A Positive Return for Oregon
We offer smart energy solutions that make it easier and more affordable for people and businesses to save energy and generate renewable power.
Our investments in energy efficiency help keep energy costs as low as possible for utility customers—leading to valuable and sustainable economic benefits for Oregon like jobs and new business income.
By supporting smaller-scale renewable energy systems, we can use homegrown clean energy to power homes, businesses and the electric grid—improving our environment by avoiding carbon dioxide emissions.
Three-Tiered Investment Focus
With a commitment to keep internal costs low and ratepayer benefits high, we focus our investments on:
1. Saving cost-effective energy efficiency—Energy efficiency is one of the most affordable resources to power, light and heat our buildings and homes. When Energy Trust provides a cash incentive for an energy-saving improvement, customers know their investment will pay off in a reasonable amount of time. Like many programs nationwide, we use cost-effectiveness tests to guide us in determining when to offer an incentive and the amount of the incentive. Learn more about our cost-effectiveness guidelines and tests »
2. Funding for small-scale renewable energy systems and grid-connected technologies—Oregonians have access to nearly every renewable energy source and we support their efforts to harness that energy. We offer early project development assistance and installation incentives to reduce the above-market costs — the difference between the value of the power produced by a renewable energy project and what it costs to produce the power from the project — of small-scale renewable generation from rooftop solar, hydropower, biopower, and some instances of wind and geothermal. These systems are small-scale and less than 20 megawatts in size.
We also invest in distribution system-connected technologies that deliver reliability, resilience and integration of renewable energy resources with the grid, such as battery storage and smart inverters, in addition to generation. At least 25% of our renewable energy revenues are invested in activities, resources and technologies that serve low- and moderate-income customers, including technologies that do not have above-market costs.
Our incentive lowers above-market costs, the difference between the value of the power produced by a renewable energy project and what it costs to produce the power from the project. The board sets Energy Trust’s above-market cost policy and approves large incentive contracts. For some projects, we also receive a share of the Renewable Energy Certificates, to hold in trust for the customers who helped fund the project.
Renewable energy projects help reduce energy costs, support local economies and help develop the electricity grid of tomorrow.
3. Transforming markets to offer more energy-efficient products and services—Through ongoing collaboration with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, we aim to make energy-efficient products, services and behaviors standard practice. Utility customers benefit when they purchase energy-efficient appliances, equipment, and newly constructed buildings. Read more about our work with NEEA »