The Future is Bright

Solar energy is powering up homes in Happy Valley! In support of solar energy’s bright future (yes, pun intended). Happy Valley is encouraging citizens to learn more about solar energy and ask, “Is solar right for me?” Solar energy has never been so inexpensive, and before tax subsidies expire, the City urges homeowners to know their options. The time to explore solar energy for your home is now!

How Does Solar Work?

 

Solar Work

photo credit to Doug Boleyn

Imagine a typical day in Happy Valley. Anytime there is natural light outside, regardless of clouds, solar energy is available! Rooftop solar panels have photovoltaic cells. These cells absorb sunshine, and then convert it to DC power. The DC power flows to an inverter, which changes the DC power to AC power. AC power is what powers your home! An electricity meter then measures both the power you use and the power you generate. The excess power you don’t use right away is sent back into the electricity grid and credited to your account for your free use later!

Shine a Light on Solar

Solar energy is Oregon’s most abundant energy source. Oregon ranks 9th in the United States for most solar units cumulatively installed. Need a reason to Go Solar? We’ll give you five:

  1. Solar energy protects your home from rising energy costs. Solar energy will completely eliminate or drastically reduce your monthly electric bills for the next 30-50 years.
  2. Solar energy increases your property value! Solar homes sell faster and for 2.8-3.5 percent[1] more than non-solar homes!
  3. The cost of solar has decreased over 60 percent in the last five years. Additional federal and local subsidies make solar even more affordable. But hurry! Federal tax incentives for solar users are scheduled to expire in 2016.
  4. Solar energy creates jobs in small, local solar businesses. Oregon is also home to one of the largest solar panel manufacturers, SolarWorld. These jobs are good for the economy!
  5. Solar energy is good for the environment! The average rooftop solar unit will prevent 6,208 lbs. of carbon dioxide pollution, 6.25 lbs. of sulfur dioxide pollution and 9.09 lbs. of nitrous oxide pollution per year. The pollution you prevent is the equivalent of reducing automobile driving by 7,449 miles or planting .5 acres of trees![2]

[1] Watkins, Taylor. 2011. Market-based investigation of residential solar installation values in Oregon. Watkins & Associates.
[2] Energy Trust of Oregon. 2015. “Estimate the Benefits of Going Solar.” Energy Trust.

Putting money back in your pocket: The average Happy Valley solar home will see their monthly utility bill cut in half. Solar energy will save $573.00 per year in energy bills, which equals $14,325.00 over the life of the system.

Solar Goes Affordable

Since 2011, the price of solar panels have decreased by 60 percent. Federal and local subsidies can save homeowners up to 80 percent of the remaining cost! How much will a solar unit cost? Let us do the math for you:

Installed System Price[1]$20,000.00
Energy Trust Cash Incentive (received at time of purchase)-$4,000.00
Cost at Installation$16,000.00
OR Tax Credit (taken over 4 years, up to $1,500 per year)-$6,000.00
Federal Tax Credit-$4,800.00
Total Net Cost (Actual Cost AfterTax Credits)$5,200.00

Coming soon!

 

The HV Solar Home Program is a community education campaign funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge and the Washington Department of Commerce. Find out more about our grant funding here!

*Disclaimer: Out of a sense of fair play to all the firms participating in the HV Solar Home Program, the City of Happy Valley is unable to endorse any particular firm nor the work, quality of work or any product sold through any firm partnering with the HV Solar Home Program.

*External Link Disclaimer: The above links for Solar Dealers and Installers will take you to an external website located on another server. The City of Happy Valley provides these links only as a matter of convenience and has no responsibility for this or any external web site and does not warrant any aspect thereof.