options to customize systems, local households can start experiencing the advantages of solar energy for themselves.
This guide will provide homeowners in Lake Oswego with a comprehensive overview of going solar – from how the technology works to costs and incentives. We’ll cover what factors to consider when installing solar panels locally so you can make the most of solar energy. Let’s explore how solar power can work for you.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels utilize energy from the sun to generate clean electricity for homes and businesses (see commercial solar panels). The solar photovoltaic (PV) technology uses a simple process to convert sunlight into useful energy.
- First, solar panels are made of materials that absorb photons, or particles of light, from the sun. Silicon is commonly used in solar cells.
- When the photons hit the solar panel, electrons are knocked loose from their atoms. This generates an electric field across the solar panel.
- The flow of electrons in this electric field produces direct current (DC) electricity.
- Since our homes run on alternating current (AC), an inverter is used to convert the DC into usable AC electricity.
- The electricity from the solar panels can then power appliances and devices at your home or business.
- If more electricity is produced than needed, it is exported to the utility grid. Your electric meter can actually spin backwards as you contribute energy to the grid.
So in short, solar PV panels produce clean renewable energy by converting the sun’s photons into an electric current. This electricity can then be used to power your home.
Why Go Solar in Lake Oswego?
Lake Oswego’s sunny climate and Oregon’s favorable solar incentives make it a prime location to go solar.
- Sunny Climate – Lake Oswego enjoys over 200 sunny days per year on average. This abundant sunshine allows solar panels to generate ample clean electricity to power homes. Even during Oregon’s rainy seasons, solar panels perform well thanks to the natural rinsing of rain.
- Favorable Incentives – Oregon offers some of the best solar incentives in the U.S., including tax credits, rebates, net metering policies, and more. These programs help maximize savings for Lake Oswego solar owners.
Take a look at all Oregon solar incentives here.
Financial Benefits of Residential Solar in Lake Oswego
Installing solar panels on your Lake Oswego home can provide considerable financial advantages in both the short and long term. By reducing your electricity expenses and increasing your property value, solar power quickly pays for itself and delivers ongoing returns.
Lower Utility Bills
One of the most immediate financial perks of residential solar is slashing your electricity bills. By generating your own renewable power, you reduce the amount of energy you need to purchase from the utility company. In the first year alone, many homeowners see their electric bills lowered by 25-40%. Over decades, the savings from not having to buy as much grid electricity can really add up.
Energy Cost Savings
In addition to lowering current energy expenses, solar panels stabilize costs over the long run by safeguarding you from potentially rising electricity rates. Utility companies frequently increase their rates year over year. With solar, you lock in much of your energy costs for decades, protecting yourself from those utility hikes. That means you can better predict – and control – this recurring household expenditure.
Increased Home Value
Multiple studies have confirmed that installing solar panels can increase the value of your home by about 4% on average. Areas like the West Coast with high electricity costs may see even greater boosts in value. This added equity makes it easier to recoup your initial investment if you decide to sell the home. Solar also makes your property more attractive to buyers looking for energy-efficient and cost-saving homes.
Return on Investment
Thanks to lower energy bills, reduced future rate hikes, incentives, and increased home value, most solar panel systems offer a solid return on investment. While timelines vary based on system specs and energy usage, most homeowners find their solar systems effectively pay for themselves within 10-15 years. And the systems keep producing clean, free energy for 10-25 more years after that. With solar power, you make an upfront investment that keeps paying dividends for decades to come.
Installing solar panels provides significant environmental advantages by reducing pollution and promoting clean energy.
Solar power generates electricity without producing any air pollution or carbon emissions. When you power your home with solar energy, you avoid the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas that would otherwise be needed to produce the same amount of electricity.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household solar system can prevent over 4 tons of carbon pollution per year. That’s equivalent to not driving an average passenger car for 6 months or powering 540 smartphones for a year. By going solar, Lake Oswego homeowners can significantly cut their carbon footprint and do their part in fighting climate change.
In addition, solar energy conserves water compared to fossil fuel power plants, which require massive amounts of water for cooling and operating steam turbines. Solar PV systems require little to no water to generate clean electricity.
Overall, powering your home with solar translates into less air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel dependence. Solar energy provides a sustainable solution for meeting Lake Oswego households’ electricity needs in an eco-friendly manner.
The Installation Process
Our professional installation process ensures your solar system is set up for maximum efficiency and performance.
The process starts with a site assessment, where our solar experts evaluate the property’s suitability. We consider the roof space, angle to the sun, and potential shading, and discuss your energy needs and goals. This allows us to determine the optimal system design for your home.
Next, we use the information from the property assessment to design a custom solar system tailored specifically for your home. We use high-quality components and aim to maximize solar production through ideal panel placement.
We handle securing the necessary permits and approvals for your Lake Oswego solar installation, including the building permit and electrical permit. We’re experts on local solar regulations, allowing us to navigate the permit process efficiently.
With permits in hand, our experienced in-house team will then complete the solar panel installation using industry best practices. We take great care to protect your property during the installation process.
Once the solar panels are installed, we conduct thorough testing to verify all components are functioning as intended. We won’t consider the job done until we confirm your new solar energy system is fully operational and ready to start generating savings.
Types of Installations
One of the first decisions you’ll make when going solar is choosing what type of solar system to install for your Lake Oswego home. There are several options to consider based on your specific needs and property.
Ground mount solar panel systems are installed directly into the ground, usually in an open yard or field on your property. Panels are mounted onto racks anchored into the ground. This allows the panels to be oriented to maximize sun exposure.
Ground mount systems don’t rely on your roof and can be sized to meet all your energy needs. They are also easier to access for cleaning and maintenance. However, they do take up a significant amount of yard space.
Rooftop solar systems are installed directly onto your roof. The roof must be in good condition, facing the right direction, and not be shaded by trees or other buildings. South-facing roofs without obstructions are ideal for rooftop solar.
Rooftop systems make use of unused space and keep panels out of the way. But they can be more complex to install and access for maintenance. Rooftop systems are also limited by the size and orientation of your roof.
Solar carports are a great option for generating solar power while also providing shade and shelter for vehicles. The solar panels are installed onto structures built over parking areas.
Solar carports allow you to make double use of the space for energy production and covered parking. They can also provide power for electric vehicle charging. However, they require adequate sunlight access and enough space for the structure.
Lake Oswego Solar Incentives
Lake Oswego residents can take advantage of Oregon’s solar-friendly incentives. The state offers some of the best solar policies in the U.S., making it more affordable and practical for homeowners to install photovoltaic systems.
Key Oregon solar incentives
- Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): This federal tax credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. For the average residential Lake Oswego solar installation, this could mean over $7,000 in savings. The ITC is currently set at 30% through 2019, then will begin stepping down year by year.
- Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program: This state rebate offers up to $5,000 back for installing new solar electric systems. Homeowners who also add solar plus battery backup can get up to an additional $2,500. The exact rebate amounts vary based on factors like income level.
- Solar Within Reach Program: This cash incentive program provides $1.00 per watt installed, up to $5,400, for qualifying low-income Portland General Electric customers. Pacific Power customers can receive $0.90 per watt installed.
- Renewable Energy Systems Exemption: This Oregon property tax exemption allows homeowners to avoid higher property taxes from increasing home values after installing a solar energy system. The exemption lasts for 20 years and can save thousands of dollars.
- Net Metering: Utility net metering programs let you get credit for excess solar electricity sent back to the grid. This credit offsets the electricity you use at other times, helping reduce your utility bills.
These incentives are subject to change. Remember to check with a tax professional or financial advisor for the most accurate and current information about your specific circumstances.
Is Solar Worth it in Lake Oswego?
Without a doubt, investing in solar energy in Lake Oswego is a worthwhile decision. The city’s climate, combined with Oregon’s progressive renewable energy policies, makes it an ideal location for solar installations. Despite the region’s reputation for rainy weather, Lake Oswego receives a substantial amount of sunlight year-round, sufficient for effective solar power generation.
Lake Oswego also offers generous incentives to solar adopters, including tax credits, rebates, and net metering policies. These benefits can significantly offset the initial cost of a Lake Oswego solar installation, making it a financially smart move. The savings on utility bills over the lifespan of the system can be considerable, often covering the initial investment and providing a return.
Furthermore, solar panels increase property value and contribute to a sustainable future by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. So, not only does solar make sense economically, but it’s also a step towards environmental stewardship and higher property resell.
In short, the combination of climate suitability, strong government incentives, and long-term financial and environmental benefits make solar power a worthy investment for Lake Oswego homeowners.
We hope this guide has shown the immense value solar panels can provide for your home in Lake Oswego. The next step is to reach out and talk to our solar experts. We offer free solar consultations to assess your property and provide a tailored proposal outlining the costs, savings, incentives, and more based on your specific home.
With over a decade of experience, our team simplifies the process of going solar for Lake Oswego homeowners. We handle everything from system design to permits and installation. To get started, call us at 503-680-3718 or fill out our online request form and we’ll be in touch right away.
During the Consultation
- Evaluate the viability of solar for your particular home
- Calculate potential cost savings based on your energy usage
- Explain federal, state, and local incentives you may qualify for
- Design a custom solar system to maximize sunlight exposure and meet your energy needs
- Provide financing options to reduce upfront costs
- Guide you through the installation process from start to finish
Take control of your energy costs and help the environment by harnessing Lake Oswego’s abundant sunshine. Reach out today to discuss how solar can benefit your household!