What keeps your lights on?
The Oregon Department of Energy has launched an interactive tool to help Oregonians see what’s powering their homes and businesses. People across the state can use the agency’s comprehensive Electricity Resource Mix web page to find specific information about the energy sources Oregon’s electric utilities use to provide electricity to their customers.
According to a prepared statement: “Public and private utilities rely on different types and amounts of energy resources to deliver electricity,” said Janine Benner, ODOE director and ex officio member of Energy Trust’s board of directors. “With our new interactive tool, we’re offering Oregonians a more detailed view of how each Oregon utility company keeps the lights on.”
An evolving mix of resources
The Electricity Resource Mix highlights the increasing diversity of resources powering the state, which is important as more renewable energy comes online to meet Oregon’s 50 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2040. While most of the state’s electricity comes from hydropower, coal and natural gas, Oregon also gets electricity from nuclear power produced in Washington state and a host of renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Wind and solar in particular make up an increasingly larger share of Oregon’s resources—a trend that is expected to continue.
Support for clean energy and efficiency
A successful renewable energy project involves designing a new system, navigating the permitting process, hiring and managing construction contractors, securing financing and more. Energy Trust provides expert support at every step of the way to help Oregon’s homeowners, business owners, public entities and nonprofits finance and build small-scale renewable energy systems. We do this by connecting customers with incentives and tax credits, referring them to qualified contractors, providing technical reviews of designs and verifying systems after they’re installed. Although too small in scale to visibly impact the energy circles above, more than 10,000 clean energy systems supported by Energy Trust now generate power across Oregon.
Energy efficiency is also part of the story. Though not a source of generation, efficiency reduces the amount of generation needed. (The circles in the above graphic would be larger without it!) Energy efficiency remains the least expensive energy resource Oregonians can buy at just a fraction of the cost they would pay for other energy sources. Energy Trust is dedicated to serving utility customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista with energy-saving solutions. By investing in cost-effective energy-efficiency projects in homes and businesses, we help utilities avoid having to invest in additional generation, transmission, distribution or fuel purchases to meet customer energy needs—keeping overall energy costs for utility ratepayers lower than they otherwise would have been.