Energy Trust released its 2018 annual report this week, which highlights our overall performance in serving customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas, and Avista. For the 16th year in a row, Energy Trust helped meet customer energy needs with the cheapest energy efficiency resources available and supported Oregon customers’ investment in clean, renewable power.
In 2018, Energy Trust supported energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations at more than 48,000 Oregon and Southwest Washington homes, businesses, factories and farms. These customers received more than $94 million in incentives, technical assistance, industry expertise and customer services, that enable customers of all size get the most out of their energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
From 2002 to 2018, the economic and public benefits from our work continue to shine. In this time, Energy Trust has helped customers save $7.7 billion on their utility bills over time, thanks to energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. An additional $7.3 billion has been added to our economy in the form of jobs and wages across many industry sectors.
The benefits also extend to the region’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Thanks to our utility partners’ and customers’ commitment to clean energy, their Energy Trust projects have helped avoid more than 29 million tons of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to removing 6 million cars from the road for a year!
The benefits of our investments don’t accrue to just the customers installing the projects. When we save energy, the utilities do not need to generate, purchase or distribute it to meet the energy needs of their customers. This helps reduce energy costs for everyone. For every $1 we invest in energy efficiency, utility customers will save nearly $3. But the people who participate directly receive additional benefits through lowering energy bills at their home or business.
Our focus on helping underserved customers benefit
Not everyone experiences the same opportunity to participate in our programs so far. Therefore, to help ensure everyone can benefit from direct participation, in 2018 we established 10 diversity, equity and inclusion goals for 2019 and 2020. These goals challenge us to identify customers who are not participating in our programs, explore new program designs to reach those customers, establish relationships with organizations who work with and represent those customers, and better reflect the communities we serve in our staffing, governance and procurement.
Energy Trust is already moving in the right direction. The annual report features some of our innovative new approaches to ensure that underserved communities benefit directly from our work. This includes an initial collaboration with a nonprofit to reach low-income residents with no-cost upgrades and a pilot that leverages multiple funding streams to replace manufactured homes with new, efficient models.
Energy Trust is launching even more new program designs in 2019 to achieve our diversity, equity and inclusion goals and adapt to our rapidly changing industry. These goals will be top-of-mind as we develop our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, which will guide us in navigating challenges and opportunities in service to our customers and to the State of Oregon.
Read the full 2018 annual report and customer stories at www.energytrust.org/annualreport. This year’s report features stories about residents saving money on their energy bill, solar grants to support low- and moderate-income customers benefit from renewable energy, family grocers and commercial food producers who invested in energy efficiency and saved money at the same time, and a local school whose energy usage can be covered by its solar system on campus. Stories about how irrigation upgrades have helped farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon and how a tribal health clinic serves its community’s commitment to wellness and sustainability are just a few of the thousands of homes, businesses, factories and farms that have are benefiting from Energy Trust services across Oregon and Southwest Washington.