Energy efficiency and renewable energy

Resources to help applicants, grantees, and contractors plan and implement a PCEF Community Responsive Grant project that includes energy efficiency and renewable energy installations.

Grant application resources

The following resources are intended to help applicants develop their projects and provide guidance in requesting appropriate funding for proposals.

Sample energy efficiency and renewable energy detailed budget. These are categories of cost to consider in developing an application for an energy efficiency and renewable energy project in new construction, major rehabilitation, or retrofit of existing buildings. Consult the PCEF eligible measures list to determine whether budget items are considered energy improvements or life, health, safety, or other items. Project budgets must allocate at least 70% of the construction budget to energy improvements.

Sample commercial project development checklist. This provides a high-level look at the steps involved in a new construction or major rehabilitation commercial or multifamily project.

Important note: ONLY new construction and major rehabilitation multifamily projects containing 20 units or less will be considered for funding through a community responsive grant. Projects with more than 20 units will be funded through PCEF Strategic Program 1: Clean energy in multifamily affordable housing. However, multifamily retrofits of existing buildings will be considered for Community Responsive Grant funding, regardless of the number of units.

Eligible Measures

There are minimum requirements for eligible energy efficiency and renewable energy measures and how funding can be applied to other improvements. Please note we have made changes to the eligible measures list. 

Quality Assurance

All PCEF-funded clean energy implementation projects are required to participate in a quality assurance process which is specific to the type of project.

Residential energy efficiency. Single-family and multifamily residential projects that include energy efficiency measures will be assigned a PCEF quality assurance (QA) provider. The QA provider will review and approve scopes of work and equipment specifications before work can begin. This is an important step that helps QA providers communicate PCEF standards to grantees and contractors in advance, ensuring that projects are on the right track from the beginning. When a project is complete, QA providers perform inspection and verification.

Commercial energy efficiency. Commercial projects that include energy efficiency are required to obtain third-party verification. Grantees should include the cost of third-party energy saving analysis and equipment commissioning in their project budget.

Solar. When solar is included in a project that also has energy efficiency work, the QA provider will work with the grantee to ensure delivery of required documents. If the project is only a solar project, the grantee must provide required documents directly to the PCEF program.

  • Solar required documents include:
    • Final city inspection.
    • Permission to Operate (PTO) from the utility.
  • Community solar required documents include:
    • Interconnection study through solar installer with property utility.
    • Pre-certification through an Oregon Community Solar-approved project manager who registers the project with the Public Utility Commission (PUC).
    • Commissioning through property utility.

Contractor guidance

You do not need to have a contractor to apply for a PCEF grant. If you do have a contractor, they must review this section prior to starting installation.

Installation checklists. The PCEF installation checklists provide critical information regarding the steps required to properly install clean energy measures. These checklists are designed to be used by contractors performing work on PCEF projects. They contain technical- and construction-specific language and information. Contractors on PCEF grants are required to submit relevant checklists to the program’s quality assurance (QA) provider after each installation. Due to the number of documents, these checklists are included at the bottom of this webpage.

Heat pump installation checklists. It is essential that installed heat pumps are properly sizedto ensure utility cost savings. All heat pumps with back-up heat that are installed in single-family homes require a balance point sizing calculation to determine the lock-out temperature; this minimizes use of back-up heat and maximizes use of the heat pump. The system capacity must match the heat load calculation requirements as close as possible. PCEF recommends using the Better Buildings Northwest HVAC sizing tool, or an equivalent sizing tool.

PCEF has two new ductless and ducted heat pump installation checklists for replacing existing heating with a new heat pump.

Asbestos. Contractors and grantees are required to follow the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) rules and procedures as referenced in Updated Asbestos Rules and Asbestos Survey Requirements.

If asbestos is disturbed without following EPA and DEQ rules and procedures, the following will occur:

  • PCEF will report the incident to the DEQ.
  • An indoor air quality test will be required to be performed by a certified DEQ Accredited Asbestos Inspector.
  • The contractor will be notified, and PCEF’s response will be tailored to the circumstances. This may include not allowing the contractor to work on PCEF-funded projects.

Installation checklists (see section above):