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 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.
“There’s an incredible amount of cost savings up front with incentives from Energy Trust and tax credits,” said Conan Doherty, a multifamily property 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, two of Doherty’s tenants, say that their favorite part of living with a ductless heat pump is that is circulates air much better than their old baseboards. They’re also excited about having air conditioning.
According to the Energy Trust of Oregon website, you can save up to 40% on electric heating costs with a ductless heat pump. 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 ductless heat pump opportunities before the expiration.
This spring, Energy Trust is also offering a special bonus incentive. The Energy Challenge has combined this incentive with bonuses from manufacturers and four local contractors that will total up to $600 off a ductless heat pump for residential properties. Bonus incentives are also available right now for multifamily installations, but will vary from project to project.
For those who are interested in learning more, The Energy Challenge has organized two workshops to educate our community on ductless heat pumps. The workshops will cover heat pump technology; what makes a heat pump a good fit for your space; available tax credits and incentives; and address any participant questions on the topic.
The multifamily and business-focused workshop: Ductless Heat Pumps – Making the Business Case, will take place on Thursday, April 27th at 8:30 a.m. at The Environmental Center. Participants are encouraged to reserve a seat at TheEnergyChallenge.org
The residential workshop: Ductless Heat Pumps—Control Your Comfort and Your Savings, will take place on Wednesday, May 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at The Environmental Center.
“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 own 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.”