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Overview

For New Homes Program

Build Efficiency into Your Homes

Homes that use energy wisely stand out from the rest, and so do their builders. Join Energy Trust’s trade ally network and our New Homes program will support your efforts to build and showcase homes that deliver superior comfort, savings and energy performance.

Become a New Homes trade ally >

Build a reputation for quality and enjoy the following trade ally benefits:

  • Bolster your bottom line by meeting the rising homebuyer demand for efficient homes that cost less to operate
  • Improve customer satisfaction and reduce callbacks by providing a performance-tested home
  • Enhance your reputation as a builder with energy-efficiency expertise
  • Distinguish your business by offering third-party verified homes that earn an EPSTM
  • Stand out from the competition with a listing on our find a contractor tool

Supporting Your Success

Trade ally builders are eligible to receive cash incentives, technical support and training. Our online training modules offer a great place to start. Look over the benefits and requirements of becoming a trade ally builder today, or contact the New Homes trade ally coordinator at 1.877.283.0698 for more information.

Below you’ll find a sampling of the many valuable resources available to trade ally builders.

Third-Party Verification

When you are ready to build an energy-efficient home, get the support you need by working with 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.

During construction, your verifier will review building components and confirm compliance with EPS requirements. Two inspections must be scheduled: once before installing drywall and again at project completion.

You are responsible for initial communication and contracting with a third-party approved program verifier to qualify for incentives.

Your project will also need to be approved by a performance testing contractor to ensure that systems and equipment work as designed. Use our contractor search tool to find a program-approved heating and cooling contractor in your area or contact the trade ally coordinator at 1.877.283.0698.

Incentives

EPS Incentives

Maximize your homebuyer’s energy savings and your bottom line by meeting EPS requirements, plus get cash incentives for building beyond code. Download our incentive overview to find out how much you could receive.

To qualify for EPS incentives, projects must be sited within the service territories of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas or Avista in Oregon, or within the service territory of NW Natural in Washington.

Equipment Incentives

Receive cash incentives of up to $500 for qualified HVAC and water heater installations (only available for homes in Oregon that do not receive an EPS). Visit our Equipment Incentives page and download the incentive application (Form 620OR) to apply.

Early Design Assistance

In new construction it pays to plan ahead. A $500 incentive is available to trade ally builders in Oregon who meet early design assistance 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 New Homes 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. With careful early design planning, builders can save money by reducing callbacks, field modifications and schedule changes, while subcontractors benefit by limiting change orders.

For more information, contact Energy Trust’s trade ally coordinator at 1.877.283.0698, or download the early design assistance application.

Solar Ready Incentives

Solar ready homes are built to allow for easier installation of a solar electric system when the time is right. By designing for a clear solar roof space, installing conduit from the attic to the electric panel, and leaving room for future components of a solar electric system, you can add flexibility and value to your homes. Energy Trust offers a variety of resources to help you build solar ready and distinguish your homes in the marketplace by showcasing this valuable feature to your customers. Solar ready is only available on homes that receive an EPS™. Your program-approved verifier will document the installation.

Energy Trust provides incentives to builders to reduce the installation cost of verified infrastructure for solar ready electric systems. A builder can qualify for a maximum incentive of $200. Visit the solar ready page to learn more.

Incentives are subject to funding availability and may change.

Certification

In addition to meeting EPS requirements, builders can receive nationally recognized certification for their homes.

The Northwest ENERGY STAR® Homes certification requirements are designed specifically for the Northwest market. Additional information on certification requirements and technical compliance options are available at Northwest ENERGY STAR.

LEED® certification offers builders a flexible array of sustainable features that address homebuyer demand for healthier indoor air, resource efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Newly built homes may receive both an EPS and another certification. Approved verifiers provide on-the-ground support to assist builders in deciding which options will work to reach desired certification levels. Contact the trade ally coordinator at 1.877.283.0698 for more information.

Solar Upgrades

By incorporating solar electric systems into your homes, you can receive cash incentives and boost sale prices for your home. Systems must be installed by an approved solar trade ally and meet Energy Trust requirements. For more information, contact the Solar program at 1.866.368.7878.

EPS works with 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 click here to learn more about building EPS-rated ADUs.