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 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
  • 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. The first standard incentives should be mailed in January of 2019 and Charge Ahead rebates should be mailed in June of 2019.

As with all EV questions please reach out to Neil@EnviroCenter.org for more details.

A loan for energy projects paid through your energy bill

This is way more exciting than it sounds

If you’re going to save money when you make home energy upgrades, wouldn’t it be nice to apply those savings directly to your financing payments? Well, it turns out someone out there is really trying to make saving energy as easy as possible.

This is exactly what you can do with Craft 3‘s On-Bill Repayment program. You can pay for an energy-saving project through monthly payments on your utility bill. Currently, you can take advantage of this program if you are a customer of Pacific Power and are making qualified energy upgrades that will reduce your electricity costs.

We caught up with Sara Holman, owner of Baby Cakes Diaper Service, to hear about her experience with the on-bill repayment program. She is currently making loan payments through her Pacific Power bill for two energy-saving projects.

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Expiring tax credits for efficiency products and solar

Excellent motivation to jump on your energy-saving to do list before the end of the year

Almost forty years ago Oregon was a leader in the energy efficiency movement when the state created the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) program. The Oregon Department of Energy has overseen this program with the intention of encouraging Oregon residents to adopt more energy efficient devices from appliances to heating systems to solar panels.

The RETC covers 25 different products but there are a few in particular that we have our eye on because of their potential to save large amounts of energy and their excellent return on investment. Here’s a rundown of a few products that will be affected and how you can get a project started before the tax credits expire.

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Ductless Heat Pump Program Expands to Rentals and Multifamily Housing

We’ve 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 extending a key ductless heat program to rental and multifamily housing markets.

“While the name doesn’t lend itself to rousing a lot of excitement, the technology is quite spectacular,” said Lindsey Hardy, Program Director of The Energy Challenge. “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.”

New this year, The Energy Challenge is working with local contractors to introduce the technology to more multifamily properties with older, inefficient heating systems. Many successful projects have recently been completed around Bend, and building owners and tenants have been very happy with the results.

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Rays the roof–with solar, of course!

 Calling all local businesses – check out this new solar incentive program!

Rays the Roof Workshop

Together with local businesses, we know we can make a difference in the amount of energy that our community uses. That’s why The Bend Energy Challenge is launching a special program to bring Power to the People.

Join our team of business energy heroes and your business can sign up to host a “Rays the Roof” workshop to share
solar information with your employees and co-workers. The best part? We’ll review incentives covering up to 70% of the cost of a system AND a special exclusive discount of 15% off the net cost up to $750! That’s some serious potential to produce a lot of clean energy.

In order to get the most from these events, Rays to Roof workshops should be planned for 30 – 45 minutes. We can come to you during a staff meeting or we can schedule a lunch & learn. You pick the time that works for your business and we’ll be there. Email Kim with questions and to schedule your workshop today.

Interested in hosting a Rays the Roof workshop for your green team, civic group, book club, friends, church group? We’ll do that too!  Email Kim with questions and to schedule your workshop.

The low-down on the good deal that is solar energy

I hear solar’s a good deal. But what does that really mean? 

First of all, let’s get clear on what incentives are out there for you to take advantage of because 70% off sounds too good to be true. 

Cash Incentives

Cash incentives reduce the up-front, or out-of-pocket cost of your solar installation.

  • Pacific Power

If you are a Pacific Power customer, you may qualify for an Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentive of $0.75 per watt, up to a maximum of $6,600, which is immediately taken off of the total cost of your system. That means less cash that you must come up with the install your solar system. This cash incentive will decrease throughout 2016. All our local solar contractor partners are Trade Allies with the Energy Trust of Oregon and will be able to tell give you the most up-to-date incentive amount.

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