The Energy Trust of Oregon has moved swiftly in the face of the short term evaporation of the popular Business Energy Tax Credit in that state (see related article below on new tax credit rulemaking). Recognizing that the loss of the tax credit would likely have immediate effects on their 2011 energy savings goals for existing commercial and industrial efficiency sectors, the Trust is offering "bonus incentives" between now and the end of the year.
- Up to 50% bonus incentive for custom lighting projects
- Up to 20% bonus incentive for standard lighting projects
- Up to 20% bonus incentive for custom capital projects
While the Trust staff is still assessing the 2012 and beyond impact of reduced availability of a business energy tax credit, Margie Harris, Executive Director, explained at a recent NEEC Industry Webinar that they will continue to work on additional mitigation strategies to help backfill anticipated drops in projects that were otherwise dependent on tax credits. Those strategies include things like increased efforts in behavior based energy efficiency, new financing tools, a more diversified customer base, and an even more increased reliance on trade allies to identify customer projects. Even with these and other actions, the diminished size of the tax credit places a real challenge in meeting energy savings targets. It is yet to be seen if this translates to the need for increasing acquisition costs (on-going higher incentive levels) to close the gap created by the loss of tax credits. For complete information on the 2011 bonus incentives, visit the Energy Trust of Oregon (www.energytrust.org).