SB 852 – Community Navigator
Since 2021, the state legislature has created new energy programs and Congress has passed the both the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act — investments that will bring state and federal dollars for energy projects to Oregon communities. In many cases, these communities, especially rural and Tribal communities, do not have the resources, time, or capacity to apply for these funds. Language in those new federal and state laws has made it clear that energy dollars should flow to the communities that need them most.
The agency has introduced SB 852 to establish a program to provide information about potential funding resources and other technical assistance to rural, Tribal, and other environmental justice communities as they work to develop energy projects or build energy-related capacity. To serve this need, ODOE recommends creating a program – with a full-time staff member – to help communities successfully navigate funding opportunities for projects and capacity-building. Continuing Existing Energy Incentive Programs
The Oregon Department of Energy offers several legislatively-mandated energy incentive programs to help make clean energy more affordable for Oregonians. This session, the agency's budget bill – HB 5016
– would continue the Energy Efficient Wildfire Rebuilding Incentive, the Oregon Rental Home Heat Pump Program, the Community Heat Pump Deployment Program, and the Community Renewable Energy Grant Program. Meanwhile, HB 3418
would extend the Oregon Solar + Storage Rebate Program through 2029. HB 3056
makes some minor technical changes to the agency's heat pump programs. Preparing for Federal Funding
As a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, ODOE anticipates receiving over $160 million toward grid resilience, home energy efficiency, and other energy planning and workforce development programs. We are also working with partners to apply for additional funding from these federal bills to go toward clean energy projects and planning. HB 3166
would allow the agency to get to work on two new home energy efficiency programs so that they can reach as many Oregonians as possible. Agency staff helped introduce the bill at a public hearing
on February 22. Meanwhile, ODOE will work with the Legislature to identify matching dollars and gain approval to apply for grants during this session and beyond.