Residents of Oregon seeking to save some cash on utility bills this winter – and every winter thereafter – have a new resource for energy efficient retrofits in Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO). This program works with homeowners to determine which upgrades will have the most impact on heating bills, and then helps finance the work with local contractors, offering instant rebates in the process.
In order to qualify for the program, the home must be: located in Clackamas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Multnomah or Washington counties; owned and occupied by the person applying; built before 1999; a single-family, detached structure (mobile homes, townhouses or other multi-family dwellings are not currently eligible); and not listed on National Register of Historic Places. Homeowners are encouraged to apply online, or to download the paper application.
Provided the home meets these qualifications, CEWO offers a free home energy assessment performed by a a Building Performance Institute certified contractor, which is designed to pinpoint energy savings opportunities. Once the assessment has been performed, a CEWO energy advisor and a contractor approved by the program walk the homeowner through the report to determine which upgrades and retrofits will have the most impact, based on their estimated impact on the homeowner’s heating bill.
The program offers no-money-down financing on both the assessment and the retrofits, and repayments through the home’s utility bill, where much of the debt expense should be offset by energy savings. It also offers instant rebates of up to $2,000 on the entire package, depending on the homeowner’s county of residence.
CEWO is a partnership between Energy Trust of Oregon and a number of Oregon utilities and financial institutions, as well as local governments and contractors, to promote the state’s progressive planning and environmental goals. It began in Portland, a city known for sustainable policymaking and green building practice – a fact that CEWO approved contractor Sam Hagerman, of Hammer & Hand, believes is significant. “Because Clean Energy Works Oregon has its roots in Portland, with its vibrant green building scene and leadership in sustainability,” said Hagerman in a statement, “the program’s top contractors, like Hammer & Hand, are ahead of the curve in building science.”