CCB administrator moving to another agency, home energy scores, etc.

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The year in review

CCB Administrator James Denno

On the popular radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” master storyteller Garrison Keillor used to begin each tale of his mythical Minnesota hometown with the words “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…”

Well, much as I would like to borrow his quaint saying to begin my last article of the year for The Toolbox, it most definitely has not been a quiet year at the CCB!  We may not be making headlines, but the Board and the staff have been very busy serving Oregonians and the contracting community during 2017. I’d like to share just a few of the highlights with you.

First, after two years of gathering your input and ideas, discussions by the Board, and outreach and planning, we completed work on new rules for residential contractor continuing education. You can now take the courses you believe to be the most helpful and relevant to your business and the required three hours of CCB courses are now available to you free of charge. CCB staff continues to approve courses and providers, so check out our online course catalog for available courses. 

Secondly, over the past four years we have worked hard on becoming an efficient and effective operation. We have held the line on our costs and trimmed unnecessary positions from our organizational chart. Because of these efforts, the ending balance for our 2015-17 budget was sufficient to allow the Board to approve a temporary reduction in the license fee. For the 2017-19 budget period, the license fee has been reduced from $325 to $250 for a two-year contractor license. 

Finally, our Enforcement Manager, Stan Jessup, has been working hard to improve the effectiveness of our field enforcement as well as the efficiency of our internal processing of enforcement cases.  As a result, we are doing roughly twice as much enforcement as we were able to do just a couple of years ago. 

And speaking of Stan, he has just been appointed interim administrator for the CCB.  I recently accepted a position at another agency and will be leaving the CCB on Jan. 9.

Stan will serve as administrator while recruitment for a permanent replacement takes place.  I have to say that the past 3 ½ years at the CCB have been the most rewarding of my career. It has been a privilege to work with the very dedicated Board and staff here, and to meet many of you hard-working contractors along the way. I wish you all a prosperous 2018, and happy trails until we meet again!   

Continuing education update: Residential contractors

Here's a reminder about the requirements for residential contractors since we've had a series of changes. Every license renewal cycle, residential contractors must complete:

  • Three hours of CCB laws, regulations and business practices classes plus
  • Five or 13 hours of other approved classes. Only contractors licensed less than six years need the 13 hours.

The CCB still must approve all providers and courses but you have more choices than ever

Check the Course Catalog on the CCB website to see if a course is approved or contact the CCB in advance.

Additionally, most courses from accredited education institutions and other government agencies are approved even though they may not appear in the Course Catalog. Approved topic areas include: Marketing, customer service, accounting, business law, bidding, building codes, safety, environmental hazards (lead, asbestos, radon, etc.) energy efficiency, and trade-specific topics like how to install roofing or siding. 

"Live" CCB classes

The CCB is developing its 2018 calendar of in-person rules, regulations and business practice courses. These are all three-hour courses, and are free. The CCB will offer the course in more than a dozen locations throughout Oregon.

As the schedule is developed, you can find it here.

You can also take the three hours online by logging into your CCB account and selecting "Continuing Education."

The City of Portland Home Energy Score Brings New Opportunities for Contractors

Homeowners who list houses for sale within the City of Portland now must have a Home Energy Report, as required by the City of Portland Home Energy Score program. 

These reports will then be made available to potential buyers who can then factor in energy costs at the time of purchase.

The Home Energy Report takes a similar approach to a miles-per-gallon sticker you would see when buying a car. It provides information in a clear and easy to understand format.

The Home Energy Report contains the Home Energy Score, a number on a scale from 1 to 10 with “10” being the highest and “5” the average.The score takes into account how the house was built, not the behaviors of its inhabitants. The report also provides recommendations on how to make the home more energy efficient and shows the savings that may be realized.

Key links 

Learn more about home energy assessments and the new City of Portland Home Energy Score program.

Energy assessments are relatively inexpensive and take less than an hour to perform.  Homeowners who want to list their property should call an authorized home energy assessor. 

Find a list of authorized home energy assessors.

To become a home energy assessor 

Becoming an authorized home energy assessor takes between four to six weeks and costs about $625. This includes the costs of Oregon CCB licensing. Applicants must be licensed with the CCB as a residential contractor or as a restricted Home Energy Performance Score Contractor (for those who just issue energy scores but don't work on homes). 

Download this seven-step roadmap to becoming an authorized assessor.

Making homes more efficient

With the new program in Portland, homeowners do not have to make any improvements but can use the Home Energy Report to improve homes to be more efficient and comfortable, cost less and become healthier for the families who live in them. 

Contractors  play a pivotal role in the success of the initiative and have a terrific opportunity to enhance their business and the community!

This article was written by Lise L. Luchsinger, Home Performance Guild of Oregon. 

Lose your RMI? You have 14 days to get a new one

A new law gives contractors an option to appoint a temporary responsible managing individual (RMI) when the current RMI unexpectedly leaves the business and the contractor is unable to immediately appoint a new one.To appoint a temporary RMI, a contractor must:

  1. Notify the CCB within three calendar days of appointing a temporary RMI by submitting the Temporary RMI Request form found on the CCB website.
  2. Within 14 calendar days of the notification to the board, the contractor must appoint a permanent RMI and notify the board that they have done so by submitting the RMI Change form found on the CCB website.
  3. If the contractor does not appoint a permanent RMI within 14 calendar days, the license will be referred to Enforcement for disciplinary action.

The way to avoid problems is to have multiple RMIs! 

Questions? Contact the Customer Service Unit at 503-378-4621.  

Building code updates

Oct.1, 2017 culminated months of code-related work at the Building Codes Division (BCD). Below is a summary of where to find electrical, plumbing and residential code updates.

2017 Electrical Code – effective Oct.1, 2017. The Oregon amendments to the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code are captured in Table 1-E. The table was finalized by the Electrical and Elevator Board at the March 23, 2017 meeting. Download the latest Table 1-E for your electrical inspector staff here.

The 2017 Oregon Residential Specialty Code – required by Jan. 1, 2018. The Residential and Manufactured Structures Board selected a code review committee, then reviewed the proposed 2017 ORSC and finalized a recommendation to the division on May 10, 2017.  A no-cost, read-only version of the 2017 ORSC is available here.

2017 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code – Effective Oct 1, 2017. The State Plumbing Board selected a code review committee that met five times between January and March 2017. The board reviewed the 2017 OPSC and finalized a recommendation to the division on April 20, 2017. A no-cost read-only version of the 2017 OPSC is available here.

Who represents you on the Construction Contractors Board?

The CCB has a new board member and openings for two others. Here's the current lineup and openings.

The newest member of the agency’s nine-member board is Andrea Noble from Central Point. Andrea sits on the Board as a public member, and works at her family’s business which sells heavy equipment. Here’s all your board members:

  • Jim Kitchin, Portland, chair, residential and small commercial contractor.
  • Dylan Bochsler, Stayton, large commercial contractor.
  • Kurt Bolser, Grants Pass, large commercial contractor.
  • Eric Olson, Salem, home inspector and residential contractor.
  • Jim Patrick, Newport, residential and small commercial contractor.
  • Susan Steward, Portland, public member and executive director of Building Owners and Managers Association of Oregon.
  • Andrea Noble, Central Point, public member.

The board currently has two vacancies - one for a residential and small commercial contractor and the other representing public officials. For information on serving, visit the State of Oregon website.