For EPS New Construction
Build Homes That Get More for Their Energy
Homes that use energy wisely stand out from the rest, and so do their builders. EPS™ is a scoring system that estimates a home’s energy consumption, utility costs and annual solar generation. It also serves as a pathway and promotional tool for builders who understand the added value of homes that use energy wisely. If you’re a builder who strives to build quality, comfort and efficiency into your homes, EPS is a resource that benefits both you and the homebuyer.
In order to receive an EPS:
- Homes in Oregon must be served by Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas or Avista. In Washington, homes must be served by NW Natural.
- Are built at least 10% more efficient than typical newly built homes in Oregon, and 5% more efficient than typically newly built homes in Washington.
Ready to get started? As a first step, contact the EPS New Construction trade ally coordinator via email (link) or phone at 1.877.283.0698 for more information.
Read on for additional resources available to builder trade allies.
Become a Trade Ally
To be eligible for incentives, builders must:
- Become an EPS New Construction trade ally
- Note: If you are an individual acting as general contractor for a home you plan to live in, please contact the trade ally coordinator at 1.877.283.0698 for alternate guidance to become an owner-builder Trade Ally
- Work with an Energy Trust approved verifier to ensure submitted homes meet program requirements. Verifiers also conduct at least two site visits during construction – once before drywall installation and the following visit occurs after the submitted home completes construction.
Build a reputation for quality and enjoy the following trade ally benefits:
- Include energy efficiency or solar technologies and techniques in your construction practices
- Distinguish your business by offering third-party verified homes that earn an EPS
- Receive free referrals through our online Find a Contractor Tool
- Earn cash incentives for completing energy-efficient projects and installing solar or making a home solar ready
- Get specialized training to boost your knowledge of emerging technologies
- Use marketing materials and business development funds to raise your profile
- Receive technical assistance and support from energy experts
When you are ready to build an energy-efficient home, get the support you need by hiring an Energy Trust approved verifier. Verifiers offer technical support, project modeling and advice on best practices. By consulting with a verifier early in the home-building process, you can save time and money, and prevent costly callbacks. You can find approved verifiers by selecting “Verifier” under the drop down “I need help with” on our Find a Contractor tool.
During construction, your verifier will conduct two in-person inspections to document building components and confirm compliance with EPS requirements: one visit before installing drywall and one visit at project completion. Third-party verifiers help ensure the effectiveness and quality of energy-efficient measures by inspecting homes for program requirements and building components, and by performing infiltration testing, duct leakage testing and energy modeling. Verifiers work with you to provide technical guidance and issue an EPS to qualified new home construction projects.
You are responsible for initial communication and contracting with a third-party approved program verifier to qualify for incentives.
Early Design Assistance Meeting
Early Design Assistance Meeting
In new construction it pays to plan ahead. A $500 incentive is available to trade ally builders in Oregon and Washington who meet early design assistance (EDA) requirements. This incentive encourages builders to compile a team to evaluate projects in their early stages, focusing on how energy efficiency will be integrated.
Coordination for this meeting will be facilitated by program staff in collaboration with the builder and verifier. The team could include the designer, customer, subcontractors, supplier and verifier, and must feature at least one EPS New Construction team member.
Early design assistance creates an opportunity for all participants to provide input and voice their concerns. It enables builders to address potential problem areas early on and can save builders money by reducing callbacks, field modifications and schedule changes, while subcontractors benefit by limiting change orders.
Early design assistance meetings have many variations that builders and verifiers can take advantage of.
Solar Early Design Assistance Meeting
Builders planning to install solar or build EPS solar ready or solar + storage ready should include the solar contractor in the early design assistance meeting. Builders who conduct a solar early design assistance meeting qualify for a $500 incentive in addition to the $500 EDA incentive. Contact email@example.com for more information on solar early design assistance meeting requirements.
Rural Early Design Assistance Meeting
Builders constructing homes in rural Oregon can conduct an early design assistance meeting and qualify for a $500 incentive in addition to the $500 EDA incentive. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if your project qualifies as rural.
For more information on early design assistance incentives, contact Energy Trust’s EPS New Construction trade ally coordinator at 1.877.283.0698, email@example.com, or download the early design assistance application.
Incentives are subject to funding availability and may change.
By incorporating solar electric systems into your homes at the time of construction, you can be eligible for upfront cash incentives, boost sale prices for your home and provide your homebuyer with potential tax credits. Systems must be installed by an approved solar trade ally and meet Energy Trust requirements. For more information, visit our solar page or contact the Solar program.
EPS homes that have solar installed and meet additional offering requirements can also qualify for net zero incentives.
Solar Ready and Solar + Storage Ready Incentives
Solar ready homes are built to allow for easier installation of a solar electric system when the time is right. Solar + storage ready homes are built to allow for easier installation of a battery electric storage system. By installing the infrastructure for the future installation of these systems, you can add flexibility and value to your homes. To build your homes solar ready, and to learn about solar + storage ready options, talk to your program verifier and share the following resources with your licensed electrical subcontractor.
Installed Solar Ready and Solar + Storage
Energy Trust provides incentives to builders to reduce the installation cost of verified infrastructure for solar ready and solar + storage ready systems. Visit the solar ready & solar + storage ready page to learn more.
EPS homes that have solar installed and meet additional offering requirements can also qualify for net zero incentives. Visit the net zero homes page to learn more.
Accessory Dwelling Units
Interest in accessory dwelling units (ADUs) is rising fast as more and more homeowners see the value of having an extra living or rental space on their property. Because of their small size, ADUs can be built to use very little energy if you plan ahead. Talk to your verifier, or learn more about building EPS-rated ADUs.