Get Started with Solar
Helpful tips and information


Investing in solar systems not only save you money over time, but demonstrate your commitment to addressing climate change. With a solar electric and solar water heating system, you can:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint

  • Reduce your operating costs

  • Add value to your property

  • Help you qualify for LEED certification

Incentives, tax credits and financing help you see payback sooner than you might think, and you’ll produce clean renewable energy for decades to come.

What to think about

Location, location, location

Talk to solar contractors for details, but in short, solar requires southern exposure for maximum output, although east or west orientation may work.

For best performance, there should be little or no shading year-round. Even partial shade on one portion of a panel can seriously degrade its output. Consider not only current shade, but also what future shade might be caused by trees growing taller or nearby construction of tall buildings.

Asking the right questions

Use our list of considerations PGE to ensure you get all the information you’ll need to make your project successful.

Learn more about solar for business PGE on the Solar Oregon website.

How much power do you need?

Your PGE bill shows how many kilowatt-hours you use each month and your average kWh use per day.

For example, if you use 1340 kWh in 30 days, your average use is 45 kWh per day. If you used electricity at a constant rate (with no peak usage for air conditioner, etc.), you would need a generator that produced 2+ kWs every hour of every day to meet all your electrical needs.

Of course, the output of a solar generator will vary depending on weather, time of day and season, so you may want a system that’s larger than 2kW. Working with your contractor to forecast potential production will help you select a system size that is right for you.

Connecting with PGE

PGE makes it easy to go solar:

Whichever path you choose, PGE must install special meters so you’ll get credited for power you produce. These meters are different than a standard PGE smart meter.

Choosing a solar contractor

We recommend hiring a qualified contractor to design and build your system and assist with the Net Metering application process.

See Energy Trust of Oregon’s list of licensed solar contractors PGE and the Oregon Department of Energy’s list of tax credit-certified solar technicians PGE. Be sure to get multiple bids.

Other ways to support renewables

If generating your own power isn’t a good fit for you, consider PGE’s renewable power options: Green Future ChoiceClean Future Block or Green Future Solar.