Frequently Asked Questions

1)    How is Energize NE different from the Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) program?

Energize Northeast offers the option of going through Clean Energy Works Oregon, a non-profit you can count on to deliver a more comfortable and energy efficient home. Clean Energy Works offers exclusive Instant Rebates on eligible energy upgrades and a FREE Home Energy Assessment worth $500. Once your project is complete, Clean Energy Works inspects the quality of the work to ensure your energy upgrades perform as promised. Clean Energy Works partners with local lenders to offer no-money-down financing with flexible terms and preferred rates. However, homeowners participating in Clean Energy Works can also pay out-of-pocket or bring their own financing, such as home equity loans.

We encourage you to find out more at one of our scheduled Energize NE workshops. However, the primary difference is that Energize NE is a community program that gives back to our own neighborhoods.

2) What happens during an energy upgrade?

An upgrade will be based on a formal proposal and estimate by Neil Kelly’s Home Performance division. The measures undertaken during an energy upgrade vary according to the house, but typically address problems where the most energy can be saved and the comfort level increased significantly.

These measures include, but are not limited to:

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-5 windows (U-value of 0.22 or less). Windows will be considered only if estimated savings for the entire upgrade package are at least 30% of energy use.

3) After I sign up, how long will it take Neil Kelly to contact me to schedule my no-cost audit?

Because the fall season tends to be a busier season for home energy work, about five days.

4) How do I know I’m getting an accurate estimate from Neil Kelly for my home energy upgrade?

Neil Kelly is a contractor for Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO). For all Clean Energy Works Oregon project, Neil Kelly proposals are reviewed by Clean Energy Works to ensure they conform to program requirements and are reasonable for the scope defined. Additionally, as it does with its remodeling work, Neil Kelly offers a five-year warranty on workmanship.

5) What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency refers to technologies, processes and equipment that allow us to do the same activities (or more) with less energy. It means getting better use out of the energy we consume. In practical terms,
this could mean installing better insulation, buying ENERGY STAR appliances or using a programmable thermostat. Efficiency differs from conservation, which 
means changing behaviors to reduce energy use.

6) Does Energize NE create jobs?

Yes, as a result of community-driven programs like these, Neil Kelly’s Home Performance division is expanding and continues to hire local specialists and train them.

7) How does energy efficiency contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change?

While most people associate Oregon’s power sources with hydroelectric dams, 34% of Oregon’s power mix comes from the burning of coal, and a sizable portion also comes from natural gas fired plants. In the rest of the US, almost 50% of electricity comes from coal. As electricity use drops, so does the amount of coal being burned at power plants. Similarly, using more efficient and “right-sized” natural gas furnaces and water heaters reduce greenhouse gas creation from home heating equipment.

8) Will these energy measures change the look of my home inside or outside?

No. Neil Kelly is a specialist in retrofitting older and historic homes, and preserving the historic charm of each house.

9) Besides the rebates, are there tax credits I can take upon completion of a job? 

In most cases there will be tax credits you may claim. Check with a tax professional to take full advantage of tax credit opportunities. The Oregon Department of Energy website provides a summary of measures that may be eligible for credits.

10) How do I find out about financing an energy upgrade project through NECN’s Energize NE program?

Come to one of our workshops, where you can hear from Umpqua Bank, which helps make financing available for Clean Energy Works Oregon projects as well as offering its own low-interest GreenStreet loan for homeowners interested in energy improvements. The workshops are informal educational events to help NECN residents assess what may be best for your home and financial situation.

11) How much does an energy upgrade typically cost?

Every home is different and every homeowner has different needs. Neil Kelly will provide a proposal based on its assessment of the home and where the most energy savings and comfort can be achieved. The Neil Kelly home performance specialist will sit down with you to discuss your specific needs. Perhaps you may simply want to get rid of drafts through air sealing your home in order to be more comfortable in the winter, or perhaps you may want a more efficient gas furnace so you can see direct savings on your utility bill. This conversation will help you and your home energy specialist pick and choose the energy measures that are right for your budget. The available rebates can help your dollars go even further.