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Frequently Asked Questions about the Business Energy Tax Credit Program
1. What is BETC?
BETC is the Business Energy Tax Credit program.  The BETC program provides Oregon tax credit incentives for investments in energy conservation, renewable energy, alternative transportation and fuel, renewable energy equipment manufacturing and recycling projects made by individuals, businesses, governments, tribes and non-profit entities.
2. What is the projected start date of my project?
The start date for your project is when you anticipate to financially commit to the project; buy equipment, sign a contract, make a down payment, etc.
3. When can I start my project?
Once the Department has received a completed preliminary application, the project owner may start the project.  However, the processing of the application and technical review can take up to 120 days to either receive approval or denial of the application.
4. Is it important to have my application in to the department by December 31st?
It depends on what tax year you want the tax credit to start. The tax credit year is based on the date a complete final application is received by the Department. For a pass-through application, the tax credit year will be determined by the later of the dates the complete final application or the pass-through partner agreement is received by the Department.
5. If I use my own staff to install my project, do I still qualify for a BETC?
 Yes, you must include on your applications a detailed and documented list of the specific tasks performed, hours worked, and compensation costs. Donated, in-kind or volunteer labor is not eligible.
6. Is there an end to the BETC program?
The program is scheduled to “sunset” on July 1, 2012. If the application is for a renewable or conservation project, the project must be completed and the project owner must receive the final certificate from the Department by July 1, 2012 to receive a BETC. Manufacturing projects must be pre-certified prior to December 31, 2013.
7. What are some typical reasons that BETC applications are denied?
  • If an application is incomplete and the requested information is not provided within the time requested.
  • If costs are incurred before the Department received your application for preliminary certification and no waiver is requested. Preliminary costs for the development of the project may be incurred prior to submitting the application.
  • If a PV system is supplying power to a residence that is not a rental dwelling.
 
8. What if I need to amend my application?
To change a facility that has a preliminary certification and amend the preliminary certification, the applicant must file a written request with the Director prior to the project completion date and before submitting an application for final certification. The request must describe the change to the facility and reasons for the change. It may include changes in cost, tax credit amount, facility design, and materials. The request may also include changes in the amount of energy saved or produced, jobs created, project financing, the applicant, the location, or other matters that demonstrate substantial change in the project’s scope. All requests for amendments must include a fee of the lesser of $300 or the preliminary certification fee for the project. 
 
Requests for amendments to preliminary certifications issued for renewable energy projects will only be considered for the following changes: equipment capacity within 10% of the approved specification, amendments that do not result in an increased potential tax credit but increase output or improve the facility, or ownership change.
9. In a pass-through transaction, what is the value of the pass-through?
The pass-through rate is determined when a project is issued a preliminary certificate. For projects that receive their preliminary certification after 1/1/2010, the value for a 5-year tax credit is equal to the total tax credit amount divided by 1.3579. The value for a 1-year tax credit is equal to the total tax credit amount divided by 1.0309.
 
10. What documentation do I need to supply to the department to demonstrate that my facility property taxes are current?
Current property tax statement and canceled check, print out from county website, receipt from the county or any other documentation that you have to support that the property taxes are current. This requirement applies to both owned and leased property.
11. Where do I find more information about the renewable energy project application process and how can ODOE staff help me with questions about my tax credit application?
Further information on the changes to the BETC renewable energy application process can be found at: http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/BUS/tax/BETC-Renewables.shtml.
 
For a comprehensive understanding of the BETC program, refer to the program’s Administrative Rules (OAR 330-090-0105 – 330-090-0450) found on the ODOE website http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/BUS/BETC.shtml.