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2020 Annual Report

Improving Equity

Improving Equity

Enhanced offers based on community input are bringing the benefits of saving and generating energy within reach of more Oregonians.

Improving Industry

Building Partnerships

Collaborations with nonprofits and public agencies result in more successful outreach and participation from customers we haven’t reached in the past.

Improving Business

Helping Communities

From Oregon’s rural towns to urban neighborhoods, communities are partnering with Energy Trust to connect customers with energy opportunities and meet climate and other goals.

Improving Homes

Expanding Innovation

We are working in new ways to meet Oregonians where they are with offers designed to address their needs.

From Our Executive Director

Given all the challenges associated with the pandemic, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy may not seem like an obvious priority. But Energy Trust’s services and support provided some much-needed bill savings for people and businesses. Thanks to upgrades completed in 2020, customers saved a total of $432 million on their utility bills while also protecting our environment by avoiding 270,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

To help customers manage through the challenges of 2020, we redesigned program offers, launched bonuses and new virtual delivery options, and pivoted marketing and outreach efforts. As a result, Energy Trust met our annual goal for electric savings, exceeded our goal for gas savings and far exceeded our goal for renewable energy generation.

As we reflect on 2020, we are mindful that some people and businesses were impacted more severely. Low-wage workers experienced a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 at work and greater economic risks if they chose to stay home. Communities of color were disproportionately sickened. Thousands of Oregonians, mostly in rural parts of the state, faced rebuilding following devastating wildfires. These communities were already among the most vulnerable to economic disruptions. Energy Trust had already been working to prioritize outreach and services to these customers, but 2020 added urgency to our work.

While we all hope 2021 will bring more stability, we know working with customers and communities to recover requires us to become more flexible—to understand and respond faster to customer needs and local efforts to build community health and well-being. To do that, we are expanding our work with community partners to better understand when customer and community objectives align with energy efficiency and renewable energy. We look forward to the creativity and innovation that comes from collaborating in new ways to help customers emerge more resilient than before.

Michael Colgrove

Executive Director

Cumulative and 2020 Results

Our work benefited Oregonians in 2020 and creates lasting impact over time.

Since 2002



Added to Oregon’s economy



Electricity saved and generated


Million Therms

Natural gas saved



Saved on utility bills over time

In 2020



Carbon dioxide avoided


Projects Completed

By local trade ally contractors


Community Organizations

Collaborating to serve customers of color and with low incomes


Homes and Businesses

Completed clean energy upgrades



Cash incentives and services distributed to Oregonians



Provided at no cost to low-income customers through community organizations



Received enhanced incentives for customers based on income


Projects at Schools

Saving money that can be used to serve students

Success Stories

We developed innovative, equitable solutions to help Oregon’s families, businesses and communities achieve their energy goals.

Story 2 Alt 2020 Story 2 Alt 2020

New solar incentives expand access for income-qualified customers


Story 3 Alt 2020 Story 3 Alt 2020

With classrooms empty, schools make energy upgrades during pandemic


Story 4 Alt 2020 Story 4 Alt 2020

Residents find comfort, cost savings in new manufactured homes


Story 5 Alt 2020 Story 5 Alt 2020

Nonprofit accelerates energy investment in rural community


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Goals

In 2020, we completed our 2019-2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Operations Plan to better serve communities of color, customers with low incomes and rural communities.

Increase participation in residential energy efficiency programs in communities of color Provided free Energy Saver Kits, LEDs and smart thermostats to underserved customers

Launched Community Partner Funding with higher incentives for nonprofits
Out-of-pocket costs are a significant barrier to participation

Working with community-based organizations is an investment of time and resources and is essential to increasing participation
Increase participation of small, medium and rural businesses in commercial energy efficiency programs Worked with community service, community-based and culturally specific organizations and rural chambers to reach business customers Adding multilingual staff and partners improves outreach, particularly for Spanish-speaking contractors and customers

Streamlining offers for businesses recovering from the pandemic and wildfires could increase their participation
Increase participation of small, medium and rural businesses in industrial energy efficiency programs Launched incentive increases and bonuses

Launched no-cost tubular LED installation offer in Eastern Oregon and Southern Oregon
Coordinating incentives and outreach between commercial and industrial programs may be an effective way to reach target customers
Increase participation of low-income, rural and racially diverse communities in renewable energy programs Awarded $80,000 in grants to community-based organizations exploring innovative solar project models that benefit underserved customers

Created higher incentives for income-qualified customers
Incorporating more community feedback into program design could enable increased participation from target customers
Increase participation in the Trade Ally Network by minority- and women-owned businessesIncreased memberships and activities with trade organizations

Translated enrollment forms for new trade allies into Spanish
More targeted outreach to explain the benefits of incorporating energy efficiency upgrades into their businesses is key to reaching this segment of trade allies
Increase the number of projects completed by minority- and women-owned trade allies Completed 723 projects with minority-owned businesses and 1,574 projects with women-owned businesses in 2020 Providing leads to minority- and women-owned contractors could help drive project volume and remove barriers to participation
Increase the number of contracts executed with minority- and women-owned businesses Increased communications and outreach to promote contracting opportunities

Included diverse contractor requirements for some contracts
Enhancing tracking systems to improve visibility of smaller contracts and subcontracts can identify gaps to target where we can help more contracts go to minority- and women-owned businesses
Increase overall market awareness and understanding of underserved populations by engaging with culturally specific organizations Formed 20 new relationships and created deeper relationships with 30 organizations

Through these relationships, gained insight into customers’ barriers and gaps in Energy Trust offers
Developing more marketing efforts with community-based organizations and developing more materials in Spanish may increase awareness and reduce participation barriers
Increase the diversity in recruitment and hiring of employees 29% of new hires identified as people of color in 2020

12% of staff identified as people of color
Expanding training opportunities for hiring managers, expanding recruitment and hiring channels and including diverse representation on hiring panels can help ensure hiring of more people of color
Develop systems to collect, track, analyze and report demographic information related to program participation, program delivery and Trade Ally Network Conducted a survey of customers to understand barriers to participation and met oversampling targets for underserved and non-participating customers

Expanded regular participant feedback surveys to include more demographic questions
Energy Trust should continue to explore how to collect participant demographic information for offers where customers are not directly receiving an incentive, such as receiving an instant discount at a retailer
Based on the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale survey, increase cultural responsiveness of all staff and board of directors Staff scored 3.9 out of 5 on Intercultural Effectiveness Scale in 2019 and 2020

Used survey results to select a suite of trainings that address areas of significant growth potential
Exploring other surveys could provide deeper understanding of progress
Report on progress to goals Submitted Q2 and annual diversity, equity and inclusion progress reports to the OPUC and board of directors

Launched a web page describing Energy Trust’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts
Stakeholders value reports on diversity, equity and inclusion activities, results and lessons learned so they can track on progress

2020-2024 Strategic Plan

We have completed the first year of our 2020-2024 strategic plan, making progress in five focus areas and implementing strategies to deliver immediate and long-term clean energy benefits to customers and communities.

Engage customers with relevant energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, information and services, including information and services specifically for underserved customersAchieve our annual savings and generation goals and continue to use multi-year planning processes to identify ambitious longer-term energy targets that incorporate emerging sources of savingsOn track; achieved annual energy goals and prioritized innovative projects and approaches
Meet or exceed the goals we establish to increase the diversity of program participantsOn track, managing; achieved about half of the DEI participation goals
We strengthen the value we deliver to customers by linking energy efficiency and renewable energy to the approaches utilities are using to meet changing customer energy needs Develop a framework to value, deliver, report and evaluate energy efficiency and renewable energy resource opportunities in targeted locations in collaboration with utilitiesOn track; staff began documenting approaches from initial targeted partnerships with utilities
Implement and evaluate initiatives designed to drive customer adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in targeted areasOn track; targeted partnerships with 3 of 5 partner utilities
We provide objective information and analyses to policymakers and implementers to support development and implementation of energy policiesEstablish a system for monitoring regulatory and policy initiatives; contribute data analyses and technical expertise during policy development and participate in policy implementation when there is potential customer benefit related to energy efficiency and renewable energyOn track; internal tracking system established
We maximize the effectiveness and reach of public purpose charge funding by leveraging additional funding to advance clean energy investments that deliver multiple benefitsAcquire more energy savings and renewable generation than would otherwise be achieved with only public purpose charge fundingNot started; development of leveraged funding tracking system underway
Coordinate with more organizations and communities where their additional resources help accomplish mutually supportive objectivesNot started; community partnership tracking system under development
Establish a concept agreement with the OPUC and at least one natural gas utility to assess a joint carbon reduction effortNot started; collaboration with one natural gas utility underway
We enhance our ability to quickly and effectively respond to changes, needs and new opportunitiesAchieve diversity, equity and inclusion goals for employee hiring and recruitment and for the board of directorsOn track; achieved 25% increase in diversity of staff applicants and other activities are underway
Annual surveys indicate that staff are significantly aware of how annual goal setting, business planning and prioritization enables flexible resourcing of existing and new initiativesOn track, managing; staff agreed with 6 of 12 statements in surveys

Transparency & Accountability

We are governed by a volunteer board of directors and overseen by the Oregon Public Utility Commission. Three stakeholder advisory councils guide our work.

Accountable and Transparent
  • Every dollar received and invested is accounted for in monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements.
  • Financial statements are audited annually by an independent auditor. Energy Trust has a perfect track record of unmodified financial audits.
  • Each kilowatt hour and therm acquired is reported in quarterly and annual reports.
  • All major programs are evaluated by a third party.
  • We contract for an independent management audit every five years.
Revenues And Expenditures
  • Revenues totaled $179.2 million.
  • Expenditures totaled $189.5 million.
  • Delivered $103.4 million in incentives, with most of the remainder for delivery of customer services.
  • Maintained acceptable administrative and program support costs at 6.7% ($11.8 million) of revenue.

Measuring 2020 Performance

Category2020 Performance Measures2020 ResultsStatus
PGE efficiencySave at least 23.3 aMW

Exceeded, with 25.7 aMW saved

Levelized cost not to exceed 4.1 cents/kWh

In compliance, levelized cost at 3.9 cents/kWh

Pacific Power efficiencySave at least 15.3 aMW

Exceeded, with 17.5 aMW saved

Levelized cost not to exceed 4.3 cents/kWh

In compliance, levelized cost at 4.2 cents/kWh

NW Natural efficiencySave at least 4.7 million annual therms

Exceeded, with 6.4 million annual therms saved

Levelized cost not to exceed 43 cents/therm

In compliance, levelized cost at 31.8 cents/therm

Cascade Natural Gas efficiencySave at least 0.46 million annual therms

Out of compliance, with 0.43 million annual therms saved

Levelized cost not to exceed 55 cents/therm

In compliance, levelized cost at 42.2 cents/therm

Avista efficiencySave at least 0.33 million annual therms

Exceeded, with 0.41 million annual therms saved

Levelized cost not to exceed 41 cents/therm

In compliance, levelized cost at 36 cents/therm

Renewable energyFor project and development assistance (part 1), deploy at least $1.99 million in non-solar project development assistance incentives; maintain a non-solar project development assistance pipeline in excess of 25 projects; report number of projects served, total dollars spent and summarize project progress through development stages

Out of compliance, paid $1.48 million and committed $1.64 million in project development assistance to 30 projects; the program exceeded the benchmark for number of projects in the pipeline but was short of the benchmark for dollars deployed due to a slowdown in irrigation modernization efforts as a result of the pandemic and limited hydropower potential in some districts

For project and market development assistance (part 2), report annual results, including number of projects supported, milestones met and documentation of results from market and technology perspective

In compliance

Obtain at least 1.9 aMW of installed generation of standard net-metered Solar program projects

In compliance, with 3.09 aMW of installed generation from standard solar projects

For solar projects funded outside of the Solar program’s standard, net-metered incentive offer, report sources of funding for projects and the criteria for selection

In compliance, program did not dedicate funds for custom solar projects in 2020

Financial integrityReceive an unmodified financial opinion from an independent auditor on annual financial statements

In compliance, with an unmodified financial audit opinion for 2020

Administrative/program support costsKeep administrative/program support costs below 8% of annual revenues (no more than $14,189,583)

In compliance, with 2020 administrative and program support costs of 6.7% of annual revenues ($11,771,712)

Administrative/program support cost growth limited to 10% year-over-year increase (no more than $1,322,542)

In compliance, program support cost growth of 7% year-over-year ($771,297)

Staffing expendituresStaffing cost growth is limited to 9% year-over-year increase (no more than $1,262,428)

Out of compliance, with staffing cost growth of 9.8% year-over-year ($1,323,250) due to unused vacation time liability resulting from COVID-19 restrictions; Energy Trust proactively identified this issue and put a management plan in place to bring vacation liability down in 2021

Customer satisfactionDemonstrate greater than 85% satisfaction rates for interaction with program representatives and overall satisfaction

In compliance, with a 98% satisfaction rate for interaction with program representatives and a 96% overall satisfaction rate; results for major programs are averaged to determine satisfaction rates

Benefit/cost ratiosReport utility system and total resource perspective annually. Report significant mid-year changes as warranted in quarterly reports

In compliance, with no mid-year changes

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and market transformationReport annually:
• Savings and costs
• Savings strategies
• Show Energy Trust direction to NEEA through committee membership
• Summary of Energy Trust direction to NEEA
• Summary of NEEA initiatives Energy Trust opts out of and why

In compliance

Diversity, equity and inclusion Implement the data enhancement project as outlined in the 2020 Budget and Action Plan and deliver a minimum of four reports to the Diversity Advisory Council

In compliance, completed the data enhancement project and gave three reports to the Diversity Advisory Council

Implement and publish the DEI Lens project as outlined in the 2020 Budget and Action Plan and approved by the Diversity Advisory Council

In compliance, completed the DEI Lens project that was approved by the Diversity Advisory Council in December 2020

Complete 1,000 projects with trade allies that are minority-owned businesses in 2020

Out of compliance, completed 723 projects with minority-owned trade allies in 2020; many contractors experienced disruptions due to COVID-19 and wildfires; OPUC staff was informed of this in mid-2020

Implement a rural-focused workshop as outlined in the 2020 Budget and Action Plan

In compliance, held a virtual workshop with residents of Umatilla in October 2020