Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems generate energy from the sun. We offer 2 options for members who would like to install a solar PV system and connect it to the electric grid.

We allow a maximum system size of 25 kilo-volts (kV). We recommend installing your system behind the meter that has the most energy usage, because 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 System Options

Interconnect Only

The excess kWh generated by your solar PV system is banked on your electric account and applied to your future energy usage as needed. This option has no monthly fee. Most members with solar PV systems choose this option. See the Interconnect Only Agreement (PDF)

Net Metering

The excess kWh generated by your solar PV system is paid out to you each January. The payment amount is equal to our avoided wholesale power cost, which is about 4 cents/kWh. This option costs $8 a month. See the Net Metering Agreement (PDF)

Why No Rebates?

From time to time, members ask if we offer rebates for installations of new solar photovoltaic systems. 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 cents per kilowatt-hour
  • Portland General Electric rate: about 13.8 cents per kilowatt-hour
  • Pacific Power rate: about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour

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