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Eastern Oregon businesses kick off 2018 with Strategic Energy Management

Through first-ever Eastern Oregon cohort, Energy Trust teaches businesses to identify, reduce energy waste

PORTLAND, Ore. — January 18, 2018 — On January 23, several Eastern Oregon
organizations will start the year by fulfilling a resolution to save energy and money – funds that
can be redirected to their businesses and communities. They are all part of an innovative
training initiative, Strategic Energy Management (SEM), offered in Eastern Oregon by Energy
Trust of Oregon.

Organizations joining the cohort include:

  • City of Pendleton (Resource Recovery facility, Water Utility and other city buildings)
  • City of Umatilla (Wastewater Treatment Plant, Municipal Water System and other city
  • J&J Snack Foods
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla
  • Wildhorse Casino
  • Blue Mountain Community College
  • Cayuse Technologies

“We’re pleased to launch an SEM cohort in Eastern Oregon,” said Kathleen Belkhayat, program
manager, Energy Trust. “We know that organizations here are ready to take a more strategic
approach to controlling their energy costs, but the technical services and support we provide
haven’t been readily available in this area. Our emphasis on peer-to-peer learning in SEM will
work well with Eastern Oregon’s close-knit business community.”

Cohort member organizations may be new to SEM, but they are all long-time participants of
Energy Trust programs. Whether they have updated processes at water and wastewater
treatment plants, upgraded to more efficient lighting and HVAC systems, or designed highefficiency
new buildings, each of these organizations has made investments to reduce energy
costs and improve the comfort and energy performance of their facilities. Participants are
customers of Pacific Power and Cascade Natural Gas.

Strategic Energy Management is a yearlong training provided at no cost by Energy Trust to
organizations that want to improve energy efficiency. Working with professional energy
coaches, participants will learn to identify energy waste in their facilities and operations, and use
management tools, practices and policies to keep their energy usage and costs as low as

possible. To date, more than 300 Oregon businesses, public agencies and institutions have
taken part in one or more years of SEM training through Energy Trust.
Throughout the year, cohort members create an energy team, attend five workshops and lead
energy efficiency activities at their sites. “The investment of staff time is the only cost to
participants,” said Belkhayat. “Many of our customers are attracted to SEM as a way to provide
technical staff training that would otherwise be quite costly.”

A key element to SEM – and often the most fun part of the program – is when teams begin to
carry the energy efficiency message to those who work in or visit these buildings. “We see some
really creative ideas in how energy champions engage with their colleagues or talk about their
company’s SEM program with the wide range of people who use the building,” said Belkhayat.
“As companies adopt SEM practices, they develop a long-term platform for energy savings that
will help their organizations share their energy achievements while saving on operating
expenses for years to come.”

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, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista save $2.7 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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