Local communities compete and save energy with help from Energy Trust and Portland General Electric

Local communities compete and save energy with help from Energy Trust and Portland General Electric

A unique energy-saving competition championed by local city officials of Banks and North Plains is recognized for energy savings and serving as a model for other communities.

Last year the cities of Banks and North Plains launched a novel approach to energy savings in an effort to help local businesses reduce costs. The two cities agreed to take part in a friendly competition to see which city could become the “Biggest Energy Loser.” The competition unfolded throughout 2012 and more than 25 businesses from the two cities took part. Energy Trust and PGE aided the effort by providing energy-efficiency consultations to identify energy-saving opportunities and available Energy Trust cash incentives. All parties distributed information about the competition through newsletters, annual business license renewal notices, at chamber of commerce events and local farmer’s markets.

When the results were tallied at the end of 2012, the City of North Plains had signed up more businesses for energy-efficiency consultations but participating businesses from the City of Banks saved more energy. The City of Banks achieved the designation of the “Biggest Energy Loser” but both cities were recognized for raising awareness of energy-saving opportunities in businesses. At separate city council meetings, each city was presented with a certificate of completion. “The Banks businesses trimmed a combined total of 79,257 kilowatt hours from their electric bills in 2012 compared to 2011 — enough electricity to power about 88 typical homes for a month,” said Mark Fryburg, PGE’s governmental affairs representative to both cities.

“When community leaders get behind efforts to save energy it can result in savings and sustained business participation over time,” said Ed Wales, government account manager, Energy Trust. “We commend both cities for taking part in this challenge and paving the way for other cities to do the same.”

Along with PGE and Energy Trust, the City of Banks, City of North Plains, Partners for a Sustainable Washington County Community and Adapt Engineering teamed up to make this friendly competition happen. Read a recent Oregonian news article on the competition.

This competition is serving as a model for other communities that are looking for successful and fun ways to encourage energy efficiency and sustainability. The City of Tualatin is currently conducting a Biggest Energy Loser campaign through June.