In 2021, Oregon's legislature passed HB 5006, granting the Oregon Department of Energy the amount of $10,831,296 for a program incentivizing energy efficient rebuilding of residential and commercial structures destroyed during the 2020 Labor Day wildfires.
About the Program
Oregon's Office of Emergency Management determined that 5,109 structures were destroyed and roughly 1.07 million acres were burned in the twenty-one Labor Day 2020 fires. To support quick and affordable reconstruction, the Oregon legislature passed
, establishing guidelines and requirements for rebuilding properties affected by the 2020 wildfires.
Replacement structures must comply with building codes in effect on January 1, 2008 if constructed prior to 2008. Residential structures must comply with the 2005 Oregon Residential Specialty (ORSC) and commercial structures must meet the 2007 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC). Structures built more recently than 2008 are required to comply to the version of the building code in effect at the date of original construction. The Oregon Department of Energy is collaborating with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services Building Codes Division, Energy Trust of Oregon, several impacted Oregon counties, and other critical stakeholders to create an energy efficiency incentive program for rebuilding survivors of the 2020 Labor Day wildfires. The program offering and materials will be available in 2022. Please sign up
for program updates to receive the latest information.
To be eligible for incentives, owners must be rebuilding structures severely damaged or destroyed by wildfire in Oregon between August 1 and September 30, 2020. Local governments must approve an application to alter, restore, or replace a dwelling. Eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, the following. For complete eligibility requirements, see
a) The former dwelling:
- Had intact exterior walls and roof, and
- Had indoor plumbing consisting of a kitchen sink, toilet, and bathing facility connected to a sanitary waste disposal system, and
- Had a heating system, and
- Was either authorized by building permits or other regulatory approval process OR was assessed as a residential dwelling for purposes of ad valorem taxation for the tax year beginning 7/1/2001 and is not subject to unresolved enforcement proceeding.
b) The proposed dwelling will
- Not exceed the floor area of the destroyed facility by more than 10 percent, and
- Be adequately served by water, sanitation, and roads
- Be wholly or partially located within the footprint of the destroyed dwelling unless applicant chooses a different location, within the same lot or parcel, to comply with flood or natural hazard area reasons
- Comply with applicable building codes that were in effect on the later of 1/1/2008 OR the date of the former dwelling's construction.
Owners building new homes on vacant property that burned are not eligible for incentives –only original homeowners or buyers replacing original homes are eligible.
The Oregon Department of Energy is holding a series of virtual public meetings
focusing on Lincoln, Marion, Lane, and Jackson County, as well as a final wrap-up meeting, to help inform development of the Energy Efficient Wildfire Rebuilding Incentive. Department staff will provide information about legislation creating the program, share staff research on how the program could be designed, and seek feedback on questions like:
- How can the program be designed to best support wildfire survivors rebuilding in a way that saves energy and lowers their energy bills?
- How is energy efficiency being considered by wildfire victims as they seek to rebuild? Are residential and commercial structures being rebuilt to current building codes, or are people taking advantage of the ability to rebuild to the 2008 building code?
- Should the Department consider providing low-income wildfire victims a higher level of incentive to offer greater support for communities struggling to rebuild?
- If you are currently working towards rebuilding, would you consider building beyond current code to make your home more energy efficient and improve long term lower energy bills?
- How can the application process for a program like this be made convenient and accessible?
These public meetings will be held virtually via Webex. Click here for individual meeting details, including how to participate.