Get Started with Solar

How to Find and Choose a Community Solar Project

To participate in community solar, you will sign up with a project manager to subscribe to a share of their project. Active projects are listed on the Project Finder which provides detailed information about each project, including the project manager, location, utility territory, size, the date the project became operational, subscription options, and pricing options.

To get started, you’ll want to know what subscription size is right for you. This will depend on how much energy you use, so you’ll need to review your billing history to determine your typical annual electricity consumption. Our Subscription Size Calculator can recommend the right subscription size based on your annual energy use and the project’s estimated generation per kW-AC . Keep in mind that if your community solar subscription produces more energy than you consume in a year, you won’t receive bill credits for that extra energy but will still pay your subscription fee, so it’s recommended that you cap your subscription size at 80% of your annual consumption to ensure you don’t over-generate. The Project Finder will show the expected annual net cost or savings a customer would experience from each project. For a more detailed look at how community solar would impact monthly bills, enter a project’s information into our Bill Impact Calculator (.xls).

How much does it cost?

Costs vary by project, subscription type and subscription size. Costs will also vary for subscriptions designed specifically for income-qualified participants.

Costs are offset by the bill credit you will receive as a project subscriber. We work with your utility to provide on-bill subscriptions and automatically add fees and credits to your monthly bill. These fees and credits are outlined below. Bill examples for Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, and Idaho Power are coming soon.

As a subscriber you will earn bill credits on your electricity bill for your portion of energy generated by the solar project in the previous month. The bill credit rates are fixed throughout the contract period, but since these rates are per kWh, subscribers will see some variance in their total bill credits month to month depending on how much electricity was generated in that month. 

Current Bill Credit Rates by Utility ($/kWh)

Portland General Electric

Pacific Power

Idaho Power

Effective Date

$0.11234

$0.0977

$0.0848

1/1/2020

Subscription fees vary by solar project and are set by Project Managers. You can find a project’s subscription fee on the description page for each project listed on the Project Finder. Like bill credits, subscription fee totals will vary somewhat each month, since they are calculated per kWh. Discounted subscription fees are available for low-income subscribers.

Projects may offer an ownership option for upfront investment instead of a monthly subscription.

Program administration fees recover the costs of operating the program. You will see individual line items on your utility bill: one for the fee that recovers the costs of the Program Administrator and one for the fee that recovers the costs of the electric utility. Program administration fees are additional to the subscription fee that is paid to the manager of the solar project you choose. Low-income customers are exempt from paying all program administration fees, and will not see program administration fees on their bill.

Current program administration fees are provided in the table below. Whereas the bill credit and subscription fee are based on variable solar generation, the program administration fees are fixed monthly amounts based on the size of your subscription and calculated on a $/kW-AC basis. Program fees are set by the Oregon Public Utility Commission, reviewed annually, and may be updated to reflect program administration costs.

Current Program Administration Fees by Utility ($/kW-AC per month)

Fee Component

Portland General Electric

Pacific Power

Idaho Power

Program Administrator Fee

$0.85

$0.85

$0.85

Utility Fee

$0.11

$0.20

$0.48

Total Program Fee

$0.96

$1.05

$1.33

How do I choose a project?

Visit ourProject Finder page to see the projects available to you and get started with a subscription.

Bill Impact Calculator

Download this resource to see how a community solar subscription may impact your monthly energy bill.

Community Solar FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Oregon Community Solar Program, costs, eligibility, and more.

Project Finder

Interested in signing up? Start by looking at the projects available to you before contacting the Project Manager for enrollment information.

What should I expect when participating ?

The below section outlines what happens before, during, and after you sign a contract to begin subscribing to a Community Solar project.

Additional Assistance

Questions about how to sign up? Contact our call center!

Community Solar Program Support

Toll-free phone: 1-800-481-0510
(Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday)
Email: [email protected]

Mailing address:
Community Solar Program Administrator
421 SW Oak St, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97204
 

If you are subscriber in a community solar project and have a question or complaint, please contact your Community Solar project manager. Their contact information can be found on your subscription agreement, the accompanying disclosure checklist or the Community Solar Program website. If you need help finding the contact information for your Project Manager, please call 1.800.481.0510 or email [email protected].

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