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BETC - Sustainable Buildings
Oregonians who build a sustainable commercial building are eligible for a tax credit from the Oregon Department of Energy. Sustainability is generally defined as the use of today´s resources in a manner that enables people to meet their current needs and provides for future generation. Sustainable buildings use energy as efficiently as possible by today´s standards.
The building must meet an established standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council´s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) or be rated by a comparable program approved by the Oregon Department of Energy.
The sustainable building tax credit offers a different approach for business owners to receive a tax credit. It is based on the square footage of the entire building. (Traditional tax credits are based on the increased cost of a project above the industry standard or the energy code.) See the square footage table in the Sustainable Building section of the Technical Requirements. The sustainable building tax credit incentive helps offset the cost of applying for the LEED™ rating and the extra design and commissioning costs.
The LEED ™ rating system is based on accepted energy and environmental principles that evaluate environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective over a commercial building´s life cycle. It provides a definitive standard for what constitutes a "sustainable" building. The Council awards different levels of building certification.
Oregon has selected the second level, or Silver rating, as its standard for the tax credit. In addition, to the credit requirements for the LEED™ Silver rating, the Oregon Department of Energy requires:
  •  At least two credits are earned for energy efficiency.
  •  At least one credit for additional commissioning beyond the LEED™ prerequisite requirements.
  •  A report on the amount of solar radiation to be received by the building annually.(See building solar energy calculator; instructions and example)
The Oregon Department of Energy has a specific Preliminary Certification Application form for the sustainable tax credit (see link in right-hand column.)
You must apply for the tax credit before starting your project. You may request a waiver, but it will be granted only for business hardships or circumstances beyond your control that caused you to delay your application. The request must be made in writing within 90 days of project start and describe clearly the hardship or circumstances.
Submit the Application for Preliminary Certification for Sustainable Buildings Your application must be complete and include payment for review charges.
You´ll receive a Preliminary Certificate when your application is approved. That´s your go-ahead to start the project.
Following the completion of the project and receipt of the LEED certificate, the owner must provide documentation to the Oregon Department of Energy. You will receive additional information with your Preliminary Certificate on how to apply for the Final Certificate.
Those applying for the Sustainable Building Business Energy Tax Credit may use the Pass-through Option. Please refer to the Web site on thePass-through Option for additional information.
U.S. Green Building Council´s LEED
Oregon Administrative Rules 

BETC Technical Requirements (PDF- see Section on Sustainable Buildings)
Sustainable Building Preliminary Certification
application form*
*Please note: The application form is available in both Word and pdf. If you save the Word form to use for future projects, please check our Web site to ensure you are using the most current version. (Date in lower right-hand corner.) Both the Word and pdf versions may be filled out on your computer, printed, signed and mailed with your review fee to the Oregon Department of Energy. Forms can NOT be filed on-line.
Pass-through Option
Business Energy Tax Credit Information
Building solar energy calculator (Excel)
Calculator instructions
Example of building solar energy calculation
Example of building solar energy calculation Appendix 1

Page updated: July 11, 2008

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