Residents can get a credit on their Oregon income taxes for adding a solar energy system to their homes. Under Oregon’s RETC (Residential Energy Tax Credit) program, homeowners are eligible for up to $6,000 credit on state taxes for installation of solar electric systems. The 40-year-old program, is set to expire December 2017.
The current tax credit is based on $1.50 per watt of installed capacity up to $6,000 per residence taken over four years ($1,500 per year) limited to 50 percent of the cost of the system. The Department of Energy is closing in on a decision to reduce the RETC rate from $1.50 per watt of installed capacity to $1.30 beginning January 1.
Our customers can benefit by acting now, before lower rates kick in and the tax credit expires altogether. The process for determining each rate varies, but the general idea is to find a spot that maximizes the amount of solar that can be installed for each incentive dollar spent. We complete all of the paperwork for the RETC and certify it. To qualify, the property owner must purchase the equipment before Dec. 31, 2017, have it installed by April 1, 2018, and apply for the tax credit by a date yet to be announced by the Oregon Department of Energy.
True South Solar is working with OSEIA (Oregon Solar Energy Industry Association) to keep the conversation going around the possibly getting the RETC renewed into the future. We’ve been working with Governor Kate Brown and other leaders across the state to come up with viable solutions to the barriers of installing solar.