Receiving Your Oregon and Federal Tax Credits for Energy Projects

From Energy Trust cash incentives to state and federal tax credits, Oregonians have access to many resources that can help them save and generate energy in their homes and businesses.

Energy Trust does not administer government tax credit programs or provide tax credits. However, we do understand how challenging it can be for consumers to sort through the variety of resources available to them. To help with this, we’ve compiled a short list of questions, answers and resources to clarify how to apply for and receive Energy Trust incentives, state energy tax credits and federal energy tax credits.

Please note: Energy Trust recommends you consult with your tax advisor to determine which strategies make the most sense for your situation. Some tax credits require pre-authorization. This information does not constitute tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties.

What does Energy Trust of Oregon offer?

Energy Trust is an independent nonprofit organization that offers cash incentives and services for qualifying energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects in homes, commercial businesses and industrial and agricultural businesses. Programs are available to Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas customers in Oregon and NW Natural customers in Washington.

Energy Trust cash incentives are separate from state and federal tax credits. If you are not a customer of PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural or Cascade Natural Gas, you may still qualify for state or federal tax credits for your project. We also encourage you to ask your utility if they offer any incentives or rebates to help you make energy-efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems.

What does the Oregon Department of Energy offer?

The Oregon Department of Energy is a state agency that administers state energy tax credit programs. Oregon taxpayers may get a credit on their Oregon income taxes for making their homes or businesses more energy efficient or for installing renewable energy systems. Some entities may be able to “pass-through” the tax credit to a pass-through partner and receive a cash payment instead. Visit the Oregon Department of Energy for information on state energy tax credits for residences and businesses.

What happened to the Oregon Department of Energy's "Business Energy Tax Credit"?

The Oregon Legislature passed legislation (House Bill 3672) in June 2011 that amended, sunset and created a number of tax credit programs administered by the Oregon Department of Energy. In particular, the Business Energy Tax Credit program was changed significantly and has been replaced with a new program, the Energy Incentive Program, for conservation, renewable energy and transportation projects. Visit the Oregon Department of Energy's website for full details on the Energy Incentive Program.

What types of tax credits are available?

Federal and state tax credits may be available for the installation of energy-efficient equipment and improvements and renewable energy systems. These tax credits are available to both businesses and homeowners, but are subject to change. Consult your tax professional, the Oregon Department of Energy or the IRS for current information. Contact information is available in the next question and answer section.

If you are a customer of PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas, you may also receive an Energy Trust cash incentive in addition to tax credits.

In some cases, grants may also be available.

How can I get information on tax credits available for my project?

We maintain basic details on state and federal tax credits that may be available for your energy-efficiency or renewable energy project. Visit our cash incentive pages for homes, commercial businesses and industrial and agricultural businesses. For more detailed information on state and federal tax credits, please visit:

How do I get my Energy Trust cash incentive?

Requirements vary depending on your project. In general, to apply for your Energy Trust cash incentive, complete an application form and be sure to attach all receipts, invoices and other supporting documents. Energy Trust must receive most applications within 90 days of installation—please note this is different from state and federal tax credit deadlines. Once we receive your application, you should receive a check within six to eight weeks. Visit our forms pages to find residential forms and commercial forms.

How do I get my state tax credit?

Please consult your tax professional or the Oregon Department of Energy at 1.800.221.8035 to learn how to apply for state tax credits.

How do I get my federal tax credit?

To learn how to apply for a residential federal tax credit, visit ENERGY STAR, consult your tax professional or contact the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. To learn how to apply for a business federal tax credit, consult your tax professional or the IRS at 1.800.829.4933.

Who do I work with if I’m getting an Energy Trust incentive, a state tax credit and a federal tax credit?

Some energy projects may qualify for an Energy Trust cash incentive, a state energy tax credit through the Oregon Department of Energy and a federal tax credit, or a combination of the three. You will need to work with each organization to receive your financial incentives: work with Energy Trust on applying for an Energy Trust cash incentive; work with the Oregon Department of Energy on applying for a state energy tax credit; and work with the IRS to receive a federal tax credit. In some cases, your contractor can assist you with these applications.

What resources are available for renewable energy projects?

For information on tax credits, loans and grant programs for renewable energy projects, click here.

We’re here to help. If you have additional questions or would like to submit a question to include here, please email us or call 1.866.368.7878.