Salem's Climate Action Plan Shouldn't Hurt Homeowners


Salem City Council is reviewing the final draft of the city’s Climate Action Plan. While action on climate change is important, the current list of 183 recommendations includes requirements that could force property owners (commercial & residential) to make expensive upgrades and would ban the use of natural gas for their property.

These strategies should be voluntary or incentivized, rather than mandatory. Property owners should not be forced to make expensive upgrades based on energy rating system criteria, and they should also have the choice to use natural gas or electricity.

Many homeowners can’t afford these extensive and expensive changes.

Protect your rights and the rights of all homeowners in Salem.


Tell the City of Salem that these strategies should be voluntary and incentivized, rather than mandatory, and that homeowners need more choices, not higher costs.


We support strategies in the plan that:

  • Complete or repair Salem’s sidewalk network to increase safety & mobility
  • Create central information sources to promote energy education, incentives, and programs
  • Collaborate with utilities and others to develop and implement programs to help owners weatherize and increase efficiency of residential and commercial buildings with priority emphasis on low-income renters and owners


We believe the following strategies in the Plan will harm ALL property owners (commercial & residential), especially seniors on a fixed income, first-time homebuyers, small investors of real estate, small businesses, as well as manufacturing sectors, food processors, and the restaurant/hospitality industry. These specific strategies could cause high costs to property owners and negative unintended consequences:

Partnering with PGE, Energy Trust of Oregon, and EarthWise programs for energy benchmarking and transparency policies in existing buildings to create a publicly available “reward” system that recognizes those who do well and a “recommendations” system for property owners of lower-performing buildings to take action for improvement. (Strategy # EN02) While “requirements” has been removed, concern remains whether these policies would be voluntary or mandatory for energy benchmarking of existing buildings.

Implementing a city ordinance that requires a Home Energy Score to be provided to prospective home buyers, following guidance from Home Energy Score programs established in other Oregon cities, including Portland and Milwaukie. (Strategy # EN20) Requiring Home Energy Scores leads to requiring upgrades.

Adopting mandatory home and building energy rating system requirements so that upon property sale, ALL buildings (commercial and residential) are required to meet the energy rating system criteria. Work with non-profits and utilities to provide financial incentives when upgrading to new standards. (Strategy # EN21) Simply adding financial incentives does not cover the financial burden of upgrades.

Implementing policies that eliminate energy choices, such as requiring all-electric new construction, prohibiting fossil fuel usages in new construction, and/or banning the use of gas and oil in residential appliances. (Strategy #EN31) Homeowners should be able to choose natural gas or electricity and there is no clarity whether this ban of gas & oil appliances would apply to existing appliances.