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Making Solar Equitable

Increased Solar Incentives for Nonprofits, Tribes and Affordable Multifamily Housing

At Energy Trust, we believe solar is for everyone. That’s why we work to ensure all customers can benefit from solar power, including communities of color, people with low and moderate incomes, and the organizations that serve these communities. And communities can be stronger and more resilient when solar projects include battery storage to provide backup power during an outage.  

To make going solar easier and more affordable for eligible nonprofits, tribes and affordable multifamily housing projects, we offer a Solar Development Assistance incentive — to help determine the potential of a solar or solar + battery storage projects — as well as increased solar installation incentives that are higher than our regular incentives.  

Your organization may also qualify for other grants or rebates and an Energy Trust solar trade ally can help you connect with those resources (see the Financing tab below).  

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  1. Establish your eligibility. 

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    You must be an Oregon customer of Portland General Electric or Pacific Power and working with an approved Energy Trust solar trade ally contractor to be eligible for incentives. To qualify for increased incentives you must represent a recognized tribe, an affordable multifamily housing project or a qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving specific communities. See complete eligibility guidelines under the Details tab.  

  2. Get proposals from Energy Trust solar trade ally contractors.

    Do you want to pursue grant funding or need more information to determine if a Solar or Solar + Storage project is the right fit? Then start with an Energy Trust Solar Development Assistance incentive to offset the upfront cost of a solar feasibility report that will provide you with a custom system design and cost-benefit analysis. Or, if you are farther along with your project or already have funding identified, you may just need bids for the project design and installation. Either way, we can connect you with solar trade ally contractors who can give you a proposal and get you started. We recommend comparing two or more bids so you can make the best choice for your needs.  

    Request proposals >  

  3. Select your contractor.

    Once you receive proposals from contractors, the choice is yours. See our guide to choosing a contractor and comparing bids. Your contractor will handle all the paperwork for your system, prior to installation. Your Energy Trust incentive will be paid directly to your contractor, who will deduct the incentive amount from your invoice, reducing the upfront costs. Your trade ally can also help you apply for any other incentives you may be eligible for, such as the Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate.

  4. Professionals will install and verify your system.

    Energy Trust helps protect your investment by reviewing the plans for your system to make sure that it will qualify for incentives and that it meets our rigorous technical standards. In many cases, once a project is complete, we will visit to verify the system was installed properly.  

Energy Trust Incentives 

To help you determine the solar potential of your project, Energy Trust offers a Solar Development Assistance incentive up to $1,800. Energy Trust also offers increased cash incentives for nonprofit organizations, tribes and affordable multifamily housing to make solar more affordable and accessible to underserved populations. The incentive amount depends on the size of your system and your electric utility. Incentives are subject to funding availability and may change at any time. Check with your contractor. 

Portland General Electric Customers

Solar Planning Incentive Requirements
Solar Development Assistance $1,800 max

90% of the cost up to $1,800

Solar Installation Increased Incentive Requirements
Solar for Tribes $1.50/watt up to $120,000

Project size cap: 360 kW-DC

Solar for Nonprofits Standard solar installation incentive applies

Pacific Power Customers

Solar Planning Incentive Requirements
Solar Development Assistance $1,800 max

90% of the cost up to $1,800

Solar Installation Increased Incentive Requirements
Solar for Tribes $1.25/watt up to $75,000

Project size cap: 360 kW-DC

Solar for Affordable Multifamily Properties $1.00/watt up to $60,000

Project size cap: 360 kW-DC

Solar for Qualifying Nonprofits $0.75/watt up to $45,000

Project size cap: 360 kW-DC

Eligibility  

To qualify for Energy Trust increased solar incentives aimed at increasing solar equity, the property must meet fit one of these categories: 

  • Owned and operated by one of the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon. 
  • Affordable multifamily property where at least 50% of the property’s dwelling units associated with the project, are and shall remain dedicated for residents who are at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI) for at least 10 years after project completion. 
  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is a customer of Pacific Power, is registered with the Oregon Secretary of State and has a stated mission and track record of delivering programs directly benefiting communities and individuals including, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, communities experiencing lower incomes, federally recognized Indian tribes, rural communities, coastal communities, communities with limited infrastructure, and other communities and individuals traditionally underrepresented in public processes and programs to incent and advance solar energy installations. 

Additional solar options 

  • Solar Development Assistance incentives to help launch projects  
  • Solar Planning for new buildings or major renovations  
  • Solar + Storage for backup power to make your building more resilient during an outage and keep essential equipment operating 
  • Community Solar subscription options if you lease, if your roof doesn’t have enough sun exposure, or if your budget doesn’t allow for investment in your own system 
  • Community Solar Project Development assistance for qualifying organizations interested in developing Community Solar projects 

Other rebates and grants 

Nonprofits, tribes and multifamily affordable housing projects may be eligible for the following funding resources, in addition to Energy Trust increased incentives. Connecting early with an Energy Trust solar trade ally and taking advantage of Energy Trust Solar Development Assistance incentives can help you prepare to apply for these funding sources. 

Portland General Electric Renewable Development Fund   

Pacific Power Blue Sky grant 

Oregon Solar + Storage rebate for low-income service providers 

Oregon Community Renewable Energy Grant 

Portland Clean Energy Fund 

Need Help? Contact Us.

We’re here to explain the process and benefits. Give us a call at 1.877.777.4018 or send us an email atsolar@energytrust.org.