New ETA: Mid-2024 for Oregon’s Clean Energy Rebates
While Oregonians eagerly anticipate generous home electrification and efficiency rebates, there are some crucial details to consider. These rebates, ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, are earmarked for both individual households and multifamily buildings that undergo energy-efficient retrofits. Notably, these rebates are accessible to households regardless of their income level.
As per the Oregon Department of Energy, Oregon residents will need to exercise patience as they won’t be able to apply for these enticing rebates until at least mid-2024, if not later. It’s vital to emphasize that these rebates will not be retroactive.
The funding for these rebates is derived from the federal Inflation Reduction Act, a significant component of the sweeping clean energy legislation passed by Congress last year. Oregon stands to receive a substantial $113 million allocation for these rebates.
The primary objective of this program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance home resilience to extreme weather events, and mitigate indoor and outdoor air pollution. However, it’s essential to note that the program is still in its developmental stages.
The delayed rollout is not due to any fault of Oregon. It wasn’t until the end of July that the federal government issued guidance for states to apply for the new Home Energy Rebates Program. Consequently, Oregon will now embark on the task of developing its rebates program and establishing the necessary rules for its administration. What’s noteworthy is that the public will have the opportunity to provide input on these rules, ensuring a transparent and inclusive process.
The rebates program comprises two key initiatives:
- Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Under this initiative, rebates ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 will be provided for energy efficiency retrofits in both individual households and multifamily buildings. Importantly, these rebates are accessible to households of all income levels, although a percentage of the rebates will be allocated to lower-income households. Retrofits can encompass the installation of more efficient equipment such as heat pumps or water heaters, weatherization measures like insulation and air sealing, and the adoption of devices like smart thermostats. Higher incentives will be available for projects that result in greater energy savings.
- High-Efficiency Electric Appliances: The second initiative aims to provide point-of-sale rebates through retailers or contractors to low- and moderate-income households for the installation of high-efficiency electric appliances, electric upgrades, insulation, and air sealing measures. Low-income households will be eligible for rebates of up to $14,000 to transition to electric appliances, including up to $8,000 for a heat pump, covering heating, air conditioning, and hot water. This discount can encompass up to 100% of project costs for low-income households and up to 50% for moderate-income households.
For those seeking information and guidance, the Oregon Department of Energy is establishing a resource hub to assist in finding rebate and tax break details, technical assistance, financing options, and contractors specializing in heat pumps, insulation, and other retrofit installations.
If you can’t wait for these rebates, there are already opportunities available, such as a 30% tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements, including insulation, heat pumps, and windows. Additionally, the State of Oregon offers financial support for heat pump installations through local organizations and contractors, even in rental homes. The Energy Trust of Oregon provides supplementary incentives, and local utilities have their own rebate and incentive programs for energy-efficient technologies. Furthermore, Oregon currently operates a low-income weatherization program that offers weatherization services to qualifying low-income households.