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Energy in Oregon

​​Oregon state law requires that public entities spend 1.5% of public building construction costs on green energy technology.
Solar on the State Capitol
The 1.5% for Green Energy Technology (GET) requirement applies to public entities in Oregon. 1.5 percent of the total contract price of a public improvement contract for new construction (for projects $5 million or greater) or a major renovation (for projects $5 million or greater AND greater than 50% of the building’s insured value) of a public building must be spent on green energy technology or an alternative, regardless of the funding source.

Green energy technology includes:
  • Solar technologies such as photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.
  • Passive solar and day lighting systems that reduce whole building energy use by 10 percent or more.
  • Geothermal systems that use geothermal source temperatures of 140 degrees or more to provide heating or make electricity. Geothermal systems in K-12 schools may use a source temperature of 128 degrees or higher. Ground source heat pumps do not meet the green energy technology requirement.
  • Battery storage equipment and technology paired with solar or geothermal systems that generate electricity.
Eligible alternative energy technology includes:
  • Woody biomass energy technology: A space or water heating system or a combined heat and power system that uses fuel material from trees and woody plants that are a by-product of forest management, agriculture, ecosystem restoration, or fire prevention or related activities​. The system boiler must have a lower heating value combustion efficiency of at least 80 percent. Wood pieces that have been treated with certain chemicals, municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste, or other industrial wood waste cannot be used as fuel​.
  • Energy use efficiency: Certain on-site energy efficiency improvements that reduce or offset energy consumption by a required percent beyond baseline code (20 percent for public buildings; 30 percent for state buildings). This alternative is only available where Total Solar Resource Fraction available onsite is 75 percent or less.

Public entities include, but are not limited to, state agencies, community colleges, school districts and education service districts, and local governments. Under ORS 352.138, the 1.5% GET requirements do not apply to the seven Oregon public universities listed in ORS 352.002. See the Administrative Rules for more information.

If a public body determines GET or an alternative is inappropriate for a project, or wants to install the technology off-site, the public body must submit a description to the Technical Review Panel​ and explain their decision. The Technical Review Panel will provide its recommendation to the public body within 60 days. Funds not spent on the current project must be spent on the next building project that the public body undertakes, unless no state funds are included in the project cost. ​

Reporting Requirements

Public entities subject to the 1.5 percent requirement must report their projects through the Oregon Department of Energy's Reporting Database​. Projects must be reported whether GET or an alternative is determined to be appropriate or inappropriate.

2020 Program Updates​
 Summary of HB 2496 Changes

Reporting Database
​ 1.5% for GET​ Reporting Database

Related Links
State Energy Efficient Design​
​​ ​Contact our Public Buildings Program Manager:
​​ ​Contact the Technical Review Committee:
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