Tax credits for efficiency and solar expiring 12/31/17

Jump on your energy-saving to-do list before the end of the year

There’s been a lot of buzz about expiring energy tax credits in Oregon and rightfully so. For almost 40 years, Oregon has had an innovative tax credit program called the Residential Energy Tax Credit.  The RETC was developed to encourage Oregonians to adopt more energy efficient devices, from appliances to heating systems to solar panels.

Unfortunately, the Oregon Legislature, in its infinite wisdom—or short-sightedness, but that’s the subject of a future blog post)—failed to extend the RETC earlier this year and it will expire December 31.  And that could have a big impact on the final cost of energy upgrades that you might be considering for your home.

The RETC covers 25 different products that reduce energy use. Here’s a rundown of a few products that will be affected.

Solar photovoltaic (PV or solar electric) systems

  • Solar electric systems produce electricity to power your home. The expiration of the RETC has the largest impact on solar systems.
  • In total, the tax credit covers up to $6,000 of the cost of your solar installation, which can cover up to 35% of your costs.

Ductless Heat Pumps

  • A ductless heat pump (DHP) is a highly efficient heating and cooling system. DHPs are very easy to install and are great for homes that are already heated with electricity, especially if you are looking at adding air conditioning, and for remodels.
  • The RETC covers up to $1,300 of project costs.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

  • Heat pump water heaters (HPWH) are one of the most efficient ways you can heat your water. A home that is currently using an electric water heater can expect to see energy savings of up to 60%.
  • The RETC covers up to $600 or 50% of the cost of a HPWH installed by a  professional or self-installed.

Important dates and timeline

  • December 31st, 2017 – Project contract signed or device purchased. For solar installations, your contractor will need to submit your initial application by this date.
  • April 1st, 2017 – Project installation complete and device is operational.
  • June 1st, 2017 – Tax credit application must be received by Oregon Department of Energy. If you work with a contractor, they will submit the paperwork for you.

So if you have been thinking about installing one or more of these energy saving devices on your home, now is the time to act.  Contractors are getting very busy as homeowners rush to get a final tax credit. So don’t delay—contact a qualified contractor today!

For more information

For complete information on other incentives, in addition to the tax credit, available for energy saving devices, and to connect with local contractors to get projects started, visit The Energy Challenge website.

For more information about the RETC, Visit Oregon Department of Energy’s webpage for RETC or contact them directly at or 1-800-221-8035.

For questions about the value of the RETC to your household, please consult your tax advisor, accountant, or the Oregon Department of Revenue at