Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems generate energy from the sun. You can then use this energy instead of the energy that we provide for you. Excess generation is banked on your account and then used as needed.

If you have more than one meter, we recommend installing your system behind the meter with the most energy usage; that will provide you with the most savings. You can bank excess energy production during months with lots of sunshine (generally the summer), for use in months with less sun when bills are higher (generally the winter), at that meter.

illustration of house receiving solar panels

Solar Net Metering Program

  • Max system size: 25kW
  • Excess generation is banked on your electric account and applied to your future energy usage as needed.
  • Each year in March, your kWh bank is cashed out at our avoided wholesale power cost for the prior year.  For 2022, this was 4.4¢/kWh. The amount can be applied to your bill as a credit or donated to our payment assistance program.
  • We do not allow aggregation of load from other meters.
  • We have a cap on the amount of net metering allowable on our system. We are currently below the cap and accepting applications for new systems.

Why No Rebates?

From time to time, members ask if we offer rebates for installations of new solar photovoltaic systems. Rebate programs like these are funded through additions to rates that all members would pay. We’ve chosen to not offer solar rebates. Instead, we focus on keeping rates as affordable as possible for all members, and on continuing to deliver clean, reliable, renewable energy to all members.

Rate comparison:

  • Hood River Co-op residential rate: 7.05¢/kWh
  • Portland General Electric rate: about 13.8¢/kWh
  • Pacific Power rate: about 10¢/kWh

Our lower rates bring savings that benefit all members, every month.

Clean & Renewable Energy

Another favorable comparison is our fuel mix. The energy we deliver to members is about 85% renewable and 95% carbon-free, thanks to Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the clean, renewable energy they sell us from the federal Columbia River hydropower system.

85% renewable energy pie chart
hydropower dam illustration
95% carbon free pie chart

Other utilities rely on significant amounts of coal and natural gas generation. For example, Pacific Power’s basic fuel mix for 2020 was about 50% coal. For utilities with large percentages of coal generation, it makes sense to offer rebates to offset those energy purchases with carbon-free resources like hydro, wind, nuclear, or solar. For utilities like HR Co-op which already delivers clean, carbon-free energy, it makes less sense to ask members to pay more when our energy is already clean and renewable.

It can be tempting to look at what other utilities offer and wish the co-op would offer a solar rebate, too. Please remember that with this decision we keep rates affordable for everyone. The solar rebates offered by other utilities are paid for by their customers through their electric rates.

Energy Efficiency Rebates

HR Co-op does offer energy efficiency rebates; these are funded through BPA’s energy efficiency program. The Northwest Power Act of 1980 called upon BPA to collect a small amount through its wholesale power rates to meet regional energy efficiency targets. BPA returns these funds to consumers by reimbursing the co-op for the rebates we pay you for making energy efficiency upgrades. All these years later, energy efficiency remains BPA’s biggest resource addition, helping to meet the needs of our region. Learn about our current rebate programs.

Current rebate programs