Energy Trust Providing Rebuilding Incentives for Wildfire Victims

May 9 brought good news for Oregonians who lost their homes in the wildfires over the last few years. The nonprofit Energy Trust of Oregon, which is focused on affordable clean energy, has offered cash incentives to people rebuilding with energy efficiency in mind.  

The incentives range from around $2,000 to $8,000 with the amount being based on the home’s Energy Performance Score (EPS) – a number that takes into account the homes age, carbon footprint, and more. The goal is for the new homes to use energy better and be more resilient in future disasters. 

A higher EPS would result from energy-minded building like advanced framing, high performance windows, and energy efficient appliances. Advanced heating and cooling will also improve an energy score. 

Examples of better resiliency include avoiding fire embers from entering a home by sealing attic vents, creating a barrier of rigid insulation on the outside of a home, or protecting a home from heat with triple-paned windows.  

In order for a homeowner to participate in this incentive plan, they have to use a builder from the list of Energy Trust allies. The builder will then need to work with a program verifier to determine the incentive amount the building would be eligible for. The verifier needs to inspect it before and after drywall is installed to perform diagnostics and evaluate the home’s energy performance. 

Energy Trust of Oregon hopes that these incentives will make rebuilding easier and better for Oregonians who are still recovering from the last wildfire seasons. They are working with Oregon’s Department of Energy and Oregon’s Building Code Division for this incentive program.  

By Marissa Roberts