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​​​ODOE at the Capitol

State Capitol pioneer.JPGAs part of our agency mission and vision, we follow each legislative session carefully. The Oregon Department of Energy shares energy data, information, and analysis from Oregon's Energy Report and provides energy education through informational committee hearings. Legislators often make use of ODOE's venue for problem-solving energ​y challenges with bills to carry out studies in advance of future legislation. We track bills that make changes to regulatory roles, in addition to those that either modernize or add new programs and activities at the agency — and ​we provide technical advice to legislators and staff along the way. 

So that our work in the future is well-informed, we pay attention to all legislation that touches the energy sector. Finally, at the end of each session, we create a report on energy legislation and legislation that will or would have affected our agency. ​

Agency Priorities for 2023 Legislative Session

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.​

Oregon's Biennial Energy Report, Energy Studies, and ODOE as a Resource

In addition to working toward passage of bills this session, the Oregon Department of Energy serves as an independent resource for Oregon lawmakers and others on energy policy. Each session, our subject-matter experts answer questions, share research and data, provide analysis, or provide informative testimony. 

Our 2022 Biennial Energy Report​ and library of other energy-related studies and reports include​ information on many of the topics expected to be addressed this legislative session. The 2022 Biennial Energy Report included a recommendation for a statewide energy strategy. Legislators have separately introduced a bill to direct the agency to work on an energy strategy – see HB 2534 for more information. ​

In 2023, the agency has presented at the following informational hearings (click hyperlinks for video): 

HB 2021 Update | Community Renewable Energy Grant Program

Federal Funding Overview
2022 Biennial Energy Report
Energy Markets Overview – 1/24/2023
Renewable Hydrogen
Oregon Global Warming Commission