The Oregon Department of Energy is now accepting incentive reservations through the agency’s new Oregon Rental Home Heat Pump Program. Under this new program, owners of rental homes and manufactured dwellings or recreational vehicles in a rented space may receive incentives for installing energy efficient heat pumps and related electrical upgrades.
The heat pump program was established at ODOE by the Oregon Legislature (SB 1536) following the 2021 heat dome event, during which at least 100 Oregonians died of heat-related illness – often in their own homes. Heat pumps, which move heat rather than create it, are becoming more popular in Oregon homes thanks to their efficient heating and cooling, lower energy use, and potential incentive savings (including a federal tax credit).
Oregonians interested in installing energy efficient heat pumps in their rental properties should contact an approved program contractor, who will be able to reserve rebates on behalf of their customers. After completing installation, the contractor will submit project completion information to receive the rebate from the agency. The full amount of the savings must be passed on to the customer.
Rebate amounts vary based on the project, and higher incentives are available for homes with tenants who have low or moderate incomes. For rental homes, rebates are available between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the efficiency of the heat pump and the income level of the tenants. For a manufactured home or recreational vehicle renting space in a manufactured home or RV park, rebates are available between $2,000 and $7,000 depending on heat pump efficiency and income level.
Grants are also available for associated upgrades alongside the heat pumps, such as electrical wiring. For homes where tenants meet low- or moderate-income eligibility, up to a $4,000 grant is available. For those who are not low- or moderate-income, up to $2,000 is available.
“Renters are often limited in making significant energy improvements at home since they don’t own the property,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “The Oregon Department of Energy looks forward to helping rental home owners across the state make the switch to energy efficient heat pumps, which will make their tenants’ homes more comfortable – and safer – in the heating and cooling seasons.”
More information and a list of approved contractors is available on ODOE’s website. The agency also continues to recruit contractors statewide to participate in the program. Interested contractors can register online.