Get involved with Bend’s climate future

The City of Bend is actively recruiting nine positions for the Environment and Climate Committee (ECC) until July 31, 2020.

During the June 17th, 2020 City Council meeting, Bend City Council voted to establish the Environment and Climate Committee. The committee’s primary focus is to provide input and recommendations to the City Council on topics related to environmental stewardship and to oversee implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan, adopted in December 2019.

This committee is a big deal! The ECC will help the City of Bend establish direction and implement sustainability goals and will help shape the future livability of our community. 

Committee expertise

The City is seeking individuals who have experience or expertise, professional or lived, in the following or other related subject matters: energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy efficient building, environmental justice, equity in environmental stewardship and sustainability, alternative transportation and mobility, energy policy, environmental policy, forestry, water resources, ecology, other life sciences, carbon emission reduction, and other related areas. They seek inclusive membership of diverse and varied perspectives and experiences.

This committee will help fulfill current and future Council goals and projects related to environmental stewardship, and provide a resource to Council when relevant community issues arise. The ECC will:

  • Develop recommendations and build partnerships to advance implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan;
  • Provide input in the City’s review and development of plans, ordinances, actions, and policies as relevant
  • Provide advisory input to the City Council during Council goal setting and budgeting processes; and
  • Provide input on adopted Council goals as they relate to natural resources and the environment.

Commitment

This will be a permanent City committee just like the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) or the Affordable Housing Committee, among others. Nine members will be appointed to the Environment and Climate Committee with initial terms being two or four years so that the committee doesn’t replace all of its members at once. Subsequent terms will be four years. 

Committee members will be expected to actively participate in monthly meetings, generally 1.5 – 2 hours. Committee members will determine the regular schedule that works best for the members.

Application

The Advisory Committee application is available at bendoregon.gov/committees. Applications are accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020. 

For questions on serving on the Environment and Climate Committee, please contact Cassie Lacy at 541-323-8587 or .  

Information about the committee is available at bendoregon.gov/sustainability.

Charging an electric car at home

What does my house need to charge an Electric Car?

Whether you already own an electric car (EV) or are considering one in the future, when you are looking at new homes it is important to consider what it takes to charge an electric car at home. Depending on how the house is set up, it could limit the speed or cost of installing EV charging.

When you look at a new home it is important to look for two things: Where you plan on parking your car, and where the electricity will come from to charge. From these observations you can estimate the cost to install Level 2 electric car charging and what your options are. See”Other ways to charge” below because you may not necessarily need Level 2 charging capacity at home. 

Great charging

Many new homes are built with the ability to charge an electric car. If you don’t see a charger on the wall, take a look and see if you see a wall outlet that looks like a dryer or RV outlet. This is likely pre-wired for you to be able to plug in your current or future EV.  Many vehicles such as the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 come standard with a EV charger that can plug directly into these NEMA 14-50 outlets. You are good to go!

Good charging

If a home has an electric panel within 10-20 feet of where you plan to park, you are in luck! You just need an electrician to come out and connect a charger or 220v outlet for you to plug in. The next step would be to see if there is going to be an additional 32 amp capacity in your electric panel to add the charger. If there is, then an install is as simple as running a new dryer plug and should cost between $400 – $700 to install. A more detailed set of instructions on determining your electricity can be found here.

OK charging

Don’t worry if you have a longer distance to your panel or an undersized panel. Longer electric runs may cost a little more, and an undersized panel may need upgrading.  You can still install an EV charger.

Other ways to charge an electric car

Many people don’t bother installing a dedicated EV charger for Level 2 charging. If you don’t regularly drive over 50 miles per day, all you need is access to a regular wall outlet for Level 1 charging. It’s best to have your outlet within 15 feet of where you plan to charge. If your home doesn’t have a garage, you can still run your charging cable from an outlet on the outside of your home. 

Another great option is encouraging your workplace to offer charging where you could get some regular miles added to the “tank” and effectively double your daily range.

Don’t forget about incentives

Check with your utility for incentives for EV charging. Through 2020 you can also get a federal tax credit for EV charger installs.

Please reach out to Neil at or call him at 541-385-6908 x12 for more information.

4 things you need to know about the EV Charging Tax Credit

In a late December session, congress passed a bill that extended the electric vehicle charging tax credit that will cover 30% of the cost for residential or workplace charging. Because the EV charging tax credit got passed right at the end of 2019, there has been very little information available for you to file your 2019 taxes. Here are the details that may help you get a bigger tax refund, or help you afford EV charging in 2020.

Please consult with your tax professional to see how these credits apply to you. This information does not constitute tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties.

  • Tax credits are available for EV charger hardware and installation costs.

Install costs can account for the majority of the total cost of installing EV charging especially for commercial installations. This importantly covers both components on charging costs.

  • 30% tax credit up to $1,000 for residential and $30,000 for commercial.

You use form 8911 to apply for the Federal EV charging tax credit. It covers 30% of the costs with a max of $1,000 credit for residents and $30,000 tax credit for commercial installs.

  • You can still apply for installs as early as 2017.

Did you install charging in  2017 or 2018? Not to worry, you are still eligible for the tax credit! It retroactively applies for installs in 2017 and doesn’t expire until the end of 2020. If your install happened before 2019 you will have to file an amended return to claim your charging credit.

  • Other business EV charging incentives are available.

We are seeing EV charging pop up all over Oregon. With the 30% Federal Tax credit and many other incentives and grants available from utilities and municipalities, 2020 is a great year to install. The list of opportunities for funding is always changing and we will do our best to keep you up to date. Right now, there are currently Level 2 chargers available for interested workplaces in Central Oregon as well as grants for installs in Oregon Electric Community Co-op Territories.

Please reach out to Neil at or call him at 541-385-6908 x12 for more information.

DC Fast Charging in Madras Oregon

CCS Charging comes to Madras

Central Oregon now has it’s first functional CCS combo charging thanks to Pacific Power’s installation of 4 DCFC stations located at the Madras Chamber of Commerce. With Madras sitting in an important highway junction it has been well suited to offer DC fast charging (DCFC) for EV drivers traveling through Central and Eastern Oregon.

Here is a guide to the different options in town:

Chamber of Commerce (Pacific Power’s installation on Chargepoint Network)

  • 4 x 50kw DC fast charging stations, each with dual heads to offer either CCS combo or Chademo style plugs to fit all modern EV’s (Teslas will need a Chademo to Tesla adapter.)
  • A double head J1772 to offer up to 7.2KW Level 2 charging.
  • This is on the Chargepoint network so the Chargepoint app, fob, or phone number can be used to charge.
  • DC Fast Charging- 17.7¢/ per minute off-peak, 28.3¢/ minute on-peak; Level 2 Charging- 0.6¢/minute off-peak, 1.4 ¢/minute on-peak ; On-Peak Period Summer- Monday through Friday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; On-Peak Period Winter Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • If you wanted to add 50 miles of range to an average EV it would cost $3.82  off peak and $6.11 on Peak with DCFC and Level 2 charging would cost $0.77 off peak and $1.80 on peak.

West Coast Electric Highway (Dairy Queen on Webasto Network)

  • 1 x 50kw DC Fast Charger with a Chademo charging head only (works on older EV’s and Teslas with the Chademo to Tesla adapter.)
  • 1 x Single head J-1772 for up to 7.2 KW Level 2 charging.
  • As a part of the West Coast Electric Highway operated by Webasto. A Webasto key fob, phone call, or Pay with Plugshare will activate a charge.
  • Monthly plan is $19.99 or pay per charge at $7.50/session for DCFC and $4.00/session at Level 2

If you have any questions, please reach out to Neil at or call him at 541-385-6908 X12.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Buying an EV at the end of the year

December is a great month to take advantage of the Federal EV Tax Credit.

If you have been on the fence about purchasing an EV, now might be the perfect time. End-of-year deals and the federal ev tax credit may be good enough to make the move. It is snowy outside and we love being able to pre-warm the cabin of the car in the garage with no emissions or idling!

Here are two reasons why December is a great time to buy one of the many EV’s available today:

Tax credit can reduce tax liability.

  • The Federal EV tax credit is still available and ranges from $1,875 to $7,500 depending on the vehicle. Buying in December means you can take full advantage of the tax credit as soon as you file your taxes!
  • As a reminder, if you don’t have a large enough tax liability, you can always lease the vehicle as a work around. The dealer will take the tax credit and reduce the base cost of the car. At that point you can continue to keep the lease, or buy out the remainder of the lease.

Tesla and GM loses their federal ev tax credit in 2020.

  • Although the tax credit is still in full effect for most automakers, Tesla and GM have hit the threshold where the amount they get to offer is reduced each quarter. This means that Tesla vehicles delivered after Jan 1st 2020 are no longer eligible for the EV tax credit.
  • For GM’s Chevy Bolt they are also in the ramp down of tax credits but are a quarter behind, so they will keep their $1,875 tax credit until the end of Q1 2020.
  • No other manufacture has hit the 200,000 vehicle threshold so they are all still offering the full $7,500 credit on new electric vehicles. You can see how close each manufacture is to their 200,000 threshold here

If you have any questions, please reach out to Neil at or call him at 541-385-6908 X12.

 

 

Charge Ahead Expansion

Fall 2019 Oregon EV Rebate Program Updates

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission approved the expansion of the Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, making it easier for people to purchase electric vehicles. Oregonians who bought or leased eligible electric vehicles between Jan. 1 and Aug. 2, 2018, will once again be allowed to apply for rebates through March 30, 2020. In addition, those purchasing or leasing a new or used plug-in hybrid electric vehicle on or after Sept. 29, 2019 will be eligible for the Charge Ahead Rebate, which offers $2,500 back to low- or moderate-income applicants.

What Does this Mean (early purchases expansion) ?

  • For those who bought qualifying vehicles in the first 6 months of the rebate program are now eligible to reapply. The reasoning behind this shift was that because the program was new and under litigation for those first 6 months, many dealerships didn’t educate their customers in enough time for folks to apply.

What Does this Mean (Charge Ahead Expansion) ?

  • The previous rules only allowed full electric vehicles (no plug in hybrids) to be eligible for the additional income qualified Charge Ahead program.
  • This will expand Charge Ahead to include Plug in hybrids!
  • The rebate will be $2,500 regardless of battery size
  • This will only be applicable for Plug In hybrids sold or leased after 9/29/2019.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Neil at or call him at 541-385-6908 X12.

 

 

Test Drive an Electric Vehicle April 20-May 5

Now is a great time to test drive an electric vehicle in Central Oregon!

For every EV you test drive between April 20 – May 5, 2019, you’ll be rewarded with one entry to our raffle….

One lucky winner will get to choose a prize: A Nest Thermostat E or $150 Downtown Dollars.

[Note: This was extended one weekend in order for more folks to check out the new Kia Niro that just arrived at the Bend dealership.]

Take the time to check out several EV options available in Central Oregon, ask questions, and learn how an EV could fit into your lifestyle. You can test drive a fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle at the following participating dealerships:

Raffle drawing will be held on May 6, 2019 and the winner will be announced on The Environmental Center’s Facebook page.

Oregon Electric Vehicle Rebates

Did you know that Oregon Has one of the best EV incentives in the country? The Oregon Clean Energy Rebate Program offers Oregon residents a rebate of up to $2,500, when paired with the $7,500 Federal tax credit drivers can save $10,000 off a new electric car.

In addition to the standard rebate there is an extra rebate available for Low to Moderate Income drivers called the Charge Ahead Program that offers up to $2,500 off a new or used electric car!

You want to make sure you know what is available and what qualifies before you start shopping.

What Cars Qualify?

Some of these requirements are a little wonky but there is a list of eligible cars and the rebate they qualify for that can be found here.

A qualifying vehicle for the new Oregon rebate must:

  • Have a base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $50,000 (This includes Tesla Model 3s because the base is $35k)
  • Be covered by a manufacturer’s express warranty on the vehicle drive train, including the battery pack, for at least 24 months from the date of purchase
  • Be either a battery electric vehicle OR a plug-in hybrid vehicle that has at least 10 miles of EPA-rated all-electric range and warranty of at least 15 years and 150,000 miles on emission control components.
    1. $2,500 goes to vehicles with battery capacities above 10 kWh.
    2. $1,500 goes to vehicles with a battery capacity of 10 kWh or less.
  • Be a new vehicle, or used only as a dealership floor model or test-drive vehicle
  • The rebate will apply to new electric vehicles that are purchased or leased, with a minimum 24-month lease term.

How does the state rebate work?

  • You have to apply for your rebate within 6 months of your purchase.
  • You can find your application forms here.
  • The rebate will be returned to you as a check not a tax credit which means you don’t have to wait till tax return season and it is available even if you don’t have a large enough tax liability in Oregon.

Income qualified additional incentive.

The Charge Ahead incentive is available for low and Moderate income households and offers a $2,500 rebate for the purchase of a new or used fully electric car. This can be used in addition to the standard rebate which would add up to $5,000 from the state! This program will help bring the benefits of electric vehicles to many more Oregonians.

In order to qualify for the rebate you must:
  • Be a low or moderate income household. (For Deschutes county this is $83,500 for a family of 4)
  • Be an Oregon resident (with a valid ID)
  • Purchase or lease a new or used plug in hybrid or battery electric vehicle from a dealer (no person-to-person sales or plug in hybrids)
    • Only vehicles purchased or leased after January 1, 2018 are eligible * Plug in hybrids purchased after 9/29/19 will also qualify for charge ahead*
  • Register the car in Oregon, and retain registration for at least 24 months
  • Provide documentation showing proof of income eligibility
  • Submit your application within 6 months after the purchase or lease date

The state is working hard  on making this a sustainable process for many years to come. Charge Ahead rebates should start being issued in Q1 2020.

As with all EV questions please reach out to for more details.