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Net Zero Homes

For EPS New Construction

Energy Trust of Oregon supports your commitment to quality construction. We offer cash incentives and technical support so you can build net zero homes that truly stand out, with solar already installed and a design that enables the entire electric load to be offset.

Along with the incentive, your verifier will arrange an early design assistance meeting to make the most of your site’s solar potential and to identify the energy-saving features that will enable the home to qualify as net zero. Qualified homes earn additional incentives for meeting EPS requirements and are built at least 20% more efficient than a typical newly built home.

This is a great opportunity to grow your reputation as a future-focused builder, empowering your buyers with high-performance homes that have the potential to produce as much electricity as they consume over the course of the year.

    1. Learn about available incentives. Before construction starts, contact Energy Trust at 1.877.283.0698 or email us to discuss your project and learn about available incentives.
    2. Establish eligibility. Contact a program-approved verifier to establish eligibility. Installation site must be in Oregon and grid connected with electricity provided by Portland General Electric or Pacific Power. Net zero incentives are only available for homes that receive an EPS.
    3. Hire a solar trade ally contractor. A solar trade ally contactor can help inform your home design to maximize solar output and could install your home’s solar system.
    4. Work with a verifier. Your verifier will help you arrange an early design assistance meeting to plan the solar orientation of the home and will help ensure your home meets net zero and EPS requirements.
    5. Receive your incentives. Your verifier will inspect the home for compliance and you will receive your incentives at project completion.

Incentives for net zero homes

EPS $1,123 to $5,223 per home, based on efficiency above a typical newly built home.
Net zero$750 per home
Early design assistance meeting$1,000 per development (EPS verifier and solar contractor must be present)

Homes must receive electric service from Portland General Electric or Pacific Power.

You can also receive Energy Trust solar incentives, along with federal tax credits. Pair with our energy smart homes offering to earn an additional $200 to $500 for qualified homes.

Net zero requirements

  • Must be an EPS home that is at least 20% above baseline
  • Must include a solar PV system sized to offset all electric load
  • Must receive service from Portland General Electric or Pacific Power
  • Homes that include natural gas are eligible to participate if they meet gas efficiency requirements

See the resources tab for a link to the Incentives and Requirements guide.

Your comprehensive guide

Download the guide for full details.

Explaining net zero homes to customers

Use these helpful talking points when speaking to customers who may be interested in buying a net zero home:

  • Homes that qualify as net zero offer outstanding efficiency, comfort and energy cost savings, and come with a solar electric system already installed.
  • These homes earn an EPS for their high-quality construction and excellent energy performance. (EPS is a scoring system that measures the energy impact of a home and how much it costs to operate.)
  • Net zero homes are built to be at least 20% more energy efficient than a typical newly built home. They also have the potential to achieve net zero or near-zero electricity use. This means the home can produce the same amount of electricity it uses over the course of a year, depending on the energy-saving commitment of those who live there.
  • Along with a solar electric system, common features found in these homes include tight construction, high levels of insulation, and efficient heating and cooling.
  • A net zero home provides the foundation for maximum efficiency, but it’s up to the resident to make the most of this potential and minimize energy use. A few examples of minimizing energy use include managing the thermostat, unplugging battery chargers when not in use, and cleaning and replacing filters regularly.
  • The federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar electric systems is expected to change in the coming years—so investing in solar now can save consumers additional funds.