Update June 29, 2023: Thank you to those who submitted public comments during the recent Notice to Proposed Rulemaking for OR-MEP. We are thankful for your feedback on our proposed program changes and the new Open Enrollment process. The OR-MEP team has been actively reviewing the public comments with our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Coalition. To ensure we have time to review all feedback, we anticipate launching Open Enrollment Round 1 in mid-July instead of late June. We will continue to evaluate Open Enrollment and apply lessons learned and feedback from Round 1 into future rounds.

The OR-MEP webinar on May 18, 2023, reviewed the new enrollment process and program manual updates planned to go into effect in June. Read this blog post for a recap of program changes, a link to the draft Open Enrollment framework, and access to the webinar recording and slide deck, and FAQs.

Open Enrollment Application Process

Due to the increased demand for the program, OR-MEP will launch a new funding prioritization and enrollment process called OR-MEP Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment moves away from the previous “first come, first served” approach to one that is now competitive with new DEIfocused criteria to prioritize projects with the highest need.

  • Applications for project funding can only be submitted during the Open Enrollment period. 

  • Open Enrollment rounds are scheduled to be open once every six months. 

  • Projects must meet the following timeline prerequisites:

    • Project will finalize development of energy efficiency scope to reserve incentives within 6 months of Open Enrollment selection.
    • Project will start installing energy upgrades within one year of Open Enrollment selection.
  • Applications will be reviewed and competitively ranked, based on the following criteria that prioritizes:

    • projects serving BIPOC communities and residents,
    • projects located in communities with high energy burden,
    • rural projects,
    • naturally occurring affordable housing,
    • applicant entities that are non-profits and housing authorities,
    • energy efficient design,
    • and first-time participation.
  • Applications that have the highest scores within each set-aside category will be recommended for funding as allocated resources allow. 

  • Projects that are selected for funding are then eligible to enroll in OR-MEP to reserve incentives. 

Participation & Eligibility Requirements

  • Expanded eligibility to duplex, triplex, and quadplex projects where five or more buildings are on one site.
  • Removed requirement that enrollment approval must take place prior to any measure installation.
  • Removed requirement to submit invoices at completion.

Measure & Incentive Updates

  • Increased incentives wherever possible to meet increased costs.
  • Introduced tiered incentive structures to windows, insulation, HVAC equipment, heat pump water heaters, and thermostats. 

  • Added new measures including Central Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH), ENERGY STAR window air conditioners, drain water heat recovery. 

  • Ungrouped New Construction (NC) measures (e.g., envelope, ventilation, appliances)

    • Example: Envelope measure now separates cavity wall insulation, continuous wall insulation, and attic insulation
  • Removed low-e storm windows and reduced infiltration measure. 

  • New bonus incentives:

    • Rural ductless heats pumps bonus to offset higher installation costs of installing DHPs in rural areas.
    • Smart homes bonus for whole home energy monitor to provide residents more control and promote energy savings through behavioral changes.
    • Wildfire resiliency bonus to incentivize upgrades with dual benefit of energy savings and improve health and safety during wildfire events.
      • Example: ERV/HRV with HEPA filter, triple pane windows, fire resistant attic insulation, unvented attic, fire resistant continuous wall insulation.
  • New “Tailored Measure” offering for Menu and Bundled Path project to add one custom “Tailored” measure not available in the measure table.

  • Streamlined Bundled Path requirements to provide flexibility to projects pursuing three or more measures from any category to qualify for higher incentives. 

The program updates remain open for public comment until May 31, 2023. Visit the OHCS website to view the Notice to Proposed Rulemaking and draft program manual. You can also learn more about the Open Enrollment process by reviewing the draft framework document.

If you were unable to attend the webinar or want to go back to review something in more detail, you can access the recording and presentation slides below.

FAQs: OR-MEP Program Updates

We will update these FAQs as we receive additional questions.

Projects with existing reservations are not impacted by the new Open Enrollment process and do not need to reapply for funding. All previously enrolled projects are considered to have active incentive reservations. Funding has been allocated for these projects with reserved incentives and those reservation amounts will be honored by OHCS.

Yes, all projects will need to submit a new application for Open Enrollment. The criteria that will be scored in Open Enrollment include new information not previously collected when projects were added to the waitlist. Projects on the waitlist should also consider if they meet the prerequisite timeline requirements for Open Enrollment to decide which Open Enrollment round to apply for.

Open Enrollment rounds are scheduled to be open for 45 days. Once Open Enrollment is closed the Program Team will review the applications, and then submit recommendations for projects to be funded to both OHCS and the OR-MEP DEI Coalition. We anticipate announcing selected projects within 30 days of the close of Open Enrollment.

Based on our current targets of launching Open Enrollment Round 1 in mid-July, we anticipate Round 1 will remain open until late August, with projects being notified by late September. Please note these timelines are current estimates and are dependent on the level of feedback we receive once public comment closes.

Yes, the per project incentive cap remains $200,000.

With the removal of the requirement that enrollment approval must take place prior to any measure installation, projects in construction can apply for Open Enrollment. We understand many projects on the waitlist may have started construction already and want to be able to serve these projects, especially if there are still opportunity to expand the energy efficiency scope of work. Please note, however, if construction is complete the project is not eligible.

To apply for an Open Enrollment round, projects must meet the following timeline prerequisites if selected for Open Enrollment:

  • Project will finalize development of energy efficiency scope to reserve incentives within 6 months of Open Enrollment selection.
  • Project will start installing energy upgrades within 18 months of Open Enrollment selection.
    • Note: If a project has started installing energy upgrades within 18 months and it is not complete within those 18 months that is acceptable. The key timeline is that installation of energy upgrades should start within 18 months of Open Enrollment.

Naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) is currently unsubsidized rental housing that is affordable to residents with incomes between 60-120% of the area median income and who typically can pay no more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. NOAH property owners have typically never participated in affordable housing programs (e.g., OHCS NOFAs, Housing Bureau NOFAs, LIHTC, HUD or USDA).

OR-MEP is prioritizing the enrollment of NOAH properties that are not currently subsidized because by enrolling in OR-MEP, NOAH properties agree to meet OR-MEP affordability requirements by entering into a 10-year affordability agreement with OHCS, which will help preserve affordable housing in Oregon. NOAH properties typically have small teams that own and operate the property and need more support than a traditional affordable housing owner and developer to navigate and participate in an affordable housing program.

Projects are allowed to receive incentives from both OR-MEP and Energy Trust for different measures. The two programs cannot provide incentives for the same measures. Existing Buildings projects with a demonstrated need may qualify for the co-funding offering which allows projects to receive incentives for select measures from both programs.

Step 1: When you open the map, on the top right corner of the map, click the Layers icon.

Step 2: From the Layer List, select, “High Priority Area Index – Census Tract,” and/or “Ethnicity and Race – Census Tract.”

  • “Ethnicity and Race – Census Tract, Percent BIPOC metric” map layer is the data source for Open Enrollment Criteria #1 – Project is in a BIPOC community.
  • “High Priority Area Index – Census Tract, Index metric” map layer is the data source for Open Enrollment Criteria #3 – Project High Priority Area Index Score (Energy Burden)


Step 3: Then search the property address in the search bar on the top right.