Oregon Department of Energy Launches Wildfire Rebuilding Incentive Program to Boost Energy Efficiency, Resilience

Source: RL Martin

In September, 2021, the Oregon legislature passed HB 5006, which allocated $10.8 million in General Fund dollars to the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) for a new program incentivizing energy efficient rebuilding of residential and commercial structures that were destroyed during the 2020 Labor Day wildfires. More than 5,000 structures and over 1 million acres were burned in the 21 wildfires that devastated Oregon communities over Labor Day weekend 2020. Now, building owners can receive incentives to rebuild to current building code or above code. Incorporating energy efficiency improvements can help make buildings more comfortable and support long-term affordability through lower energy bills. Further, improved building energy codes can contribute to facility and electricity system resilience.

ODOE will provide financial support to improve energy efficiency to make rebuilt homes and businesses more comfortable and provide long-term energy savings.

  • Incentive amounts range from $3,000 up to $18,000, depending on the building type and the level of efficiency in rebuilding.
  • Oregonians rebuilding site-built homes can receive $3,000 for rebuilding to current energy code or $6,000 for rebuilding to an above-code standard – those rebuilding who are also considered low- or moderate-income can receive higher rebates of $7,500 or $15,000.
  • Oregonians replacing lost or damaged manufactured homes with energy efficient models can receive $12,500, plus an additional $5,000 for installing a qualifying heat pump system to improve heating and cooling.
  • Commercial, public, and multifamily buildings can receive between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on the project and the efficiency level.
  • Affordable multifamily buildings can receive an additional $500 per unit if the affordable housing developer participates in an Oregon Housing and Community Services program.

“Oregonians lost more than 5,000 structures in the devastating 2020 wildfires,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “We’re grateful our agency can play a role in helping Oregon families and communities rebuild more energy-efficient and comfortable homes and businesses.”

For more information on the Wildfire Recovery Incentive Program, click here.

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