"More than 4,999 served: Energy Trust hits solar milestone"
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon>>click here for original article
An Oregon energy titan has enabled its 5,000th home solar energy project.
Energy Trust of Oregon crossed the big 5k mark, in that it provided incentives and various services, on Monday. Energy Trust says that the projects have collectively prevented 7,100 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
The company began offering solar incentives for residential customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power in 2003. The incentives help offset the upfront cost of going solar. When combined with currently available state and federal tax credits, the incentives can defray about 80 percent of any installation costs.
The number of statewide contractors that install solar systems has jumped from 36 in 2003 to 123. Costs for such projects have dropped by about 43 percent for a three-kilowatt system, the average output size, over the last five years.
"Installing solar makes an impact, to your wallet, to the region and to the planet," said Lizzie Rubado, who works on solar projects for Energy Trust. "It also appeals to our desire to be more self-reliant. It's not often that you can do real good and keep more money in your pocket every month."
The lucky 5,000th solar beneficiary lives in Northwest Portland. SolarCity is installing the panels.
Rubado expects Energy Trust to work with many more renewable fans in the future.
"The outlook is for the solar business is very sunny, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure solar continues to grow and thrive in Oregon," she said. "The best you can do as an individual, aside from looking into solar for your own home, is to talk about solar and help build awareness that solar is an opportunity that Oregon doesn't want to miss."