Energy Trust of Oregon

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Program Summary:

Launched in 2002, the Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO) is the entity entrusted by the state government of Oregon with the acquisition of energy efficiency resources. Energy efficiency resources are acquired on the state’s behalf from the customers of the state’s four large investor-owned energy supply utilities. The Energy Trust provides an example where energy efficiency acquisition previously undertaken by the supply utilities is now entrusted to a third-party entity, solely focused on administering that mandate and the government’s renewable energy incentive programs. The Trust is known for its dedication to the mission of energy efficiency acquisition and for a history of program innovation, including in the industrial sector. It is also known for its success, even during difficult economic times. ETO provides a matrix of programs, organized by industry and by process, so that it can meet customer needs with tailored technical and financial assistance.  The industrial programs have consistently delivered between 25 and 35% of the total annual electricity savings reported by ETO and focus on providing training and implementation assistance to companies in targeted industries to adopt the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Energy Management System (EnMS).

Program information

Program Type:
Resource Acquisition
Target Group - Size:
Any Size
Target Group - Industry Focus:
Cross Sectoral
in operation
GHG emission source covered:
Natural Gas

Meet load growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through acquisition of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources

Program Funding Source:

"Public Purpose Charge" on consumer electricity and natural gas bills

Total Program Funding:

$122.9 million (2010)

Implementation details

Operating Mechanism:

The agreement between ETO and the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) provides the legal foundation for the ETO to act on the State’s behalf to acquire energy efficiency resources. OPUC provides guidance and sets performance metrics for ETO. It also evaluates ETO’s performance against those goals. OPUC sets the minimum targets for ETO’s delivery of energy efficiency and renewable energy as three-year rolling averages. OPUC also sets minimum targets for the ETO’s natural gas efficiency acquisition program in a similar manner.  ETO provides annual reports to OPUC.

Large utilities  collect fees through energy bills and provide those fees to ETO to conduct programs to acquire energy efficiency and renewable energy resources.

ETO provides training and implementation assistance to companies in targeted industries to adopt the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Energy Management System (EnMS). SEM is not based on a specific EnMS standard
Program Offerings for Industry:

The Energy Trust of Oregon offers a matrix of industrial energy efficiency programs for different industrial customer categories (including large industry, manufacturing and small industry, food processing, high tech, wood products, cold storage, wineries and other industries in 2012), and different program offerings. Depending upon the customer category these offerings include: technical support and incentives for customized project solutions, operations and maintenance improvements, and specific technology adoption programs for compressed air systems, motors and drives, lighting and lighting controls, heating and cooling and a few others in 2012). Specific incentives offered for the given year are listed for each program for each customer category on the Energy Trust’s website.

Custom projects are developed by individual industrial customers working with the Energy Trust’s Program Delivery Contractors and can be quite large. Incentives are paid after project commissioning.

Energy Management System (EnMS) training and implementation assistance is provided to target industry sectors. ETO will pay up to 100% of the cost of assessing opportunities. Program staff help industrial customers:

  • Inventory current practices
  • Identify cost-effective improvements
  • Apply industrial management practices to managing energy use
  • Develop an energy management plan
  • Overcome organizational and financial barriers
  • Cultivate executive sponsors
  • Train energy champions and engage employees
  • Access Energy Trust cash incentives
Supervising Entity:
Public Utility Commission of Oregon
Implementing Entity:
Energy Trust of Oregon
Implementing Entity Type:
Private Non-profit organization
M&V requirements on industry:

Measurement and verification of savings is conducted by the Energy Trust’s Planning and Evaluation Department, which is separate from the program delivery departments. A strong emphasis is placed on productive interaction with planning, aiming for future improvements. Evaluation is expected to focus on problem solving to improve results and to be dynamic, rather than provide only a static snapshot of short term results. Reviews include assessments of actual savings well after project implementation. For example, „True Up Reports” are prepared every year systematically reviewing changes affecting actual performance from projects completed in previous years.

Evaluation of Program:
Evaluation of the program is performed by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC). It judges program success by comparing three-year rolling average energy savings against minimum savings targets. The OPUC also evaluates the effectiveness of energy savings acquisition in terms of cost per kWh saved.

Program flow chart

Program Flow Chart

Oregon flowchart.png

Impacts and Results

31 aMW electricity (*1) 1.8 million therms natural gas (2008-2010 average)
Analytic base for target (or target setting mechanism):

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council's conservation and electric power plans for the overall Northwest Region provide a rigorous analytical framework that provides guidance to electrical utilities of the region as they prepare integrated resources plans (IRPs) to submit to state public utility commissions for approval. The Oregon Public Utility Commission uses  the Council's guidance and works with two investor-owned utilities and ETO to develop its plans.

Savings (recent year):
35 aMW electricity, 3.4 million therms natural gas (2008-2010 average)
Savings (program total):
not reported
Savings (share of overall demand):
ETO industrial programs have consistently delivered 25-35% of total electricity savings from 2007 to 2011. ETO industrial programs delivered 19% of natural gas savings in 2011.
Average unit cost of energy saved:

2.5 cents/kWh saved (2010), 2.9 cents/kWh saved (2011)

$3.2/MMBtu saved (2010), $3.5/MMBtu (2011)

Non-energy benefits (co-benefits):

Not reported

Other useful information


(*1) 1 aMW = 8760 MWh