Efficient water heaters use far less energy to heat water than traditional water heaters. Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. Efficient water heaters include:
- Electric heat pump water heaters: usually located in a garage or basement, and use half the electricity of storage electric water heaters.
- Tankless gas water heaters: provide water only when needed. Rather than store water in a tank, water is heated quickly as it moves through a heating unit.
- Storage water heaters: heat water in a tank using natural gas or other fuel, and have better insulation and improved heating efficiency.
- Wastewater heat recovery: also known as drain-water heat recovery systems, these water heaters capture the heat from water going down the drain to help heat fresh water coming in to the bath or shower.
You can also use renewable energy to heat water in your home, using a solar water heating system.
An installed water heater must meet certain qualifications to earn a Residential Energy Tax Credit, valued at 50 percent of the cost of the device, up to $600, depending on the type of water heater you buy, and its efficiency. See the RETC Rate Chart for more information.
Complete qualifications and instructions are outlined in the RETC Application.
Electric heat pump water heaters must:
- Be listed in the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's Qualified Products List.
- Have an Energy Factor of 1.8 for Tier 1 models, or 2.0 for Tier 2 models, as listed in NEEA's list.
Tankless gas water heaters must:
- Have an Energy Factor of at least 0.82 or greater. You can find the Energy Factor on your device's yellow EnergyGuide sticker.
Storage gas water heaters must:
- Have an Energy Factor of 0.70 or greater, as tested with natural gas fuel, or a thermal efficiency rating of 0.80 or greater. You can find the ratings on your device's yellow EnergyGuide sticker.
Wastewater heat recovery models must:
- Match heat recovery type HR3, HR4, HR5, or HR6.
- Meet plumbing code requirements for vented double-wall heat exchangers.
RETC Program Sunset
The RETC program ended
on December 31, 2017.
To qualify for a 2017 tax credit:
- RETC devices must have been purchased by December 31, 2017;
- Devices must be operational by April 1, 2018; and
- ODOE must receive your application no later than June 1, 2018.
If you plan to transfer your tax credit, ODOE must receive the pass-through application on or before June 1, 2018. Please review the RETC Administrative Rules
for more information about program eligibility and requirements.
Complete the RETC Application, listing all other incentives you are receiving. Include your device model information, and mail it to the Oregon Department of Energy.
Be sure to include your itemized receipt showing the date, installer, make and model number of the device, and the amount you paid (minus labor and permits).
(instructions and application form)
Other federal, local, or utility programs may also offer incentives .