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Portland, Oregon

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BPS News: New rebate opportunity to pay 50 to 75 percent of energy upgrade costs

Media Contact:
Christine Llobregat
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability


Portland City Council is slated to vote on a new energy rebate offering, Bucks for Buildings, that will help Portland’s small businesses save energy and money. Starting today, owners can apply to be considered for this limited-time rebate, pending Council consideration on February 13, that will reduce the cost of making energy-efficiency improvements to their buildings by as much as 75 percent.

“Small businesses make up 92 percent of the businesses in Portland,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “Bucks for Buildings will help us build stronger, more resilient neighborhood businesses by lowering their operating costs.”

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability created the new project with funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood program.

“Partners in the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program are leading by example, showing firsthand how energy efficiency improvements can save money by saving energy,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at the U.S. Department of Energy. “The investments they’ve made through this program are helping to cut energy waste while saving American businesses millions in energy costs, creating jobs nationwide and helping to position the United States to lead in the global economy.”

Details of Rebate Opportunity

  • This rebate will cover up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible energy-efficiency improvements made to Portland buildings up to 50,000 square feet in total size.
  • Non-profit organizations will be eligible for a rebate of up to 75 percent of project costs.
  • Eligible improvements include insulation, heating and cooling equipment, lighting and controls, and food service equipment.
  • A fund of $300,000 will be available for these rebates, which will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • For more information call 503-823-3919 or visit:

Rebate Eligibility Criteria

  • Available to owners and tenants of commercial buildings that are located withinPortlandcity limits and are 50,000 square feet or less in total size.
  • Rebates will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last.
  • Rebates available from $1,000 to $30,000 per project.
  • Improvements must meet Energy Star® or Energy Trust of Oregon efficiency standards.
  • Work must be performed by an approved contractor.
  • Additional restrictions apply.

Not Sure What Upgrades are Needed?

There’s even more help on the way to determine the most cost-effective investment: For a limited time, BPS is offering a free energy assessment for buildings 10,000 square feet and under. From this assessment businesses will receive a report that prioritizes energy upgrades, estimates savings and identifies relevant tax credits and financial incentives. For eligibility and enrollment information, visit


Interested business owners or property managers may contact the Bucks for Buildings Project Coordinator, Marlowe Kulley, at 503-823-3919 or

Portland’s businesses of all sizes can continue to save money, use greener products and technologies, cut costs and gain efficiencies through the Sustainability at Work program at BPS. Visit