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Oregon lawmakers aim to extend state tax credits for solar

Oregon lawmakers recently voiced their intent to extend the state’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit (RETC) for an extra two years, according to the Portland Business Journal.

The RETC, which currently allows Oregon homeowners to get up to a $6000 tax credit for installing a photovoltaic system, is set to expire at the end of this year. Due to the program’s success in stimulating homeowners to switch to renewable energy, however, the Joint Interim Committee on Department of Energy Oversight (DEO) decided that suddenly pulling the plug on the incentive would not be beneficial for the state’s environment or renewable energy economy.

“There was some real uncertainty about abruptly ending the program and just pulling the plug on the good things that are happening,” the PBJ quoted Committee co-chair Rep. Paul Holvey.

Over the past several years, the DEO has reduced the cost of its incentive program from $3 per a watt to half that without seeing a change in consumer demand.

Solar advocates are seeking to align future solar incentives in the state with the federal Investment Tax Credit, which allows homeowners to write-off up to 30% of the cost of their home solar installation.

The federal ITC was recently extended by a bipartisan vote in congress and its rates are set to incrementally decline to 26% in 2020 and to 22% the following three years.

The combination of Oregon’s state incentive, combined with the federal ITC and the declining material costs for a PV system will likely make the price tag of switching over to solar the cheapest it’s likely to be for the next few years.

Author: Harold Tan

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