Update on expiration of Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit


The Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) administered by the Oregon Department of Energy is set to expire at the end of this year as set in law. Oregonians can currently apply for a RETC to reduce costs for qualifying home efficiency and solar investments. During the 2017 state legislative session, there were bills proposed to extend RETC past the current 2017 sunset. Those bills were not passed by the close of the legislative session on July 7 and the RETC program will sunset December 31, 2017.

Energy Trust of Oregon does not take positions on legislation or engage in political issues. We do monitor developments at the state legislature to understand potential impacts on programs and services available for utility customers, including the availability of energy-efficiency and solar tax credits, which often factor into customers’ decision-making.

While Energy Trust does not administer tax credits, the expiration of RETC may impact Energy Trust incentive availability and amounts for certain energy efficiency and solar measures. Specific measure and incentive amount changes are not certain at this time, but we do anticipate the following impacts:

  • Solar project volume will be higher than normal through the end of 2017, leading to more frequent incentive reductions in response to demand. The Solar program will determine 2018 incentive levels during the budget planning process this fall.
  • Certain energy-efficiency measures that rely on a combination of RETC and Energy Trust incentives may no longer meet cost-effectiveness requirements in 2018. Without RETC, their total costs may become greater than the value of energy savings, impacting Energy Trust’s ability to provide an incentive. View our cost-effectiveness fact sheet for more details about our required cost-effectiveness calculations.

We understand that the expiration of RETC may impact your business and lead to customer questions. Please consider the following information as you respond to customer questions:

  • The state Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2017.
  • Energy Efficiency Measures:
    • To be eligible for a RETC, qualifying equipment or devices must be purchased by December 31, 2017, and operational by April 1, 2018. Applications must be received by the Oregon Department of Energy no later than June 1, 2018.
    • Home energy-efficiency improvements that can qualify for a RETC until then are listed on the Oregon Department of Energy’s website oregon.gov/energy/At-Home/Pages/RETC.aspx.
  • Solar Photovoltaic Systems:
    • To be eligible for a RETC, solar projects must be contracted with initial deposit paid by December 31, 2017; the application must be entered into the Oregon Department of Energy’s PowerClerk platform on or before December 31, 2017; the solar system must be installed no later than April 1, 2018; and the final signed application must be received by June 1, 2018.
    • Find more information on the Oregon Department of Energy’s website oregon.gov/energy/At-Home/Pages/Residential-PV.aspx.
  • Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentives remain available to customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista. Incentive details are available on our website at energytrust.org.

We will know more about incentive and measure impacts as we develop our 2018 budget this fall and will communicate any changes to you as they are identified. We will also provide additional information as we learn more from the Oregon Department of Energy.

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