Over the last few years, Marion County businesses and residents continued their steady pace of energy-saving investments—immediately benefiting from long-lasting energy and utility bill reductions. Customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and NW Natural accessed Energy Trust services and incentives, and called upon some of the 70 Energy Trust trade ally contractors in the area to install high-performance lighting, upgrade water heating and HVAC systems and install solar electric systems.
In 2012 alone, Energy Trust distributed $4.2 million in incentives to help utility customers in the county save energy at approximately 9,000 residences, businesses and industrial facilities. In addition, 67 solar electric systems were installed on homes and businesses last year, bringing the total number of Energy Trust-incented solar systems on Marion County roofs to 298.
Altogether, the county saved and generated 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 400,000 therms of natural gas last year. That’s equivalent to the amount of energy needed to power 1,800 homes and heat another 800 homes with natural gas.
Among those participating with Energy Trust are three agricultural businesses that installed variable frequency drives on irrigation pumps. Along with better control and flexibility, the pumps are saving Alpha Nursery of Salem $715 on annual utility costs, Roselawn Seed of Hubbard $2,300 annually and Hendricks Farms of Stayton $1,418 annually.
Salem Hospital (pictured) installed energy-efficient lighting in 2009. Willamette University, another Energy Trust participant, accessed Energy Trust early design assistance and cash incentives when constructing Ford Hall, a four-story, 48,799-square-foot academic building that achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® Gold rating.