Funding 17 Years of Affordable Energy
Energy Trust funding comes exclusively from utility customers and is invested on their behalf in lowest-cost energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. Our investment of $1.8 billion since 2002 will save customers $7.7 billion on their utility bills over time.
Where Our Funding Comes From
As a result of state legislation, tariffs and other requirements, Energy Trust is funded by customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista. Customers of these five utilities pay a small, dedicated percentage of their utility bills to support a variety of energy-efficiency and renewable energy services and programs in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Building block 1: SB 1149
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 the Oregon Department of Energy
- Low-income weatherization and 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
Building block 2: SB 838
Passed in 2007, SB 838 allows PGE and Pacific Power to fund beyond the 3 percent public purpose charge to acquire all achievable, cost-effective energy efficiency. The additional funding is determined annually by Energy Trust and each utility as part of Energy Trust’s budgeting and ties into the utility’s integrated resource planning. These funds are for acquiring cost-effective energy conservation at sites using less than one average megawatt of electricity per year.
Building block 3: Natural gas tariffs
Energy Trust administers gas conservation programs for Oregon residential and business customers of NW Natural (as of 2003), Cascade Natural Gas (as of 2006) and Avista (as of 2017). In 2009, Energy Trust began serving NW Natural’s customers on industrial rate schedules. That same year, an agreement with NW Natural and the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission led to Energy Trust expanding into Washington to serve NW Natural’s customers in Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties.
Revenues Deliver the Cheapest, Cleanest Energy
Annual funding amounts are set in coordination with our affiliated utilities during the public budget process:
How the Money Is Invested
Energy Trust administers these utility customer funds and delivers services and programs to help all types of customers invest in improvements that save electricity and natural gas and install new renewable energy systems. Read more >