Frequently Asked Questions

Image: Solarize Pendleton Banner

Does solar work in Oregon?

Photo: Solar panels on a residential roofYES! Despite Oregon’s rainy reputation, solar energy is Oregon’s most abundant renewable resource. Even though it receives less sun than the rainiest location in Oregon, Germany has more solar energy systems, per capita, than anywhere in the world. In sunny Pendleton, our climate is particularly great for solar.

What are the benefits of solar?

With the various benefits that come along with going solar, almost anyone can find a reason to do it!

  1. When you produce your own energy from your solar system, you reduce the amount of electricity that you have to buy from your utility company. The more energy you produce, the more you save on your utility bill.
  2. No matter how much utility rates increase, your solar electricity rates will be predictable for the long run. After all, the sunshine is free. You’ll be energy-secure!
  3. The environmental benefits of solar are numerous. For one, you reduce your environmental footprint by reducing the amount of resources you use. When you rely on the sun, you reduce your dependence on fossil fuels. With your system installed, you are producing clean energy that won't emit carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases that directly harm us, wildlife, and our atmosphere.
  4. Adding a cost-saving system to your home will increase your home’s value!
  5. By supporting solar you are supporting a growing industry that is creating new local jobs and economic opportunities.

What if I'm not sure solar is right for me?

Not a problem! Through site assessments, discussions with the solar contractor, and educational materials you will have all the information you need to make the right decision.

What if my roof is shaded or I don’t have much roof space?

Don’t give up on solar before you’ve considered all your options! If your roof is shaded or isn’t south facing (the most ideal orientation), solar is STILL a possibility. Consider your garage or ground mounts in your yard. How about creating a solar cabana? Contractors will help you understand the options.

What are the benefits of participating in the Solarize Pendleton program?

Solarize Pendleton is your one stop shop for going solar. We’ve done the homework, so you don’t have to.

  • We’ll guide you through process, along with others from your community, so that you don't have to tackle the vast world of solar by yourself. We’ll teach you how solar can benefit your lifestyle, how that fancy system actually works, and how you can save the most money through incentives and tax credits.
  • We’re available to answer your questions and connect you to resources.
  • We’ve already done our research and found reliable contractors who will guide you through the solarizing process.
  • Through our City loan program you can apply to take advantage of a 4 year interest free loan while you are receiving your tax credits and realizing your energy savings.

Who can participate?

Any resident or business within 60 miles of Pendleton.  However, only residents of Pendleton will be eligible for interest-free city loans.

Photo: Solar panels on a residential roofWhat renewable energy systems will be offered?

Solar electric (PV-photovoltaic) and solar water heating (solar thermal) systems.

How much does it cost?

There is no fee to enroll in the program. The only cost to the homeowner is that of the installation, which will be reduced greatly through Energy Trust incentives, state and federal tax credits, and the City’s interest-free loan program. The price of your system will be reduced by up to 80%.

How long will the system last?

The warranty on most solar panels is about 25 years. Other components such as the inverter may need maintenance earlier on. However, the lifetime of the system can be between 30-50 years. After 25 years, the output of the system will generally be about 80% of when it was first installed.

More questions?

Visit us in the Community Development Department at City Hall, browse the websites of Solar Oregon and Energy Trust of Oregon, or give us a call!

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