2019 Wrap Up:
As we move into 2020, the OR-MEP team reflects on a successful 2019. Since launching the program in January 2018, OR-MEP has reserved $4.3 million in incentives, with 60% of those projects pursuing the Whole Building Path. Just under $3 million in incentives remain available for projects and reservations must be made by December 2020 before funding expires.
Nine energy consultants led the way to energy savings with their extraordinary work by supporting projects in Portland metro, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Oregon. Since the start of the program, OR-MEP has grown from two to nine energy consultants.
In January 2019, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Oregon Department of Energy, and the Oregon Public Utility Commission released the initial 10-year plan to reduce the energy burden in affordable housing across the state. The plan, which is accompanied by an interactive assessment of energy use in affordable housing, provides recommended steps for Oregon to reduce the energy burden on low-income households. The plan specifically calls for the expansion of OR-MEP as a key program already serving to reduce the energy burden of multifamily tenants across the state.
In 2019, OR-MEP hosted three in-person trainings including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) – Shift 19, Associated General Contractors (AGC) Summer Conference, and Housing Oregon Industry Support Conference. Trainings ranged in topics from resident education, to the 10-year plan to reduce affordable housing’s energy burden in Oregon, to Integrated Design for High Performance Buildings.
What to Expect in 2020:
To better help property managers connect with and engage residents about energy efficiency, OR-MEP will release a suite of resident education resources in 2020. Resources range from a children’s activity book, to a Savings that count in your apartment document, to a plug loads savings competition. Fully customizable and engaging, the competition document provides property owners with the materials they need to implement a savings competition at their property. Spanish copies of the resident education resources are also in development.
Each year we implement program enhancements to help the OR-MEP grow. This year, OR-MEP plans to target naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) as potential projects. NOAH properties are currently unsubsidized rental housing that is affordable to families with incomes between 60-120% of the area median income.
Be on the lookout for another Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)! NOFAs provide additional funding to projects that can be combined with OR-MEP incentives. Additionally, OR-MEP is actively working with Energy Trust of Oregon to provide co-funding opportunities to lower the cost of energy efficient measures and enhance savings at properties.
OR-MEP plans on continuing to enhance workforce development by hosting regular webinars and sharing out program updates. Stay tuned for the next webinar on Ductless Heat Pumps + Controls on January 23.
2020 marks the start of OR-MEP program project completions! We are thrilled to see projects through to completion and look forward to celebrating these wins for affordable energy efficient housing in Oregon. As projects head towards completion, the OR-MEP team is always here to answer questions related to verification along the way.
Energy modeling guidelines are in development and will be released in 2020 to provide more insight into energy efficient modeling and recommended best practices. Keep your eyes peeled for the guidelines release.
As we start the new year, we thank you for your support and look forward to making affordable housing in Oregon more energy efficient. If you have a project or are interested in learning more about OR-MEP funding, email us or call us at 503.505.6787.