OPUC commissioner Letha Tawney joins Energy Trust board


Commissioner Tawney smiling at the camera

Commissioner Tawney smiling at the cameraEnergy Trust is pleased to welcome Letha Tawney, commissioner at the Oregon Public Utility Commission, as an ex-officio member of its board of directors. Tawney brings extensive knowledge on innovative approaches to clean energy development to the Energy Trust board.

As one of three Oregon Public Utility Commissioners, Tawney regulates the state’s investor-owned electric, gas and telephone utilities. The OPUC also oversees Energy Trust’s investment in energy-efficiency and renewable energy programs on behalf of Oregon customers of Portland General ElectricPacific PowerNW NaturalCascade Natural Gas and Avista customers.

“Energy Trust’s expertise and programs are more valuable than ever as relatively expensive coal power plants close and customers engage with energy differently. There are new needs and opportunities,” said Tawney, who is a resident of Portland. “I look forward to helping the organization continue lowering energy costs for all customers and developing new, innovative approaches to delivering energy efficiency and renewable energy across all of the communities they serve.”

Energy Trust’s board of directors provides strategic and policy direction for the nonprofit organization as it designs and delivers programs that help Oregonians and businesses lower costs, save energy and generate renewable power. As volunteers to the board, Tawney and the other board members offer a range of insight about energy, utilities, construction, agriculture and business, as well as perspectives about rural and urban communities across Oregon.

At the OPUC, Tawney represents Oregon on the Electricity and the Critical Infrastructure committees for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She also serves on the Energy Imbalance Market Board of State Regulators, engaging closely on Western electricity market development, including the growing contribution of renewable power.

Prior to joining the OPUC, Tawney was the Polsky Chair for Renewable Energy at the World Resources Institute, where she focused on expanding access to renewable energy through collaborative approaches taken by utilities, policymakers and businesses. Tawney holds a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Science in business and computer science from George Fox University.

“Letha has deep understanding of the challenges and interests of utilities and utility customers,” said Roger Hamilton, Energy Trust board president. “We look forward to benefiting from her expertise and guidance as we navigate a dynamic market and strengthen our approaches to serving people with low and moderate incomes, communities of color and rural communities.”

Other members currently serving on Energy Trust’s board include Susan Brodahl, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Portland; Melissa Cribbins, Coos County Commission, Coos Bay; Ernesto Fonseca, Hacienda Community Development Corporation, Portland; Roger Hamilton, retired consultant and past OPUC commissioner, Eugene; Lindsey Hardy, Bend Energy Challenge, Bend; Eric Hayes, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Portland; Elee Jen, Energy Performance Engineering LLC, Newberg; Mark Kendall, Kendall Energy, Salem; Debbie Kitchin, InterWorks LLC, Portland; Harry Lorenzen, farmer and partner at Corey, Byler, Rew, Lorenzen and Hojem, Pendleton; Alan Meyer, retired from Weyerhaeuser, Salem; Rolland Risser, retired deputy assistant secretary of Renewable Power at the U.S. Department of Energy, Washington County; and Janine Benner, Oregon Department of Energy. Representatives from the OPUC and the Oregon Department of Energy serve as non-voting board members.

All board meetings are open to the public. View board meeting dates, agendas and materials, including financial audits and performance reports, online at https://www.energytrust.org/about/public-meetings/board-of-directors-meetings/.