Finance Options

Incentives like state and federal tax credits help make solar a great investment, but these savings are realized by the homeowner only after the system has been installed.  If coming up with enough up-front cash for your project is a challenge, a variety of financing options can help:

Banks and Credit Unions

Most banks now recognize the investment value of solar, and some offer special financing programs for solar installations.  Your preferred bank may be able to offer you good lending terms based on your established relationship.  Loans typically require that a borrower have sufficient home equity or other collateral.  Ask a bank associate about what kind of loan products might be available for a home improvement such as a solar array.

Umpqua Bank :  The GreenStreet Lending program reduces many of the fees associated with typical home equity secured and unsecured loans.  GreenStreet also allows a loan to be paid-off early without penalty.

Grants

The following programs can buy-down a substantial part of the cost of a solar installation for a business:

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) : The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s REAP program offers grants and/or loan guarantees to small businesses, farmers, and ranchers.  Grants are available for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.  Funding is available only for projects that are located in “rural” areas, as defined by program guidelines.  The City of Bend is excluded, but most of Oregon qualifies.  REAP grants and loan guarantees may be used individually or in combination.  Grants may fund up to 25% of a project’s, up to $250,000.  Together, REAP grants and loans they may finance up to 75% of a project's cost.

Renewable Energy Development Grant Program :  The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) offers competitive grants to commercial renewable energy projects as part of the Energy Incentives Program.  This program funds grants through proceeds from an annual tax credit auction.  Grant applications are awarded points based on selection criteria, and projects with the highest number of points are awarded grants.  Selection criteria is defined in each Opportunity Announcement.