Who We Are
Delivering energy and cost savings for Oregonians
Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentives, information and services help homeowners, renters, multifamily property owners, farmers, ranchers, businesses of all sizes and types, school districts, cities and counties use less energy, generate clean, renewable power, and protect the environment.
Energy Trust has helped Oregon build a solid foundation for its clean energy future and Oregonians are realizing the associated economic and environmental benefits.
- Direct benefit for participants: Since 2002, utility customers participating in our programs have saved $1.7 billion on their utility bills.
- Long-term savings for all ratepayers: Our energy-efficiency investments will save customers $1.52 billion over time because their utilities didn’t have to invest in other, more costly energy sources.
In addition to energy cost savings, our work delivers significant economic benefits. An independent analysis shows that since 2002, Energy Trust has added $3 billion to Oregon’s economy, including $930 million in wages, $180 million in small business income and 2,500 full-time jobs lasting a decade. Our network of more than 2,700 trade ally contractors and allied professionals contributes to local economies across the state.
With customers, we also expand cleaner air and environmental benefits. Since 2002, 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been avoided—the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from our roads for one year.
To provide comprehensive, sustainable energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy solutions to those we serve.
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.
Energy Trust sets, delivers on and reports progress to annual goals and five-year Strategic Plan goals.
In addition, as part of its oversight of Energy Trust, the Oregon Public Utility Commission has adopted annual performance measures against which to benchmark Energy Trust's performance in 2014.
- Electric efficiency. Save at least 32 average megawatts of electricity annually at no more than 3.2 cents per kilowatt hour levelized for Portland General Electric. Save at least 17.1 aMW of electricity annually no more than 3.7 cents per kWh levelized for Pacific Power.
- Gas efficiency. Save at least 4.53 million therms of natural gas annually no more than 45.3 cents per therm levelized for NW Natural. Save at least 400,000 therms of natural gas annually no more than 52 cents per therm levelized for Cascade Natural Gas.
- Renewable resource development. Report annually on project and market development assistance provided. Obtain at least 0.7 aMW in installed generation of net-metered standard projects, including solar and small wind. For non-solar custom projects incentives, do not exceed $29/allocated megawatt hour (three-year rolling average). Report sources of funding and the selection criteria for innovative and custom solar projects.
- Financial integrity. Earn an unmodified financial audit opinion.
- Program delivery efficiency. Keep administrative and program support costs below 9 percent of annual revenues.
- Customer satisfaction. Achieve at least 85 percent satisfaction rates for customers’ interactions with program representatives and overall satisfaction, as measured by surveys.
- Benefit/cost ratios. Report the benefit/cost ratio for conservation programs based on the utility system perspective and total resource perspective; report any significant mid-year changes in quarterly reports.
View Energy Trust's performance against the 2013 OPUC performance measures.
View our policy and reports page to see all plans and reports.
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.
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:
- Energy conservation in K-12 schools delivered through school districts
- Low-income housing energy assistance delivered through Oregon Housing and Community Services
- 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.
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 energy savings for their customers—avoiding the need to purchase more expensive electricity.