Investing in energy-efficient homes helps Oregonians save money now and supports a better energy future.
Home Energy Score systems help homeowners and home buyers better understand a home’s energy use, and how even small improvements can make a big difference in energy savings.
A certified professional evaluates a home’s performance and issues a score, similar to the bright yellow Energy Guide label found on home appliances. The professional will look for air leaks, check insulation levels, inspect windows and doors, make sure heating and cooling systems are well-maintained, check lighting, and more.
The Oregon Department of Energy has developed a standard home energy scoring system to illustrate a home’s energy efficiency and energy use. We have partnered with Earth Advantage to implement the statewide program.
Oregon Administrative Rules outline the requirements for residential and commercial energy scores. The rules also establish training requirements for licensed home energy assessors and define requirements for score systems.
Oregonians will benefit from the streamlined process with consistent measurements across home energy scoring systems. A stakeholder panel is helping inform the voluntary program.
Currently, Oregon has three approved home energy scoring systems:
Home Energy Score systems help homeowners, homebuyers, and renters better understand a home’s energy use, and how even small improvements can make a big difference in energy savings.
After a certified assessor reviews your home, you will receive an energy score and report. This sample score report walks through a home’s score and its recommended improvements to save energy and money.
In addition to outlining your home’s energy details, the report will also show lower-cost repairs you can implement first, along with the resulting energy savings you can expect. It will also list bigger projects to tackle later, such as replacing windows or a water heater.
Choosing to upgrade your home results in energy savings that pay back your investment. Some upgrades pay back quickly, in a few years, and provide ongoing savings. Some upgrades will take longer to pay back, but often add overall value to your home.
Home energy scores are required within the city of Portland limits. Visit the City of Portland’s website to learn more about its home energy score program, and find a list of qualified assessors with Earth Advantage.
Outside Portland, home energy scores are voluntary. The Oregon Department of Energy has partnered with Earth Advantage on the implementation of the statewide program. Earth Advantage has a list of approved assessors who can conduct home energy score assessments outside Portland.
Your local bank may offer special financing for home repair or energy-related improvements. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings program put together a list of products linked to home energy scores.
ODOE is aware of the following local financial institution programs. Please note this list does not indicate endorsement by the Oregon Department of Energy.
The Oregon Department of Energy’s 2018 Biennial Energy Report took a deep dive into energy consumers in our state. Unfortunately, Oregon continues to see challenges faced by energy-burdened consumers.
An Oregonian is considered “energy burdened” when their household’s energy-related expenditures exceed 6% of their income. In some Oregon counties, nearly half of the residents earning 200% or below the Federal Poverty Level are energy burdened.
Home energy scores can help consumers better understand a home’s energy efficiency and identify simple home improvements that can mean big savings for their energy bills.
From the 2018 Biennial Energy Report
Percentage of Oregon Households Considered Energy Burdened and Earning 200 Percent or Below Federal Poverty Level (read more in Chapter 7)
Oregon’s statewide home energy scoring program is voluntary, but more local cities are looking into developing mandatory programs. The City of Portland was the first Oregon community to adopt a mandatory energy score program, with guidance from ODOE. In the last year, Portland has issued more than 7,000 scores. ODOE team has also met with other Oregon communities, including Milwaukie, Bend, Eugene, Corvallis, Ashland, Hood River, and Hillsboro. As of the writing of this statement, home energy scores are mandatory for homes entering the market in the following jurisdictions: Portland, Milwaukie, Hillsboro. Check with your local jurisdiction to see what requirements may exist in your region.
For many jurisdictions, energy code testing is required for single and multi-family construction. Our team of certified HERS Raters can perform all the necessary inspections and testing to meet state and local energy rating guidelines.