Oregon Department of Energy to launch Rental Home Heat Pump Program

Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) is seeking eligible contractors for the new Oregon Rental Home Heat Pump Program. The new program, which supports installation of qualifying heat pumps in rental dwelling units, is expected to roll out by mid-2023 with $15 million in funding available for eligible heat pump installations.

The Oregon Rental Home Heat Pump Program is one of multiple programs created under SB 1536, the Emergency Heat Relief Act passed by the Oregon legislature in 2022 in response to the heat dome event of 2021, during which at least 100 Oregonians died of heat-related illness, often in their own homes. The new program will provide financial support for the purchase and installation of heat pumps and related upgrades in rental homes.

The Oregon Rental Heat Pump Program provides rebates and grants to approved contractors who install qualifying heat pumps and complete upgrades in rental dwelling units, including manufactured homes or recreational vehicles located in rented spaces. The full rebate and grant issued to the contractor is passed on to the customer (rental homeowner). Maximum rebates range from $2,000 to $7,000 for each heat pump installation, and from $2,000 to $4,000 for eligible upgrades, depending on the heat pump type, dwelling type, and income group of the tenant. Rebate reservation requests must be submitted in advance by an approved contractor. ODOE will reserve funds for 180 days for approved requests unless an extension is filed.

To be approved, contractors must register with ODOE. Approved contractors must:

  • Maintain all applicable licenses, bonds, insurances or permits required throughout the installation period, until the installation of the heat pump is complete.
  • Have an active license with the Construction Contractors Board and hold no disciplinary actions for the two years prior to the reservation request.
  • Have no Occupational Safety and Health Division violations for the two years prior to the reservation request.
  • Demonstrate a history of compliance with the administrative rules and requirements of the Bureau of Labor and Industries by:
    • Having no final order determinations from the Labor Commissioner for the two years prior to the reservation request.
    • Being absent from the list of contractors ineligible to receive public work contracts held by the Bureau of Labor and Industries.
    • If applicable, having proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage and having not been issued a non-complying employer order in the two years prior to the reservation request.

Administrative rules for the new program were published in April 2023, and contractor registration is expected to open by June 2023. The rebate and grant reservation application will follow in June or July 2023. ODOE expects to begin reviewing reservation requests as early as July 2023 and begin processing payments shortly thereafter.

To learn more about the Oregon Rental Home Heat Pump Program, visit the Oregon Department of Energy’s website. You may also sign up for email updates and download a fact sheet with full details.