Residential SW Washington

Application spotlight: Primary heating systems

As customers and trade allies fill out incentive applications, they often stumble over one specific question: “What is the home’s primary heating system?” This seemingly easy question may be surprisingly complex, and the answer determines customer eligibility for certain incentives.

The Home Retrofit Specifications Manual defines primary heating system as “the main heating equipment that is permanently installed and designed to provide the majority of heat inside a home, regardless of use or condition.” This definition can help you decide if the customer may be eligible for.

For example, a home has an electric furnace that no longer works, so the owners are using portable electric heaters. In this case, the electric furnace is the primary heat source. Another homeowner may use a wood stove to supplement a gas furnace. In this case, the gas furnace is likely to be the primary heat source.

Home Retrofit incentives are only available for homes with an electric or natural gas primary heating system with fuel provided by Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas or Avista. By answering the primary heating system question early in the process, you’ll avoid confusion and potential customer complaints related to incentives.

You’ll find a simple list of primary heating systems on our forms, as shown below:

Online application:

If you have questions about how to identify a customer’s primary heating system, or how to fill out applications, please email the Residential trade ally team or call us at 1.866.365.3526.