Double energy efficiency cash incentives

 
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Did you know that most homeowners in Oregon can get increased cash incentives for energy efficiency upgrades through Energy Trust of Oregon’s Savings Within Reach (SWR) program? If you have a moderate income and check a few other boxes, you can get the increased cash incentives, which are sometimes twice as much as standard Energy Trust incentives. The increased incentives make home energy projects much more affordable, especially when combined with competitive financing.

Here’s a breakdown of what to know about Savings Within Reach:

What are the household income qualifications for the Savings Within Reach program?

 
Household size Gross annual income maximum
1 resident $54,240
2 residents $62,040
3 residents $69,720
4 residents $77,520
5 residents $83,760
6 residents $89,880
7 residents $96,120
8 residents $102,360
 

The median household income in Deschutes County is $59,152. So if you live with another person and make the median household income in Bend, Oregon, you meet the income qualification for the SWR program. In Multnomah County, the median household income is $63,974. So you meet the income qualification if you live with two other people in Portland and make the median household income, People who participate in the SWR program get a big boost in cash incentives for home energy efficiency projects.

What cash incentives are available through Savings within Reach?

Here are a few examples of how SWR incentives compare to standard Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentives.

Attic insulation

  • SWR: $0.50 per square foot

  • Standard: $0.25 per square foot

  • 100% increase: If you insulate a 1K square foot attic, you’d get $500 through SWR compared to only $250 through standard ETO incentives.

Wall insulation

  • SWR: $0.50 per square foot

  • Standard: $0.30 per square foot

  • 67% increase: If you insulate a 1K square foot wall, you’d get $500 through SWR compared to only $300 through standard ETO incentives.

Heat Pump

  • SWR: $1,000 plus $250 for heat pump controls

  • Standard: $700 plus $250 for heat pump controls

  • 43% increase: You’d get $300 more for a new heat pump through the Savings Within Reach program.

Ductless Heat Pump

  • SWR: $1,000

  • Standard: $800

  • 25% increase: You’d get $200 more for a ductless system through Savings within Reach.

Heat Pump Water Heater

  • SWR: $375

  • Standard: $0

  • $375 more: You can get $375 for a heat pump water heater through the Savings Within Reach program.

For a complete list of SWR incentives and limitations, please visit: energytrust.org

What does the incentive process look like?

  1. The first step is to give us a call: 866.827.5774. We will schedule a preliminary estimate for your energy efficiency upgrades and begin to establish your eligibility for the SWR program. To be eligible, you must live in a single-family or manufactured home located in Oregon heated by Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas or Avista.

  2. Before starting your project, we will ask you to sign an Income Verification form to confirm your eligibility.

  3. When your project is complete, you will need to sign the incentive application and pay your invoice. We will submit the paperwork and invoice to Energy Trust of Oregon, then deduct the incentive amount from your invoice, reducing the overall balance that you pay for your project.

What else should I know about Savings Within Reach?

  1. Am I still eligible for other Energy Trust incentives if I participate in Savings Within Reach? Yes! If you invest in additional energy-saving improvements, you can receive standard Energy Trust incentives. However, each improvement is eligible for only one incentive. For example, if you install wall insulation, you must choose either the Savings Within Reach incentive or the standard Energy Trust incentive. With Savings Within Reach, the incentive is paid to the contractor and provided as a line-item discount on your invoice. To receive standard incentives for a project that is not part of Savings Within Reach, you will pay your contractor in full and then submit your incentive application and invoices to Energy Trust to receive your cash incentive.

  2. How do I determine my household’s gross annual income to see if I qualify for Savings Within Reach? Your gross annual income is the total amount currently earned annually by all household members before taxes and deductions. Income includes all gross wages, tips, rental income, public assistance, social security or pensions, income from self-employment, alimony, or any other sources of income defined by the IRS income tax return.

    Here is a sample income calculation: $15 hourly wage x 32 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $24,960.

  3. Can I participate in Savings Within Reach if my household income is below the minimum income level? Yes! However, if your gross income is below the minimum income level for your household size, you may qualify for free weatherization services from Oregon’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which is administered by Oregon Housing and Community Services.

  4. Who counts as a resident of my home? Anyone who regularly sleeps at your home and is not considered a temporary guest can be counted as a resident of your home. Children sleeping in your home as part of a shared custody agreement are considered residents.

The bottom line - Savings Within Reach offers strong cash incentives that apply to most Oregon homeowners. If you’d like to learn more about whether the program applies to you, we’re here to help: 866.827.5774.

 
Bill Hoelzer