Invoice and proposal guidelines reduce customer confusion

Energy Trust’s Solar team assists customers with a variety of questions to help clarify the solar installation process. Two areas where customers often express confusion are proposals and invoices. In response to customer confusion and consumer protection concerns we want to highlight a few ways in which trade allies can increase clarity on invoices and proposals.

  • Be specific when itemizing incentives (i.e. “Energy Trust Residential Solar Incentive”, “PGE Smart Battery Pilot Rebate”), and avoid acronyms like “ETO” or “ODOE”.
  • Spell out and apply Oregon Solar and Storage Rebates after Energy Trust incentives.
  • Ensure that solar and storage incentives are separate items.
  • Use “net cost” as the taxable basis when calculating potential federal tax credits, as indicated by IRS guidelines.
  • Clearly define interest rates and financed amounts, especially if the interest rate depends on a down payment.
  • Make net cost calculations simple and clear enough that customers can follow the math.

Below is a sample cost breakdown for a solar and storage system using these guidelines:

By following these simple guidelines, trade allies can reduce confusion and potential concerns, saving time for customers and themselves.

Solar (7.6kW) Storage (13.5kWh) 
System cost$25,000System cost$15,000
Energy Trust Residential Solar Incentive (PGE standard)-$1,000Energy Trust Residential Storage Incentive ($500/kWh)-$6,000
Manufacturer rebate-$500Manufacturer rebate-$500
Referral bonus-$250
System net cost$23,250System net cost$8,500
Net cost$31,750
Federal Income Tax Credit (30% of net cost, subject to customer tax liability)-$9,525

If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact Energy Trust of Oregon’s Solar team.