Two new Energy Trust board members bring depth, breadth and diverse points of view

Two new Energy Trust board members bring depth, breadth and diverse points of view


As of February 23, two professionals with rich and varied backgrounds have joined the Energy Trust board: Silvia Tanner of Portland and Peter Therkelsen of Ashland. Both have extensive experience in the energy sector, and both are committed to energy justice and exploring new ways to bring clean and affordable energy to communities underserved by Energy Trust.

Tanner has extensive experience with energy justice issues at the local, state and federal level and is currently a senior energy policy and legal analyst for the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability. In her role, she works on clean energy and addresses how seemingly neutral energy policies can prevent equitable access to energy.

With a Juris Doctor degree from Lewis and Clark Law School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Portland State University, Tanner is passionate about trying to understand how race and income impact a person’s access to affordable and clean energy. An immigrant from Latin America, Tanner works on identifying and addressing barriers that people of color and others who have been underserved by clean energy programs face, and her background gives her a powerful lens to view energy and equity issues.

“I am excited to join the Energy Trust board and contribute to an organization that is key to ensuring a clean and just energy future for Oregonians,” said Tanner.

A resident of Ashland, Peter Therkelsen is deputy of the Building and Industrial Applications Department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he leads research and development of energy efficiency and energy management programs. His research focuses on industrial energy management business practices and policies, and the development and deployment of responsible heat and power technologies.

His perspective is informed by working with energy programs in both urban and rural areas, and at a local, national and global level. Therkelsen holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

“Energy Trust has a critical role in equitably delivering energy efficiency to ensure Oregonians are able to enhance their comfort, competitiveness, and quality of life through the coming energy economy transformation,” said Therkelsen.

Energy Trust’s volunteer board of directors provide strategic and policy direction for the nonprofit organization. Their insight guides Energy Trust programs that help Oregonians and businesses access clean, affordable and equitable energy, increase efficiencies to save energy and lower costs, and generate renewable energy.