FAQ

  • What is Clean Energy Works Oregon?

    Clean Energy Works Oregon is an easier way for Oregonians to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable. With Clean Energy Works Oregon homeowners can finance up to $30,000 in energy efficient upgrades with a no-money-down loan that’s repaid right on your heating bill (repayment on heating bill is not available in all areas). And for a limited time, Clean Energy Works Oregon is offering homeowners generous Instant Rebates, up to $2,000 in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill Counties.

    There are several benefits to Clean Energy Works Oregon:

    • CEWO is Affordable: no money down financing you repay through your heating bill (reapayment on your heating bill is not available in all areas)
    • CEWO is Convenient: an all-in-one solution that bundles multiple energy efficiency upgrades, certified contractors, financing, and easy repayment through your utility bill.
    • CEWO is Objective a trusted nonprofit that provides a personal energy advisor to guide you through the entire process with objective advice
    • CEWO is Community: creating family-supporting jobs while helping the environment
  • How does Clean Energy Works Oregon work?

    It’s as simple as 4 easy steps:

    1. Apply - apply online at cewo.org to get accepted
    2. Assess - a free Home Energy Assessment (worth $500) removes the guesswork by pinpointing energy saving opportunities. Your Clean Energy Works Contractor and independent Energy Advisor present you with a custom proposal that includes a cost estimate and financing options
    3. Finance – apply for financing from one our lending partners offering attractive rates and terms available exclusively to homeowners participating in CEWO
    4. Transform – your team of certified contractors install upgrades that may include: attic, wall and floor insulation, high-efficiency heating systems or even windows.

    You can find more detailed information in our How it Works section.

  • Is this the same as Clean Energy Works Portland?

    Almost. Clean Energy Works Portland was a pilot program that ended in early 2011 and was limited to just 500 homeowners. Because the pilot was so successful, we have expanded the program beyond the City of Portland and aim to have 6,000 homes participate by the end of 2013. Our service territory currently includes, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington or Yamhill Counties. We'll soon launch in other communities around the state (If you are outside this area visit our Options page for a list of other programs that might work for you).

    Based on feedback from the pilot we have also made some changes and improvements including:

    1. Loosened the acceptance criteria so more homeowners can participate
    2. Added windows to the approved energy efficiency upgrades
    3. Raised the maximum loan from $20,000 to $30,000 to allow for a more comprehensive home energy remodel
    4. Added Instant Rebates to make a home energy remodel even more affordable
  • Why is Clean Energy Works Oregon doing this?Our goal is to complete 6,000 of these home energy efficiency upgrades in the next three years, which in turn will:
    1. Create or retain 1,300 high quality green jobs
    2. Save more than 300,000 MBTUs of energy
    3. Reduce carbon dioxide by 200,000 metric tons
    In short, we want to break down the barriers to widespread adoption of energy efficiency so that we can create jobs, help Oregonians save energy and move the region toward significant reductions in carbon emissions.
  • How is Clean Energy Works Oregon Funded?Clean Energy Works Oregon is one of 35 BetterBuildings projects around the country funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Clean Energy Works Oregon was awarded $20 million to create a scalable, replicable and self-sustaining model that contributes to the transformation of energy-efficiency finance markets. You can learn more visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s BetterBuildings website.
  • Is this through the Energy Trust of Oregon?Energy Trust of Oregon helped design the pilot program and is a key contributor to Clean Energy Works Oregon in many ways, including directing consumers who need financing to CEWO and contributing a portion of the funding for CEWO.
  • Can I continue to heat my home with oil, propane, kerosene, butane or wood?

    If your home is heated with oil, propane, kerosene, butane or wood and you would like to take advantage of the Instant Rebates offered by Clean Energy Works you must convert to electric or natural gas heating. The reason for this requirement is related to funding of the Instant Rebates. Clean Energy Works is an independent non-profit organization and is able to provide these generous Instant Rebates for energy efficiency upgrades because of its partnership with utilities. Homes that are not heated with gas or electric from one of Clean Energy Works' utility partners do not contribute into the program’s fund and are therefore ineligible to receive rebates from it.

    If you prefer to continue heating your home with oil but would like to make energy efficiency improvements to your home, please contact the Oregon Department of Energy’s State Home Oil Weatherization (SHOW) Program, which serves Oregon households that heat with oil, propane, kerosene, butane, or wood. SHOW-eligible homeowners can conduct their own energy audit and apply for cash rebates for installed weatherization and heating measures.  More information is available at 1-800-221-8035.

  • I’m not in the CEWO service territory. How can I bring CEWO to my community?Fill out our contact form or call us at (855) 870-0049 and we'll pass it along to your local community leaders. Our goal is to serve the entire state, in partnership with local communities. If you don't want to wait for CEWO to come to your area, you can contact Energy Trust of Oregon, which offers cash incentives for many home energy upgrades. Visit energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.
  • What upgrades can I make through Clean Energy Works Oregon?

    We’ve focused on the upgrades that not only save the most energy, but are most likely to make a home more comfortable.

    • Attic, wall and floor insulation
    • Air Sealing - caulking and sealing gaps and leaks around windows, pipes, electrical outlets and anywhere else that lets in hot or cold air.
    • Duct Sealing - insulating and sealing gaps in the “ducts” that move hot or cold air from your heating or cooling system to other parts of your home.
    • Home Heating – high efficiency gas furnaces, heat pumps and ductless heat pumps
    • Water Heating – high efficiency electric water heaters, gas tank water heaters and tankless on-demand gas water heaters.
    • Windows – R-4 windows ( U-Value 0.25 or less). Windows will be eligible only if estimated savings for the entire retrofit package are at least 30 percent of energy use.
  • How long will this take?

    A few homeowners have gone through the process in as little as one month. But on average, it is taking 4-5 months from the time an application is received to complete the process. Part of this depends on you, the homeowner. Some homeowners need more time than others to review their bid and financing package before they are comfortable signing them. If you move more quickly than others, you can get through the program in considerably less time.

    To ensure we are not holding up the process, we have established timing standards for each step in the program:

    • Application processing/acceptance: immediate if you and your home qualify
    • Home Energy Assessment Report Delivery: within 10 business days after your Home Energy Assessment
    • The Bid Process: We ask your Contractor to deliver a bid within 10 days of delivering your Home Energy Assessment Report – depending on your home and the number of homeowners participating at the time, it may be quicker or take a bit longer.
    • Financing Approval: up to 2 weeks depending on the lender
    • Installing Your Energy Upgrades: depending on the upgrades your select work can take 2-4 weeks to complete
  • Is Solar included?Solar isn’t offered as part of the program yet. We are planning to offer it at some point but we haven’t settled on a date yet. If you’re interested in solar you have a few options:
    • Some of the participating contractors also install residential solar systems. If you like, I can give you their contact information and you may contact them directly.
    • Energy Trust of Oregon offers cash incentives and services to help you add solar to your home.
  • Why isn’t solar offered?We think solar is a wonderful addition to any home, and we’re very eager to offer it as part of Clean Energy Works Oregon at some point in the future. It's important to think about using less energy AND generating renewable energy. Energy Trust of Oregon already offers cash incentives and services to help you add solar to your home.
  • Am I eligible for Clean Energy Works Oregon?

    That depends on where you live, the age and type of house you live in and your credit history. CEWO is currently able to serve homes that meet the following minimum criteria:

    • Located in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington or Yamhill Counties
    • Owned by you and be your place of residence
    • Built before 1993
    • Single-family, detached structure (mobile homes, townhouses or other multi-family dwellings are not yet eligible)

    In Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties your home must currently (or upon completing CEWO*) be heated with electricity or natural gas from NW Natural, Pacific Power or Portland General Electric

    *If you currently heat your home with oil, propane or wood, you can participate in CEWO if you you change your heat source to electricity or natural gas. However, conversions from oil heat may lengthen your qualification process, are subject to utility approval and may not be feasible for all applicants.

  • What if I’m not a Pacific Power, Portland General Electric or NW Natural customer?In Jackson and Josephine Counties any customer of any utility can participate. In Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties if you are not a customer of these utilities, you cannot currently participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon. We hope that we will soon be able to allow these homeowners to participate and to offer them an alternate method to repay their loan. If you are a customer of Cascade Natural Gas you may want to explore cash incentives for energy effiiency improvements through Energy Trust of Oregon. Many utilities offer their own rebates, so we encourage you to call your utility to see what is currently available.
  • How do I sign up?

    You need to apply and be accepted into the program. Applying is easy and takes just 5 minutes. Make sure you have your heating bill handy as you’ll need to enter your account number. Apply Now >>

  • How long before I know whether my application has been approved?

    With our new expedited CEWO application process you'll know right away if you and your home are accepted into Clean Energy Works Oregon. If you're accepted you will complete the financing application once you've signed your project bid.

  • Is there any commitment when I apply?

    No. There’s no commitment when you apply. If you’re accepted, your contractor and energy advisor will conduct your free CEWO Home Energy Assessment. Based on the results, they will present you with a custom proposal that includes a cost estimate and financing options. At that point you can decide whether to apply for financing and have your energy upgrades installed.

  • How can I apply if I don’t have Internet access?If you don’t have Internet access we can direct you to a local library that may offer free Internet access. If it's more convenient for you, we can mail you a print application for you to complete and return to us by mail.
  • How much will it cost?

    It depends on your home’s unique situation. That’s why the first step is to test your home’s performance so we can pinpoint opportunities for energy savings.

    Homeowners can finance up to $30,000 in energy efficiency upgrades. During the Portland pilot, homeowners financed from $2,000 to $20,000. Your energy savings can offset part of the loan payment making this more affordable than you think. It is projected that homeowners in the Portland pilot program will pay an average of $35 extra a month for a more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient home.

    For more information on average projects costs visit our Rebates & Financing page and select your region.

  • Do I have to finance my CEWO Home Energy Remodel or can I pay cash?

    Financing is not a requirement to participate and projects can be paid for in cash. Please connect with your contractor about proceeding with paying for your project in cash.

  • Do I qualify for low-income weatherization assistance?

    If you qualify as low-income, you may be better served by Oregon’s Weatherization Assistance Program, administered by Oregon Housing and Community Services. Weatherization and energy-conservation services are available to low-income households through services delivered by Community Action Agencies statewide.

  • How much can I finance?It depends on how much energy you will save. Maximum loan amounts have been established based on the modeled energy savings your Home Energy Remodel will achieve. 15% = $10,000 20% = $20,000 30% = $30,000
  • How much will my loan payment be each month?

    It depends on the size of your project. Projects have ranged from as little as $2,000 to over $20,000 with an average close to $14,000. Remember that your energy savings may offset part of your loan payment. Once you've been accepted into CEWO and receive a project bid, you can use the loan calculator on "Your Project" to estimate a monthly payment at different interest rates and terms.

  • Will my heating bill go down?

    Your savings depend on your home and your energy use. Based on data from the Portland pilot program we expect approximately 10% of participants may see their annual energy savings offset the annual loan payments in the first year, while the other 90% will pay more, averaging an extra $35 per month (assuming constant energy use and prices). However, even a modest 5% annual increase in energy prices coupled with responsible energy use choices may mean all participants could see annual savings (net of energy expenses) during their loan periods.

  • When will I receive my bid/cost estimate and financing package?

    Your contractor will present these to you after your Home Energy Assessment has been performed. The bid is usually presented between a month and a month and a half after you apply to the program, depending on circumstances.

  • Can I use my own lender?

    While we would love for you to use one of our approved lending partners, it is not a requirement to take advantage of CEWO. Projects financed by a lender outside of our approved lenders would be considered a “Cash” job, which you can discuss with your contractor about how to proceed with that method.

  • Who provides the financing?

    Our lending partners vary by region, but include Advantis Credit Union, Craft3, SELCO Community Credit Union, Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union and Umpqua Bank. Please visit our financing page to see which lenders are available in your area.

    In some regions you will have the option to choose from several lenders and loan options once you reach the "Finance" step of our 4 Easy Steps. It'll all be explained on the custom project page you'll find in the "Your Project" tab when you're accepted into Clean Energy Works Oregon.

  • What is the interest rate of the loan?

    We've arranged attractive rates and terms that are available exclusively to homeowners participating in Clean Energy Works Oregon. Interest rates and terms vary among our lending partners, so visit our financing page to learn more.

  • Is the loan attached to my property title?

    Each lending partner has different products and securities placed on those products. In our product guidelines the term “lien” is highlighted for products that have a “lien”, which is treated as an additional mortgage on your property.

    The other security interest us is a “UCC-1” filing which is different than a “lien." The UCC-1 will be placed on the property title in the County’s real property records so that the lender is notified in the event of sale or other transfer of the real property on which the upgrades are made. At that time, any outstanding loan balance will become due and must be paid in full.

  • Are there any loan fees?

    In most cases we've arranged no-fee financing options for you, though there may be loan fees under some circumstances or for loans above a certain amount. For instance, if you select a secured loan, there may be appraisal, title or escrow fees. With secured loans there may also be a reconveyance fee charged by your county recorder upon payoff to release the lien from the property. Visit our financing page to access more information on each loan option offered through our local lending partners.

  • What’s the term of the loan?

    Loan terms vary among our lending partners but can be as short as 1 year or as long as 20 years depending on the amount of your loan and the lender. Visit our financing page to learn more.

  • Why is the term of the loan so long?Clean Energy Works Oregon wanted to minimize the size of your monthly payment so that more homeowners could afford to participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon. There’s no penalty for paying off the loan sooner.
  • How do I repay the loan?

    In most cases you will pay the lender directly. However, if your home is located in Clackamas, Multnomah or Washington county one of our lending partners, Craft3, allows you to repay your loan on your heating utility bill* so there is no extra bill to pay. If you select and are approved by Craft 3, your monthly loan payment will begin to appear on your heating bill shortly after you complete your CEWO Home Energy Remodel. The total amount due on your heating bill will include this monthly payment. Your heating utility will forward the portion of your bill that is the loan payment to our lending partner.

    *To participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon in these counties your home must be currently heated by Pacific Power, Portland General Electric or NW Natural Gas or you must be switching to a heating source provided by these utilities.

  • Can I pay off the loan early? Are there any early repayment penalties?

    You can pay off the loan as soon as you like with no penalty. Please contact the lender servicing your loan for repayment procedures. You can find contact information for your lender in the "Your Team" section on the "Your Project" page.

  • How can I pay the principle down or make an extra loan payment?

    The process for paying down your principle varies by lender so it's best to contact the lender servicing your loan. You can find contact information for your lender in the "Your Team" section of the "Your Project" page.

    Important Note: If Craft3 is your lender (formerlly Enterprise Cascadia), you can make a direct payment to Craft3. It's very important that you do not make unscheduled payments through your heating utility bill. To make a direct payment please contact Craft3 at 503-688-1700, or email ConsumerPA@sbpac.com.

  • Are there any state or federal tax credits?Clean Energy Works Oregon cannot provide any tax advice. Energy Trust provides helpful information on its website. The Oregon Department of Energy website and and U.S. Department of Energy website provide information on tax incentives for energy efficiency home improvements. It’s best to consult your tax accountant to determine whether your participation in Clean Energy Works Oregon qualifies for any of these incentives. You may also contact the Oregon Department of Energy at 503-378-4040 or toll free at 800-221-8035.
  • Who can I contact if I have a question about my loan?

    It's best to contact the lender directly. Please do not contact CEWO, your contractor or your heating utility with questions about your loan. You can find contact information for your lender in the "Your Team" section on "Your Project."

  • I heard about some big rebates. Can you explain them to me?

    When you are accepted to Clean Energy Works Oregon you may be eligible for 3 Instant Rebates:

    • Home Energy Assessment: a Free Home Energy Assessment worth $500
    • Energy Upgrades*: hundreds or thousands of dollars towards your energy upgrades. Visit our rebates page to see what rebates we offer in your community.
    • Independent Inspection: once you’re your project is complete, Clean Energy Works conducts an independent inspection worth $250 to ensure the your energy upgrades perform as promised.

    *Instant Rebates on energy upgrades are capped at 25% of energy upgrade project costs.

  • How do I get my Instant Rebates?

    You must apply and be accepted to Clean Energy Works Oregon. When you apply, you’ll be asked for an Instant Rebate code. You can find a Clean Energy Works Oregon Instant Rebate code on many of the materials distributed by participating contractors, lenders and local outreach partners. If you don’t have an Instant Rebate Code it’s easy to get one. Just visit cewo.org and click on the “Apply Now” link. Start the application and when prompted to enter your Instant Rebate Code, look for the link that says "Click here to get your Instant Rebate Code."

  • What do you mean by “Up to”?

    The size of the Instant Rebate towards the costs of your energy upgrades depends on how much energy savings can be achieved in your home. The greater the energy savings, the greater the size of the Instant Rebate. Clean Energy Works Oregon has 3 tiers of Instant Rebates based on the energy savings you are expected to achieve: 15%, 20% and 30%. Visit our rebates page to see what rebates we offer in your community.

    These Instant Rebates are capped at 25% of energy upgrade project costs. For example, in Multnomah County energy upgrades that save 30% and cost $2,000 result in an Instant Rebate of $500 (25% x $2,000), while energy upgrades that save 30% and cost $5,000 or more result in the full $1,250 Instant Rebate (25% x $5,000).

    Remember that Instant Rebates are available on a first come, first served basis, subject to change without prior notice, non-transferable and are only available for a limited time.

  • Who is eligible to receive the Instant Rebates?

    Only homeowners that apply and are accepted into Clean Energy Works are eligible to receive Instant Rebates. Once you are accepted into Clean Energy Works your free Home Energy Assessment will be scheduled. Likewise, once your energy upgrades are installed your Quality Review, including an independent inspection performed by a Clean Energy Works Energy Advisor, will be scheduled.

    The Instant Rebate towards your energy upgrades are subject to some additional restrictions:

    1. Instant Rebates on energy upgrades are capped at 25% of energy upgrade project costs. For example, in Multnomah County energy upgrades that save 30% and cost $2,000 result in an Instant Rebate of $500 (25% x $2,000), while energy upgrades that save 30% and cost $5,000 or more result in the full $1,250 Instant Rebate (25% x $5,000).
    2. Once you are presented with a bid you will have 30 days to take advantage of the Instant Rebate towards your home energy upgrades. If you do not sign your bid within 30 days your Instant Rebate may expire and may no longer be available to you.
    3. Instant Rebates on energy upgrades and for the independent inspection are available only to CEWO participants that sign a CEWO contractor’s bid and install energy upgrades through Clean Energy Works that achieve at least 15% energy savings.
  • Is there a deadline to get the Instant Rebates?

    Yes. There are a limited number of Instant Rebates and they are available on “first come, first served” basis. So the sooner you apply the more likely you will be to receive the Instant Rebates.

    In addition, the Instant Rebate towards your energy upgrades has an expiration date. Once you are presented with a bid you will have 30 days to take advantage of the Instant Rebate towards your home energy upgrades. If you do not sign your bid within 30 days a portion of your Instant Rebate may expire and may no longer be available to you.

  • When do I get the Instant Rebates?

    Because they are “instant” you’ll never have to pay out of pocket, submit any rebate forms or wait for reimbursement. Your $500 Instant Rebate for a Home Energy Assessment will be applied once you are accepted into Clean Energy Works Oregon and your assessment is scheduled.

    Your Instant Rebates on energy upgrades will be secured once you sign a bid with a CEWO contractor and will be paid to your contractor when your energy upgrades have been installed. Remember, once you are presented with a bid you will have 30 days to take advantage of the Instant Rebate towards your home energy upgrades. If you do not sign your bid within 30 days a portion of your Instant Rebate may expire and may no longer be available to you.

    Your $250 Instant Rebate for the Independent Inspection is applied once your contractor has installed your energy upgrades and schedules your Quality Review. Again, there are no forms to fill out and you never have to pay out of pocket.

  • Can I take the rebates as cash back?

    No. The Instant Rebates can only be applied to the costs of the Home Energy Assessment, the energy upgrades that are part of your Home Energy Remodel and the Independent Inspection. In addition, Instant Rebates cannot exceed the full cost of the your Home Energy Remodel.

  • Can I also apply for the cash incentives offered through the Energy Trust of Oregon?No. For each participating home, Energy Trust contributes the value of its incentives to help fund all the services provided by Clean Energy Works Oregon.
  • I heard about a free In Home Energy Assessment – how do I get one?First, check to see if CEWO is available in your community and if your home meets some basic requirements. If so, then apply online. When you’re accepted, we’ll schedule your free in Home Energy Assessment - a $500 value, but free with your Clean Energy Works Oregon Instant Rebates.
  • What happens at the Home Energy Assessment?Together your contractor and Energy Advisor will assess the energy performance of your home. For starters, they’ll ask you about your home and review your energy bills. Then your contractor will conduct a thorough inspection to identify ways to reduce your home's energy waste and improve your home's comfort. The assessment may include:
    • A “crawl through” inspection of insulation in your attic, crawlspace and just about ever other nook and cranny where energy sneaks out.
    • An infrared camera to search for hot and cold spots inside walls, around windows and below baseboards
    • A blower door test to depressurize your house and bring those hidden air leaks to life
    • A duct blaster test to search for leakage in the duct work of forced-air heating and cooling systems
    • A safety test of heating and cooling equipment, including carbon monoxide levels and combustion appliance back-drafts
  • Do I really need a Home Energy Assessment? Can I skip this step?

    No, the Energy Assessment is required for participation in our program. With a professional Home Energy Assessment there’s no guesswork. Your contractor will pinpoint how to reduce your home’s energy waste and improve your family’s comfort. It’s all spelled out for you in a custom report. And it’s the basis for your contractor and our lending partners to present an integrated cost estimate and financing options, complete with monthly payment and expected energy savings.

  • I’ve already had someone from the Energy Trust come to my home. Do I still need to do the Home Energy Assessment?

    It sounds like you had a Home Energy Review, which is a good start but not as detailed as a Home Energy Assessment. A Home Energy Assessment goes beyond the Home Energy Review to measure the performance of your home and heating systems using advanced testing equipment. More importantly, the Home Energy Assessment is the basis for your contractor and our lending partners to prepare your customized proposal that includes a cost estimate, financing options and expected energy savings.

  • I had an energy assessment using the technical equipment. Do I need another one?If your Home Energy Assesment was done by one of our participating contractors, you most likely will not need another assessment. It will be up to the contractor to determine this.
  • How do I schedule my free home energy assessment?CEWO staff will contact you directly to schedule your home energy assessement after you application has been fully approved.
  • Can’t I do all of this on my own?If you participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon all of the work must be done by one of our certified contractors. This is for your safety and to ensure the highest quality work. So if you prefer to do the work on your own, you would be missing out on several benefits available only through Clean Energy Works Oregon:
    • up to $30,000 in financing that’s repaid through your heating bill (re-payment on your heating bill is not available in all areas)
    • a personal energy advisor to guide you through the process with independent and objective advice
    • up to $2,000 in Instant rebates, including a free Home Energy Assessment worth $500 and cash applied towards energy efficiency improvements.*
    If you still prefer, we can direct you to resources provided by the Energy Trust of Oregon for homeowners interested in do-it-yourself energy efficiency improvements. If you do choose the do-it-yourself route, you may be eligible for Energy Trust incentives for self-installed electric water heaters and floor and attic insulation. *Instant Rebates on energy upgrades are capped at 25% of energy upgrade project costs.
  • Can I use my own contractor?

    If you have a contractor in mind check our contractor listing to see if they are a participating Clean Energy Works Oregon contractor. Homeowners that participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon must work with one of our participating contractors. We know most homeowners don’t have the time or may not know how to evaluate and select the right contractor for this type of work. So we’ve done the legwork for you. All of our participating contractors have gone through a rigorous evaluation and selection process to ensure they offer homeowners the highest quality work, customer service and integrity.

  • Who are the participating contractors?You can find a list of participating contractors here.
  • Do I get to choose my contractor?Once your application is approved you will be paired with a contractor. If you were referred by a contractor and during the application you entered the “Instant Rebate Code” they provided to you, then you will be paired with thate contractor. If a contractor did not refer you and/or during the application you did not enter an “Instant Rebate Code” from a contractor, then we will pair you with one of our certified contractor partners. Of course, you are welcome to select another contractor from our list of participating contractors if you like, but you must do so before your Home Energy Assessment is scheduled. Once you have a Home Energy Assessment performed you cannot change contractors. To select another contractor please contact our helpline toll free at 1-855-870-0049.
  • How do you select the contractors that are offered?All contractors that participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon are not only Energy Trust of Oregon trade allies, but are also certified by the Building Performance Institute - an independent, not-for-profit organization and the nation’s leading developer of technical standards for home performance and weatherization retrofit work. Our contractor partners have also met stringent labor standards to ensure you are working with contractors of the highest integrity. All CEWO Contractors Must:
    • Employ key staff that are certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI)
    • Commit to pay a family-supporting wage
    • Pledge to employ highly-qualified minority and historically under-represented tradespeople.
    • Agree to provide reasonable Employee Health Care
  • What are the labor standards?

    With input from the lessons learned during the Portland pilot along with wise advice from stakeholders across the state, Clean Energy Works Oregon has developed important High Road standards and benefits, as well as the strategies and support systems that will help us to achieve these organizational goals and targets. Through implementing contractor requirements, incentivizing desired attributes, and providing support for success, Clean Energy Works Oregon will work with local contractors, training providers, and community stakeholders in order to achieve and strengthen the High Road standards across the state.

    High Road Standards

    • Local Hire: At least 80% of workers are hired from within 50 miles of the project, or otherwise defined by the local community.
    • Family-Supporting Wages: Workers participating in Clean Energy Works retrofit projects will earn no less than the higher of either 180% of Oregon state minimum wage, or CEWO family-supporting wage rates1 for residential weatherization work.
    • Health Coverage: At the time of local launch, employees on Clean Energy Works projects will receive either a) health insurance that covers themselves or b) additional wages at not less than $2.50 per hour in lieu of health coverage. Within six months of local launch, all employees will receive health insurance that covers themselves.
    • Diverse Workforce: Historically underrepresented or economically disadvantaged people will perform not less than 30% of total trades and technical project hours. People of color, women, veterans, disabled individuals and formerly incarcerated individuals are included in this definition of diverse workforce.
    • Diverse Business Participation: Businesses owned by historically disadvantaged or underrepresented people will make up not less than 20% of all dollars in Clean Energy Works Oregon projects.
    • Highly-Skilled Workforce: Resources for continuing education and certification are available for those coming into the industry as well as those wanting to increase their opportunities for upward mobility within the industry through registered apprenticeship and other career pathway trainings.
    1 Refer to Community Benefits page for more information.
  • How do I find out which contractor I’ll be working with?As soon as your Home Energy Assessment is scheduled, you'll receive an email with the name of your contractor and their contact information.
  • Can I get multiple bids?Yes, though not at the front of our process. The goal of Clean Energy Works is to make energy efficiency as easy and time efficient as possible. The requisite 4-hour in-home energy assessment can make multiple bids highly time-consuming for you. We have thoroughly screened each of the contractors that participate in CEWO and actively monitor their activities in the program. In addition, because we understand that customers may have a variety of expectations regarding the costs of energy efficiency measures, we provide you with a personal Energy Advisor who reviews your bid and helps explain typical costs so that you can select the project that meets your goals. If you feel that your bid is unreasonably priced or that the scope of the bid does not match your stated priorities, please bring it to the attention of your Energy Advisor. With that information, we can work towards a resolution with your contractor or, if you feel that another bid is needed, we will restart the process with another contractor that we feel can better meet your needs.
  • What if I am unhappy with my contractor and want a different one?

    Once you have a Home Energy Assessment performed by your contractor you cannot change contractors. But if there’s a problem with your contractor we want to know about it and will do everything we can to resolve any issues. We routinely conduct customer service surveys to evaluate homeowner satisfaction with each of our contractor partners. If there’s a pattern of dissatisfaction with one of our contractor partners we will take steps to remedy that situation – including suspension or removal from the program.

    You can submit a complaint through our online contact form, by calling our contact center or simply discuss the issue with your Energy Advisor.

  • What is an Energy Advisor?

    Your best interests are an Energy Advisor’s first priority. An Energy Advisor is an independent and objective technical resource you can access by phone or email at any point during your participation in Clean Energy Works Oregon. Like your contractor, Energy Advisors are trained in home energy efficiency and have been certified by the Building Performance Institute. Most of their work is done behind-the-scenes, evaluating data from your home energy assessment, reviewing your bid for accuracy and fairness and verifying your Instant Rebates. Once your energy upgrades are installed, an Energy Advisor will attend your Quality Review, where he or she will inspect your energy upgrades to ensure they perform as promised. You can also connect with an Energy Advisor at any point during your home energy remodel to ask questions about work scope, costs and cost savings, Instant Rebates or any technical questions about your home's energy use. 

  • Can Energy Advisors really be objective?

    Absolutely. The Energy Advisors work for Clean Energy Works Oregon – not the contractor – so they are completely independent and objective. 

  • When will an Energy Advisor be involved in my project?

    An Energy Advisor may attend your home energy assessment if your contractor is new to Clean Energy Works, but most of their work is actually done behind-the-scenes. In the field and at the office, they monitor your project, triple check the numbers and generally watch your back. You can count on an Energy Advisor to:

    Once your energy upgrades are installed, an Energy Advisor attends your Quality Review to inspect your upgrades and ensure they perform as promised. If anything needs fixing they work with your contractor to get it right.

  • What if I am unhappy with the service or advice I receive from an Energy Advisor?

    If there’s a problem with an Energy Advisor we want to know about it and will do everything we can to resolve any issues. We have a number of energy advisors on staff and can always connect you with a different advisor if necessary. You can submit a complaint through our online contact form or by calling our contact center at (855) 870-0049.

  • How do I reach an Energy Advisor?An Energy Advisor is available by phone or email throughout your home energy remodel. If you have technical questions about your home's current conditions, your bid or your energy upgrades contact an Energy Advisor using the phone number listed in Your Project under the Your Team section.

  • How can I become a participating contractor?Clean Energy Works Oregon will assemble a top-notch group of contractors to achieve our energy efficiency and job creation goals. To ensure these goals are met, contractors will need to complete an application and meet some important criteria before they can participate in Clean Energy Works Oregon. We’re in the process of developing the application and expect to begin accepting applications early in 2011. Until then, you should complete our contact form, making sure to check the box “I am a contractor and want to participate” so we can let you know when the application process opens.
  • What are the requirements for becoming a participating contractor?Clean Energy Works Oregon is committed to not only deliver the highest quality home performance upgrades, but also to setting new standards for inclusion and diversity in the contractor workforce. Some of the requirements participating contractors must meet include:
    1. Certification by the Building Performance Institute (BPI)
    2. Commitment to family-supporting jobs
    3. Pledge to employ highly-qualified minority and historically under-represented tradespeople
    More information will be available when the contractor application process opens in early 2011. For now, please complete our contact form and make sure to check the box “I am a contractor and want to participate” so we can let you know when the application process opens.