Energy Trust of Oregon saves utility customers $233 million in 2011
Nonprofit spurs unprecedented investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy

PORTLAND, Ore. — August 30, 2012 — Energy Trust of Oregon in 2011 accelerated energy savings and renewable energy generation in Oregon and southwest Washington. Innovative programs helped participating utility customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $233 million on their energy bills in 2011.

Since 2002 Energy Trust services, cash incentives and creative customer engagement strategies supported commercial, industrial, agricultural and residential customers investing in improved lighting and insulation, energy-efficient appliances, equipment and new construction and renewable energy systems like solar and wind.

“We work closely with our allied utilities PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas to help customers meet their energy needs with low-cost energy efficiency and renewable power,” said Margie Harris, executive director, Energy Trust. “Since we started in 2002, we have been offering energy solutions that help customers control costs, reduce energy waste, create more comfortable living and work spaces and generate their own clean, renewable energy.”

“Energy-saving actions we take today lead to lower utility bills, freeing up cash to spend elsewhere, pumping dollars back into the economy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels,” said Harris. “In 10 years of working together with utilities, contractors, customers and others, we’ve shaped a stronger environment and economy for our state.”

Contact Industries, an engineered wood products manufacturer in Prineville, leveraged energy efficiency to counter the hard-hit construction market. A new sawdust collection system reduced the company’s energy needs by 57 percent, and Energy Trust coaching is helping employees keep the savings constant. “Turning off the lights and not letting machinery idle are all no- and low-cost behavioral changes that lead to savings over time,” said Don Siemsen, continuous improvement manager.

Energy Trust delivered on its energy savings and generation goals for 2011. Savings of 46.9 average megawatts of electricity and 5.4 million therms of natural gas exceeded the organization’s ambitious “stretch” goals for both electric and gas efficiency. Oregonians installed a record number of solar electric systems in 2011 — more than 1,300 residential and commercial systems — and committed to build out a long list of biopower, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar projects in 2012 and beyond. The nonprofit saved and generated enough energy in 2011 to equal powering 37,500 average Oregon homes and heating another 10,500 with natural gas for a year.

Energy Trust works with 2,400 trade and professional services contractors, part of an on-theground network that connects customers to its programs and services. Outreach, education, development funds and training from Energy Trust support these independent companies—sustaining jobs and putting dollars to work in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Energy Trust is a nonprofit organization funded by the utility ratepayers of PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas, and is overseen by a volunteer board of directors with input from two advisory councils of industry professionals. Energy Trust’s 2011 annual report is available online at Energy Trust also submits quarterly and annual reports to the Oregon Public Utility Commission, and all reports are available on its website. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.

Amber Cole
Susan Jowaiszas

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