Who We Are

Delivering affordable, clean energy for 1.5 million utility customers

Energy Trust information, technical services, engineering studies, cash-back incentives and contractor connections help homeowners, renters, multifamily property owners, small and large businesses, manufacturers, farmers, school administrators and other customers use less energy, generate renewable power, and protect the environment.

We serve Oregon customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Cascade Natural Gas, and Oregon and Washington customers of NW Natural. Whether a small project or a large investment, we work with customers to help them move along the path to cheaper, cleaner energy. Since 2002, customers’ energy-saving and renewable power projects have put money back into their pockets and grown Oregon’s clean energy economy:

  • 600,000 sites transformed through energy-efficiency and renewable energy in Oregon and southwest Washington.
  • $2.3 billion saved on participant utility bills so far; over time, these savings will grow to reach $5.6 billion.
  • $4.8 billion into the economy, including $1.5 billion in wages, $226 million in small business income and 3,900 full-time jobs lasting a decade.
  • $3 in savings for all customers with every $1 spent. Energy efficiency is the lowest-cost energy we can buy and saves customers money by utilities not needing to invest in other, costlier sources of energy.
  • Cleaner air by avoiding 17.4 million tons of carbon dioxide, equal to removing more than 3 million cars from the roads for one year. (See our methodology)

Our purpose

To provide comprehensive, sustainable energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to those we serve.

Our vision

A high quality of life, a vibrant economy and a healthy environment and climate for generations to come, built with renewable energy, efficient energy use and conservation.

Our goals

We report to the Oregon Public Utility Commission and board of directors progress to annual goals and five-year Strategic Plan goals. All reports are posted online and available to the public on our reports page.

Read the 2015 annual report to see our achievement to annual goals and OPUC minimum performance measures.

2016 Goals

  • Electric efficiency: Save at least 55.1 average megawatts, aMW, through a combination of residential, commercial and industrial programs
  • Gas efficiency: Save at least 6 million annual therms of natural gas through a combination of residential, commercial and industrial programs
  • Renewable energy generation: Generate at least 4.13 aMW of a combination of solar, biopower, wind, hydropower or geothermal energy
  • Efficiency targets by utility: Save at least 33.19 aMW in PGE territory, 19.93 aMW in Pacific Power territory, 5.41 million annual therms in NW Natural territory and 0.43 million annual therms in Cascade Natural Gas territory

In addition, as part of its oversight of Energy Trust, the OPUC has adopted 2016 annual performance measures against which to benchmark Energy Trust's performance, including energy savings, renewable resource development, financial integrity, program delivery efficiency and customer satisfaction measures.

Our history

In 1999, Oregon lawmakers and citizens envisioned a future with Oregon homes and businesses powered by clean, affordable energy. They established stable, consistent funding to help Oregonians invest in energy efficiency and renewable resources. A new nonprofit organization—Energy Trust of Oregon—was created to lead the way.

Energy Trust began operation in March 2002, charged by the OPUC with investing in cost-effective energy efficiency, helping to pay the above-market costs of renewable energy resources, delivering services with low administrative and program support costs and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

Customers of four utilities in two states now fund and directly benefit from Energy Trust programs.

Our funding

Through state legislation, tariffs and other requirements, Energy Trust is funded by customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas. Customers of all four utilities pay a dedicated percentage of their utility bills to support a variety of energy-efficiency and renewable energy services and programs.

As a result of a 1999 energy restructuring law, Oregon's two largest electric investor-owned utilities (PGE and Pacific Power) are required to collect a 3 percent “public purpose charge” from their customers. The funds support:

  1. Energy conservation in K-12 schools delivered through school districts
  2. Low-income housing energy assistance delivered through Oregon Housing and Community Services
  3. Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for residential and business customers delivered through Energy Trust, an independent, third party approved by the OPUC in 2001

In addition to its work under the 1999 energy restructuring law, Energy Trust administers gas conservation programs for Oregon residential and business customers of NW Natural (as of 2003) and Cascade Natural Gas (as of 2006). In 2009, through an agreement with NW Natural and the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, Energy Trust began serving NW Natural's customers in Washington. Starting in 2017, Energy Trust will serve Oregon customers of Avista.

The last piece of Energy Trust funding is separate legislation passed in 2007 that allows PGE and Pacific Power to work with Energy Trust on capturing more low-cost electric efficiency for their customers—avoiding the need to purchase more expensive electricity.