Green Tour Seeking Applications

The 19th annual Green tour will highlight positive solutions to save energy in Central Oregon and we want you to be part of it!

The Energy Challenge is seeking applicants to showcase their homes and buildings on the 2019 Green Tour on Saturday, September 28th. The tour highlights innovation in sustainable design while still demonstrating how everyday people can save energy at home and at work.

The Green Tour highlights both residential and commercial projects and will bring awareness to the opportunities that exist to build energy savings into the design of new buildings as well as how our existing building stock can be retrofitted to be more efficient.

This year the tour is seeking properties that put an emphasis on getting to zero energy use, utilizing solar plus storage, efficient ADUs, or sites that have installed or are planning for electric vehicle charging.

Home or commercial energy retrofits are an equally important part of the tour because they allow us to make a more tangible connection to the kinds of upgrades that we can make in our very own homes and offices.

Designers, builders, realtors, home performance contractors, solar contractors, and homeowners are all encouraged to apply to put a building on the tour.  Those who are interested in applying are invited to fill out a quick and easy preliminary application by Friday, July 12th.

The tour will take place on September 28th, 2019 from 10:00-4:30.

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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Transformation Awaits – Green Tour Site # 4



Site # 4 – 1639 NW Scott Henry Place, Bend

This model home in the Saginaw Sunset subdivision is the first of what will be a 20-home development of high-performance custom homes. 19 more lots, set amid native ponderosa pines, await a transformation to an efficient custom home just for you! Come see the first home of this beautiful subdivision just off of College Way.

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A Living Building Rooted in Place – Green Tour Site # 6

Desert Rain gate

Site #7 – 22 NW Shasta Place

Desert Rain is the first residential property to qualify for certification under the international Living Building Challenge (LBC) – a program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today – with stringent requirements in 7 performance areas called Petals.

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Bringing solar the masses–Green Tour Site #9

CEC Community Solar


Site #9 – Central Electric Cooperative Community Solar

61090 SE 27th St, Bend

So, what exactly is a Community Solar project? It is a solar array centrally located and connected to the utility’s grid. The energy is then available for individuals to buy the power. Central Electric Cooperative customers can subscribe to the power produced to offset their utility bills. These subscription fees fund the project’s constructions, operations, and maintenance. Participants see a monthly credit on their bill that reflects the size of their subscription that “their” panels produced.

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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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