Did you know that homeowners in Portland are eligible for cash incentives and low-interest loans to make energy efficiency improvements?
If you long to snug up your home but are lacking the budget to do so, you’re not alone. In fact, a 2015 study found that about half of homeowners take on some kind of energy efficiency project, but an even greater percentage lack the means to make their home as efficient as it could be.
Fortunately, there are financial assistance programs available in Portland – read on to learn about rebates, loans and more!
Low-to-Medium Income? Low-Interest Loans through Energy Trust
Energy Trust’s “Savings Within Reach On-Bill Repayment” low-interest loan program is available to any Oregon homeowner who heats their home with electricity or natural gas provided by Portland General Electric, Pacific Power or NW Natural. Their straightforward income qualification range is targeted toward those earning slightly less than average for Portland.
This program chargers a small fee, but is open to borrowers with lower credit scores. Borrowers can get up to $10,000 for projects commonly recommended for Portland homes by Home Energy Score assessors, including attic, wall or floor insulation, water heater, furnace or heat pump upgrade, and new windows. See all the details from Craft3, the loan originator, here.
What’s convenient about this program is it bills you for monthly payments through your utility. So you can pay your monthly energy bill and your loan repayment with one check.
To qualify for the funds, homeowners must also work with a contractor who has been certified by Energy Trust. You can find a qualified contractor through the Energy Trust Trade Ally website. https://www.energytrust.org/find-a-contractor/
All Homeowners: Get Cash Back for Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Energy Trust of Oregon also offers cash rebates for upgrades that improve energy efficiency. For those who are low-income, the Savings Within Reach incentive program offers even higher rebates.
For all homeowners, the best available energy efficiency rebates through Energy Trust in 2020 are:
- Get up to $4 per square foot back on your new windows. Rebate based on the window’s efficiency rating.
- Get up to $0.30/square foot rebate on new insulation
- Get a $550 rebate on a new gas furnace, minimum 90% AFUE
- Upgrade from an electric furnace, baseboard, wall heater or ceiling heat to an electric heat pump with efficiency rating of HSPF 8.5 or better, and get $700 back!
- Get a $100 rebate on a smart thermostat (note: Smart devices do not improve Home Energy Scores, but home buyers do tend to get excited about them!)
These are just a few of the rebates and incentives available – for more, go to Energy Trust.
Solar Home Loans
Adding solar panels to your home is a sure way to boost your home energy score while increasing energy independence – and your home’s cool-factor! Although this is a project that requires some significant upfront investment from the homeowner, there are rebates available from the Oregon Department of Energy as well as Energy Trust of Oregon.
In addition, most banks now have special financing programs for solar panels – talk to your local bank to find out if they do!
Ready to check your work? Schedule your Home Energy Score today — it’s the best way to show home buyers that your home outperforms the rest.