Oregon residents can look to their utility companies for help with the cost of making their homes more energy efficient by replacing or upgrading heating and cooling systems, water heaters and appliances, and weatherizing their homes. Many of Oregon’s utility company offer rebates and other incentives, which are in addition to any federal or state tax credits that may apply.
Appliances must generally be Energy Star certified in order to qualify for rebates. And the amounts of the rebates vary depending on the energy efficiency of the appliance or unit. Different utility companies have different requirements and specifications and offer different rebates. In many cases, for example with heating and cooling systems, you may need to use a contractor or technician qualified by the utility company.
Heating and cooling systems
Various utility companies in Oregon offer rebates for installing a heat pump system. The amount of the rebate depends on the heat pump’s efficiency and where the ducts are located. Ashland offers a $500 rebate for a heat pump with a heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of at least 8.5 and a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of at least 14.0. The Central Electric Cooperative pays a $1,200 rebate for a high efficiency heat pump with ducts outside the heated space, $400 if the ducts are inside the heated space, a $600 rebate for a standard efficiency heat pump with ducts outside, and $200 if the ducts are inside.
Central Lincoln pays a $300 rebate for any heat pump and up to $1,900 for converting a forced air electric furnace to a new heat pump, with ducts outside and a minimum HSPF of 8.5 and a minimum SEER of 14. The Columbia People’s Utility District offers a $1,300 rebate for a heat pump with an HSPF of at least 8.5 and a SEER of at least 14, and a $750 rebate for a heat pump with an HSPF of 7.7 to 8.49 and a SEER of 13.0 to 13.99.
Manmouth offers a series of rebates ranging from $300 for a new heat pump system with no minimum HSPF/SEER requirements and ducts located in heated or unheated space and no duct sealing required, up to $1,900 for converting an electric furnace to a heat pump with a minimum HSPF of 8.5, minimum SEER of 14.0, 75% of ducts located in unheated space and duct sealing required. Consumers Power Inc. offers a similar series of rebates ranging from $470 to $1,900. Forest Grove offers a $300 rebate for a non-Energy Star heat pump with no duct sealing, up to a $935 rebate for a heat pump with ducts in the attic and crawl space.
Several utility companies in Oregon pay a $1,500 rebate for a ductless heat pump, including Columbia River People’s Utility District, Consumers Power Inc., Emerald People’s Utility District, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Forest Grove, Monmouth and the Springfield Utility Board. Geothermal heat pumps qualify for larger rebates, with the Columbia River People’s Utility District paying $2,000, Consumers Power Inc. and Monmouth $2,400, and Oregon Trail Electric Co-op $3,000.
Rebates on energy efficient electric and gas water heaters generally range from $25 up to $100, depending on the capacity and energy factor of the water heater. Avista offers a $200 rebate for a tank-less water heater with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 80% or higher. For a Marathon electric water heater, the Columbia River People’s Utility District pays a $250 rebate; Consumers Power Inc. pays $100, and the Emerald People’s Utility District pays $75.
Many utility companies in Oregon offer rebates for new Energy Star appliances including refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, and clothes washers. Rebates for refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers are generally $25. Ashland offers up to a $35 rebate on a more efficient refrigerator, up to $60 for a dishwasher for a home with an electric water heater and up to $30 with a gas water heater. Forest Grove pays a $50 rebate for a new refrigerator or freezer. Salem Electric offers a $60 rebate on all Energy Star appliances. For recycling an old refrigerator/freezer, the Emerald People’s Utility District and the Springfield Utility Board pay a $25 rebate, Forest Grove and Idaho Power pay $30, and McMinnville Water & Light pays $100.
Energy efficient electric clothes washers with a modified energy factor (MEF) of at least 1.72 generally qualify for a rebate of from $60 to $75. Rebates for gas clothes washers are generally lower. Ashland offers up to a $100 rebate for a more efficient model for a home with an electric water heater and up to $50 with a gas water heater.
Programmable thermostats can also qualify for a rebate. Ashland and Consumers Power Inc. pay up to a $115 rebate for replacing all bi-metal line voltage thermostats with new electronic thermostats. Avista and the Douglas Electric Cooperative pay $50 for replacing thermostats. Salem Electric offers a $10 rebate per thermostat, up to a maximum $40 rebate.
In addition to rebates for replacing and upgrading your heating and cooling system and your appliances, Oregon utility companies also offer various rebates for weatherization, to conserve energy. Some companies pay a rebate per square foot of insulation or thermal windows installed, others pay a percentage of the installation cost, and some companies combine the two methods. For example, Ashland pays a rebate of up to 40% of the cost of installing insulation, and pays a rebate of $2.00 per square foot for windows with a U-value of 0.35 or lower and $2.50 /sq. ft. for windows with a U-value of 0.30 or lower.
Rebates per square foot of insulation offered by other utility companies range from $0.20 to $0.70, depending on whether the insulation is in the attic, floor or walls, and the R-factor. Rebates per square foot of windows installed range from $2.00 to $6.00. Several utility companies in Oregon offer a rebate for sealing ducts, with the amount of the rebate ranging from $350 to $500.
Applying for rebates
Before buying an appliance or contracting work to make energy efficiency improvements in your home you should check with your utility company to make sure you meet the requirements for the rebates. On the utility companies’ websites you can find the requirements and specifications, the procedures to be followed in order to qualify for and claim the rebates, and the rebate application forms. Some rebates may be for a certain time period or may be offered as long as funds are available.
Ashland – Conservation
Avista – Oregon Residential Customer Rebates
Central Electric Cooperative – Conservation Programs
Central Lincoln – Energy Efficiency – Rebate Information
Columbia River People’s Utility District – Efficiency Programs for Your Home
Consumers Power Inc. – Rebates
Douglas Electric Cooperative – Current Rebate Credits Available
Emerald People’s Utility District – Residential Energy Programs
Eugene Water & Electric Board – Energy savings for your home
Forest Grove – Light & Power: Residential Conservation Programs
Idaho Power – Energy Efficiency for Your Home
Lane Electric – Rebates & Credits
McMinnville Water & Light – Residential Energy Programs
Midstate Electric Cooperative – Conservation Rebates & Tips
Monmouth – Conserve Energy and Save $$$
NW Natural – Special Offers
Oregon Trail Electric Co-op – Residential Programs
Portland General Electric – High-efficiency Heat Pumps
Salem Electric – Energy Conservation
Springfield Utility Board – For Your Home
Tillamook People’s Utility District – Products & Services