Energy Efficiency Program Expands Savings Opportunities

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(Photo above: Bend Heating | Photo Courtesy of the Environmental Center)

Efficient heating and cooling program expands to rentals and multifamily.

The Energy Challenge of Central Oregon, has been working with local residents over the last two and a half years to help them save money on energy bills and make their homes more comfortable. This year, The Energy Challenge is expanding a key program to the rental and multifamily market.
“While the name doesn’t lend itself to rousing a lot of excitement, the technology is quite spectacular. They are super-efficient and so easy to install that they’re a no-brainer for an upgrade from any other kind of electric heating,” says Lindsey Hardy, Program Director of The Energy Challenge.
New this year, The Energy Challenge is working with local contractor partners to introduce the technology to more multifamily properties where there is a lot of potential with older, inefficient heating systems. These projects have been popping up around Bend and building owners and tenants have been very happy with the results.
“There’s an incredible amount of cost savings up front with incentives from Energy Trust and tax credits,” said Conan Doherty, a multifamily dwelling owner in Bend. “But then there’s also what the tenants get. Some of these people were paying upwards of $200/month for baseboard heating and now they’re paying up to $150 maybe during one of the worst winters we’ve had in Bend.”
Brad and Westin, some of Doherty’s tenants, say that their favorite part of living with a ductless heat pump is that is circulates the air rather than the spotty heating that they got from their baseboards. They’re pretty excited about having air conditioning too.
According to the Energy Trust of Oregon website, you can save up to forty percent on electric heating costs. Energy Trust offers cash incentives of up to $800 for electric heated homes that are Pacific Power customers. Central Electric Coop offers similar incentives of up to $1,000.
These incentives can be coupled with a state tax credit of up to $1,300. This lucrative tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2017 so Oregon residents and multifamily property owners are encouraged to explore opportunities to install ductless heat pumps before then.
In addition, this spring Energy Trust is offering a special bonus incentive that The Energy Challenge has combined with bonuses from manufacturers and four local contractors that will total up to $600 off a ductless heat pump project for residential properties. Bonus incentives are also available right now for multifamily projects buy will vary more from project to project.
“Less really is more when it comes to saving energy on utility bills and ductless heat pumps get the job done. They help you use a lot less electricity to heat your home and offer more comfort,” said Hardy. “We’re looking at opportunities at my house right now and we’re excited to not only save a lot of money, but to also have the option to turn on air conditioning every once in a while. It’s a win-win.”
About The Energy Challenge of Central Oregon
The Energy Challenge is a project of The Environmental Center, a Bend nonprofit organization whose mission is embed sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon. The Energy Challenge is a collaborative effort to help Central Oregonians save energy and make their homes more comfortable. For more information, visit TheEnergyChallenge.orgor contact Lindsey Hardy at 541-385-6908 x11 or lindsey@envirocenter.org

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