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Oregon Energy Loan Program (SELP) Explained



Oregon has a loan program that will lend you money to fund a renewable energy project, plain and simple. They’ve loaned out $348 million so far (wow!) and will loan you anywhere from a couple grand to their largest loan ever of $20 mil for a grain ethanol project in Clatskanie. Soon we’ll have all the government solar financing and tax credits compiled in place, but for now, here’s what you should know about Oregon’s solar loans:

The Oregon DOE has reasonably low-interest loans 6.95% (and super low 4.90% if you’re a state or city agency, or a school) for solar energy projects. Loans are available for both businesses and residences. Here’s a number to call if you want to learn more: 1-800-221-8035. Also, here’s a fee schedule and applications for the loans. If you get one under $20,000 they just lump the loan application, underwriting, and loan fees into $500.

One thing great about these loans are that you can apply for the Oregon Energy Tax Credits for Solar at the same time since they require many of the same documents.

And look, yay! Senate Bill 31 increases tax credit for PV systems. For the first 2000-watt PV system, the tax credit is now $6,000 for four years with $1,500 max per annum, and it can’t be more than half of the price of the system you put in.

Furthermore… FEDERAL TAX CREDITS! “The Energy Policy Act of 2005, establishes a 30 percent federal tax credit for the purchase of solar electric and solar water heating property that was placed in service between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2007” and “State tax credits do not reduced by the amount of the federal tax credit.”

And of course, never ever forget about the super super bad ass “Net Metering Law” which makes the power companies accept energy ONTO their wires, and have to pay you for it :-).

Finally, commercial systems are also eligible for use of accelerated depreciation.

OK, so sorry, this post turned into a rant about all the credits you could stack together for a solar project, and not so much about the Oregon Energy Loan Program. But at least there’s some good links here. As esoteric as this post is, just TRUST ME that if you live in OR or CA, you can save money with solar if you just do a little research. Save money, and do something good for the environment at the same time.

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