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Energy Trust of Oregon Founding Executive Director Honored with National Award

Margie Harris receives the 2016 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Buildings Award from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

PORTLAND, Ore. — August 24, 2016 — Margie Harris, founding executive director of Energy Trust of Oregon, received an award yesterday from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). She has been named 2016 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Buildings for outstanding achievement and leadership in the energy efficiency field.

The nonprofit ACEEE was founded in 1980 by leading researchers in the energy field. The organization has become known as America’s leading center of expertise on energy efficiency and advances in energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments and behaviors.

“Energy Trust is a great example for states looking to achieve high levels of energy savings, and Margie is a key contributor to that well-earned reputation. Through her tenure, Margie and her team have demonstrated the value of continuous improvement, collaboration and accountability in delivering significant benefits to Oregonians,” said Steve Nadel, executive director, ACEEE. “Margie is a part of the Northwest’s impressive clean energy culture and we are pleased to present her with this award.”

Harris was the first permanent staff member hired by Energy Trust in 2001. Her leadership of Energy Trust drew on a deep background in energy policy and organizational development, supported also from her experience at the Oregon Department of Energy, City of Portland, Arthur Young and Company and TriMet. Margie retired from the executive director position last week after 15 years of service. From its startup phase to operating at full capacity, she led the organization as it diversified and expanded services to 1.5 million electric and natural gas utility customers in Oregon and southwest Washington.

As executive director, Harris established an organization committed to its mission of delivering clean, affordable energy for utilities and their customers. By hiring and retaining talented staff and nourishing a culture of achievement, collaboration and innovation, Harris ensured Energy Trust consistently exceeded aggressive goals and accomplished notable successes in areas of strategic importance. Since it began serving customers in 2002, Energy Trust has:

  • Transformed more than half a million homes and businesses with energy efficiency and renewable power improvements.
  • Delivered 548 average megawatts of electric efficiency savings, 45 million annual therms of natural gas efficiency savings and 119 aMW of renewable energy generation. This is
  • enough low-cost, clean energy to power 516,000 average Oregon homes and heat another 89,000 Oregon homes with natural gas.
  • Generated $4.8 billion in economic benefit for the Oregon economy, including $1.5 billion in wages, $266 million in small business income and employment equivalent to 3,900 full-time jobs lasting a decade.
  • Kept Oregon’s air cleaner by avoiding 17.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equal to removing more than 3 million cars from the roads for a year.

“Oregon is perennially in ACEEE’s top five rankings for energy efficiency, and Energy Trust is one of the major reasons why,” said Debbie Kitchin, president of the board of directors, Energy Trust. “As a result of Margie’s innovative leadership, Energy Trust has created thousands of jobs and helped Oregonians save $2.3 billion on their energy bills. This award is a fitting tribute to her long-standing commitment to create lasting benefits for people, businesses and communities across Oregon.”

Harris accepted the award last night during the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Pacific Grove, California.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications and conferences visit

About Energy Trust of Oregon
Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save $2.3 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.

Category: General News
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