Get Started with Solar
Thinking about going solar? Here’s help identifying your options.

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.

Understanding the Process

It also helps to have the big picture. Solar Oregon, a solar education non-profit, offers Solar Basics workshops PGE and an easy overview of How To Go Solar PGE to help you.

You may also want to learn about Net Metering and how you can get credit for the extra energy you generate.

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 form to connect with a contractor PGE. Be sure to get multiple bids.

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 720 kWh in 30 days, your average use is 24 kWh per day (720 kWh/30 days). If you used electricity at a constant rate (with no peak usage for appliances, air conditioner, etc.), you would need a generator that produced 1 kW 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 to size your system larger than 1 kW.