New Homes

Early preview of potential 2018 New Homes incentive changes


Every fall, Energy Trust reviews its incentive offerings to determine incentive levels, requirements and availability for the following year. Energy Trust will finalize incentive changes over the next few months as part of our annual budget development process. Many factors are influencing the incentive review this year. These factors include more stringent codes and standards, and the sunset of Oregon’s Residential Energy Tax Credit on December 31, 2017.

We have identified several incentives facing cost-effectiveness challenges—influencing Energy Trust’s incentive level, requirements and ability to provide an incentive for some measures in 2018. Some of these measures will sunset at the end of 2017. Energy Trust submitted requests to the Oregon Public Utility Commission to maintain incentives for measures that fall under the cost-effectiveness threshold but provide significant other benefits to customers. OPUC staff has recommended the commission approve Energy Trust’s requests, and the commission is seeking comments from stakeholders now through Thursday, October 26. Email and mailing address for comment submissions can be found on the OPUC website.

Energy Trust is required by legislation to invest in cost-effective energy efficiency. This means that for Energy Trust to provide an incentive for a project, the benefit must meet or outweigh the cost for all utility customers. The OPUC has directed Energy Trust to apply two tests to determine whether energy efficiency is the best energy buy for all utility customers. Read more about these calculations in our cost-effectiveness fact sheet.

This is a preliminary list of potential New Homes measure changes in 2018. It is not comprehensive of all potential changes, which will be determined through Energy Trust’s annual budget development process in November and December. Incentive changes will go into effect on January 1, 2018, and will be shared with trade allies through Insider articles in November and December, email notifications and at the fall Trade Ally Forums. More information will be shared at the fall Trade Ally Forums and in the November and December Insider emails.  

Measure to change in 2018:

  • Ductless heat pumps: Individual equipment incentives will be discontinued for new homes on December 31, 2017, because new residential code has a ductless heat pump compliance option. Ductless heat pumps will still be available as part of EPS.

Measures pending OPUC approval that could have potential changes in 2018:

  • EPS for new homes, select tiers and fuels: Energy Trust has updated all EPS new homes pathways based on updated residential building code for 2018. Only some tiers could be changed in 2018: Path 1 and 2 for electrically heated homes and Path 4 for gas-heated homes. Energy Trust submitted a request for a cost-effectiveness exception to the OPUC to maintain incentives for Path 1 and 2 for electrically heated homes and Path 4 for gas-heated homes. The OPUC is seeking comments from stakeholders now through Thursday, October 26. Email and mailing address for comment submissions can be found on the OPUC website.

Energy Trust will provide ongoing information on the measures listed above and any other measure changes. Updates will be provided in November and December Insider emails and at the November Trade Ally Forums in Klamath Falls, Grants Pass, Portland, Bend, Pendleton and La Grande.

If you have any questions, reach out to Scott Leonard, residential senior project manager, at 503.445.2944.

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