OPB Business Partner
ENERGY TRUST OF OREGON
  1992- 2010 Tax-Credit Certified Solar Technician
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
SOLAR RATING AND CERTIFICATION CORPORATION

SOLAR POOL HEATING
COSTS AND INCENTIVES


From our observations, solar pool heating systems generally range in price from $5,000 to $15,000. The reason for this huge disparity in price is due strictly to the size of your pool, the number of panels you use to heat it, and the complexity of the installation. Most commonly, systems are in the $6,000 to $9,000 range. To find out more on how these systems are sized and work, go to our FAQ page for pool heating.

Our prices are higher than some and lower than others. However, what we feel we do better than all is our hands-on approach to each and every aspect to each and every install. Even before a job is started, we bring to all potential projects personal and courteous customer service. This is something we provide all along. We pick up our phones. If we are going to be late or if there is some deviation from expectations, we are on the phone discussing it. We also like to think of our installations as pieces of art, masterfully installed. We care about the quality of the components used and the eye for detail installations should have.

Site Specifications

There are a couple of site specific technical specifications concerning your potential solar site which you need to be aware of. One of the first things you want to think about when considering solar is how good of a solar site you have. The incentives that exist are really only meant to incent solar systems placed on the most optimal of locations. In other words, in order to get your hands on these incentives, your house has to have a roof that has access to 75% or more of the seasonal sun. This means you really can’t have any shade falling on the roof where you want your solar system installed from 10am to 4pm from April to October. The roof does have that 25% leeway, but it gets used up pretty fast.

Finally, don’t feel you can’t go solar just because you don’t have a perfect solar site and are not eligible for the incentives. Every year Solar Energy Solutions, Inc. installs solar systems which fall outside of the ideal scenario the incentives are set up to support. The incentives are great, but not essential to an installation.

Economic Reasons to GO Solar

Before we go any further we should probably address the issue of payback. Simply put, it is GREAT. Solar systems for heating pools are the only solar applications where there is a good simple payback. These solar pool heating systems usually pay for themselves in three to six years. Not only that, but you will be adding a month or two onto your swimming season by heating your pool earlier and later in the year. Additionally you will be greatly increasing the value of your pool because it will be used much, much more due to the fact that it will be warm. People will no longer hesitate to jump into your pool and rush, blue lipped, out of it. All of this increase warmth will not cost you a dime. It will be FREE!

There are other strong economic reasons to considering going solar as well. A solar pool heating system will quadruple in value over the course of 10 years due to energy prices quadrupling every 10 years or so. Solar pool heating systems will give you a 10-20% return on investment that is completely risk free and tax free. That is pretty exciting. And, solar systems increase your property value by the cost of the systems, yet because of the incentives, only cost you a fraction of that total. Of course, my favorite incentive is saving the environment, an intangible but powerful incentive to any solar installation.

Solar Incentive

In addition to all of these great reasons to install a Solar Pool Heating System, there is currently an Oregon State Income Tax Credit up to $2,500.00

The Oregon Department of Energy has, since 1986, been on the cutting edge of encouraging people to go solar by means of tax credits. Oregon’s state income tax credit program for solar has always been an example to the rest of the nation. The state income tax credit is based on the performance of a system. With solar pool heating, this means the more solar pool heating panels you install, the greater your incentives. Different sized systems qualify for different tax credit incentives. But, once again, the state is only looking to incent ideal solar scenarios. The Oregon Department of Energy allows lesser tax credits for systems mounted on roofs with 50% to 75% of the season available sun. The maximum state income tax credit for a Solar Pool Heating System is $2,500. You get this tax credit incentive when you file your state income taxes. Remember, this is a tax credit, not a tax deduction. Tax credits are better than tax deductions because they come right off of your state income tax liability. For example, say you have paid the state of Oregon $4,000 in income taxes throughout the course of the year. Because of deductions and allowances, say you get $500 back. Well, if you install a large enough solar pool heating system, you can get back an additional refund of up to $2,500.

People are always complaining about how they never get anything for their tax dollar. Here is a way you can get your tax dollar right back into your pocket and install a solar system to boot. But remember, you do have to pay a state income tax in order to get the tax credit. If your income tax liability is low, the state gives you up to 5 years to absorb the full amount.

I remember when I received a $1,500 tax credit when I installed my solar hot water system in 1992. It was an afternoon in May and I was doing some office work when I heard the mailman come to the door. On this particular day he only had one piece of mail and it was from the Oregon Department of Revenue. With one eye closed and the other half open, I opened the letter wondering what the bad news could be. But then, as I peeked inside, what should my wary eyes see? A check for $1,500 bucks. Yippee! I said as I ran through the offices yelling, “Isn’t government GREAT?!” How often can a person yell that?

To summarize, if Solar Energy Solutions, Inc. installs a $7,500 system, it could qualify for the state income tax credit of $2,500. This would ultimately bring your total system cost down from $7,500 to $5,000. WOW!

 $7,500.00 Installed cost
- $2,500.00 Minus state income tax credit
 $5,000.00 Net cost!