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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Residential Energy Tax Credit   

Last DSIRE Review: 11/19/2014
Program Overview:
State: Oregon
Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Water Heaters, Furnaces , Heat pumps, Heat recovery, Duct/Air sealing, Heat Pump Water Heaters, Drain-water heat recovery
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fueling or Charging Devices, Solar Pool Heating, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Amount:PV: $1.90/W-DC at STC for systems installed on or after January 1, 2014. Credits vary for older systems.
Wind Electric Systems: $2/kWh produced in first year
Spa/pool heating: $0.15/kWh saved
Air-source heat pump: $273 - $1,500 based on HSPF and capacity
Ductless heat pump: $520 - $1,500 based on HSPF and capacity
Whole house ventilation system: $225 - $645 based on HRV or ERV Category
Alternative fuel device: 25% of eligible cost Fuel cell: $3/W All other renewable technologies: $0.60/kWh saved during the first year.
Maximum Incentive:PV, Fuel Cells and Wind Turbines: $6,000 ($1,500 per year for 4 years), up to 50% of net cost.
PV, Fuel Cells, Wind Turbines and Ground Source Heat Pumps: One tax credit per year per residence
Alternative fuel device: $750
For all others: $1,500
Eligible System Size:Fuel cells: 0.5 - 10 kW
Equipment Requirements:Must carry manufacturer’s warranty; must comply with general and specific standards in ORS 469B.100 through 469B.118.
Installation Requirements:Must obtain certification from Oregon Dept. of Energy prior to installation or be installed by contractor certified by the Department.
Carryover Provisions:Excess credit may be carried forward five years following the first tax year for which any credit was allowed (must be taken over no more than 6 years altogether).
Start Date:1/1/2006
Expiration Date:1/1/2018
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
ORS § 469B.100 et seq.
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
ORS § 316.116
1997, subsequently amended
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
OAR 330-070-0010 to 330-070-0097
1977, subsequently amended

Note: Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) filed permanent rules for the Residential Energy Tax Credit on November 18, 2014. The filed rules will take effect January 1, 2015, and will change requirements and incentive amounts for currently eligible technologies, as well as add storage gas water heaters and direct vent natural gas or propane fireplaces as eligible technologies. For more information on the new rules, refer to the ODOE website. The summary here reflects the rules and incentives in effect through the end of 2014. 


Homeowners, renters and third-party owners who pay Oregon income taxes are eligible for the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) if they purchase premium-efficiency heating systems, duct systems, premium efficiency wood and pellet stoves, geothermal space heating, premium efficiency water heaters, solar water and space heating systems, photovoltaic systems, wind systems, fuel cells, or alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure.  Third-party owned systems are eligible for the tax credit, though specific requirements detailed in the administrative rules must be met. 

Renewable Energy Incentives
Photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on or after January 1, 2014 are eligible for $1.90 per peak watt (W) with a maximum limit of $6,000, up to 50% of the net cost. The net cost is calculated after taking any state incentives. The amount claimed in any one tax year may not exceed $1,500 or the taxpayer's tax liability, whichever is less. Unused credits may be carried forward for five years. As of January 1, 2011, residents that are leasing a solar system are also eligible for the tax credit.

Solar space and water heating systems are eligible for a credit of $0.60 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) saved during the first year, up to $1,500.

Fuel cells are eligible for a credit of $3.00 per W of installed capacity, up to $6,000 or 50% of total costs. Fuell cell systems must have a minimum rated stack capacity of 0.5 kilowatts (kW) and a maximum rated system capacity of 10 kW.

Spa and pool heating systems are eligible for a tax credit of $0.15 per kWh saved, up to 50% of the cost, with a maximum tax credit of $1,500.

Ground source heat pump installations or upgrades and wood and pellet stoves are eligible for a credit of $0.60 per kWh saved, up to $1,500. For heat pumps, the system COP must be at least 3.3 for closed loop systems and 3.5 for direct expansion.

Wind turbine systems that produce electricity are eligible for a credit equal to the lesser of $2 per kWh produced during the first year, or $6,000.  The incentive is based on actual system production.  Wind systems must meet specific requirements for minimum production, tower height, and wind speed, among other requirements.  Systems must produce an average of 100 kWh per month, at a minimum, towers must be a minimum of 70 feet, and systems must have a minimum annual average wind speed of 10 miles per hour at hub height.

Alternative fuel devices include facilities for mixing, storing, compressing, or dispensing fuels and equipment used to recharge or refuel alternative fuel vehicles. They are eligible for a 25% tax credit, not to exceed $750. Eligible fuels include electricity, natural gas, ethanol, methanol, propane, or other approved fuels.

Premium efficiency biomass combustion devices include wood or pellet stoves, and are eligible for a tax credit based on the efficiency improvements above the RETC minimum efficiency rating. The credit is equal to $0.60 per kWh of energy savings.

Energy Efficiency Incentives
Only technologies recognized as premium efficiency by the Oregon Department of Energy are eligible for the tax credit. The Oregon Department of Energy maintains a list of qualifying technologies. The tax credit is $0.60 per first-year energy savings in kWh up to $1,500.

Heat pump water heaters must the Northern Climate specification established by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in order to qualify for the tax credit.

Previously, this credit was scheduled to expire in 2012, but HB 3672 (2011) extended the expiration date of the tax credit to January 1, 2018, with the exception of the alternative fuels vehicle portion of the tax credit, which ended as scheduled January 1, 2012. Previously, the RETC offered incentives for appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators, plus air conditioners and boilers.  However, HB 3672 excluded these technologies as of January 1, 2012. Though eligibility for alternative fuel vehicles expired January 1, 2012, alternative vehicle infrastructure projects, including fueling or charging devices, are eligible as of January 1, 2012.


  General Contact, ODOE
Oregon Department of Energy
625 Marion Street, N.E.
Salem, OR 97301-3737
Phone: (503) 378-4040
Phone 2: (800) 221-8035
Fax: (503) 373-7806
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.