State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



31.5Scored out of 50Updated 12/2022
State Government
Score: 4.5 out of 5.5
State Government Summary List All

The state offers a variety of financial incentives for energy-efficient investments, including PACE financing. The state government leads by example by requiring energy-efficient public buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use, and encouraging energy savings performance contracts. Researched focused on energy efficiency takes place at several institutions in the state.

Financial Incentives List All

The state of Oregon offers the following financial incentives to encourage energy efficiency improvements:

  • Industrial Self Direct of Public Purpose Funds
  • State Home Oil Weatherisation Program
  • Oregon Clean Vehicle Rebate Program
  • 1149 Public Schools Program
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund

Further financial incentive information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Oregon). In addition to these state-funded incentives, Oregon has enabled commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has one active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Last Reviewed: August 2022

Equity Metrics and Workforce DevelopmentList All

OHCS leads research with Oregon State University to determine the energy burden of low-income households by race. An ArcGIS map was developed to demonstrate the needs of BIPOC communities demonstrating where Oregon can and should focus its efforts. OPUC's work plan in response to EO 20-04 includes an extensive list of activities for working with impacted communities. Under OPUC COVID Impacts workshop series, the OPUC is engaging on opportunities to provide expanded low-cost energy efficiency services and increasing access to rooftop solar for low-income customers.

ODOE has adopted a strategic plan featuring an imperative to “build practices and processes to achieve inclusive and equitable outcomes.” Implementation of the strategic plan is underway. OPUC applies annual "diversity, equity, & inclusion" performance metrics to Energy Trust. These metrics are updated annually. The metrics for 2021 are:

  • Implement a supplier diversity tracking system as outlined in the 2021 Budget and Action Plan.
  • Develop a trade ally dashboard to track diverse spend in trade ally activities with stakeholder participation.
  • Complete implicit bias training for all hiring managers.

Workforce Development

Oregon's Ten-Year Plan: Reducing the Energy Burden in Oregon Affordable Housing. Oregon Health and Community Service's (OHCS) Low-income Weatherization Program (LIWP) initiated a workforce development strategy to support the needs of low-income multifamily projects in Oregon. OHCS is completing a plan now for workforce development plans in Oregon, identifying the construction-related trades that need the most assistance, identifying geographic areas in Oregon needing the most assistance, and ways to best leverage current efforts to help address labor shortages in the trades.

House Bill (HB) 2021 establishes an ambitious emissions-based clean energy framework for electricity providers in Oregon. The bill requires the state’s large investor-owned utilities (IOUs), Pacific Power and Portland General Electric, and electricity service suppliers (ESSs) to decarbonize their retail electricity sales by 2040 in a manner that provides direct benefits to local communities to the extent practicable.

Section 26 of the bill outlines responsible contractor labor standards which includes establishing and executing a plan for outreach, recruitment and retention of women, minority individuals, veterans and people with disabilities to perform work under the contract, with the l target of having at least 15 percent of total work hours performed by individuals in one or more of those groups; and having policies in place that are designed to limit or prevent workplace harassment and discrimination and that promote workplace diversity, equity and inclusion for communities who have been underrepresented in the clean energy sector, including women, veterans and Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

Last Reviewed: July 2021

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of Oregon does not yet have carbon pricing policies in place.

Per HB 3543, Oregon does have a non-binding statewide emissions reduction goal in place, specifically to reduce emissions 75% by 2050 (baseline year 1990).

Last Reviewed: September 2022

Building Energy Disclosure List All

Oregon has a Statewide Building Energy Scoring administrative rule for commercial and residential buildings. OAR 330--63-0000 describes the requirements for any scoring activities in the state. The City of Portland has mandatory disclosure for commercial buildings more than 20,000 sq. ft. For residential single family, a Home Energy Score is required at time of real estate listing. Mandatory scoring began in 2018 and more than 10,000 homes have been scored. Portland requires compliance with state Rule for scoring. State rule requires the USDOE Home Energy Score, but entities may adapt the outptut of the USDOE tool to localize the look of the scorecard. Rule requires local utility prices and energy GHG content be on each score. Residential scores are also available by utility score provider in Eugen, OR, Eugene Water and Electric Board, the first USDOE Home Energy Score Partner in the state. The Oregon Department of Energy is also a USDOE Home Energy Score Partner and operates a state-wide voluntary scoring program via in-market quality control contracts and state contactor board-licensed home in-market energy score energy assessors. There are about 200 licensed assessors in Oregon. In 2018, several other Oregon communities expressed interest in local ordinances for home and commercial scoring as part of their Climate Action Plans. These communities are moving through the process to create scoring programs.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Public Building Requirements List All

The mandated State Energy Efficiency Design Program (SEED) requires that all state facilities constructed on or after June 30, 2001, exceed the energy conservation provisions of the Oregon State Building Code by at least 20 percent. New state construction and major renovations undergo a comprehensive energy analysis and review process, administered by the Oregon Department of Energy, to evaluate performance compared to this target.

A 2017 Executive Order implemented new requirements for carbon neutral operation for new state buildings, statewide plug load strategy, energy efficiency equipment procurement requirement, and life cycle cost analysis. All existing state-owned buildings must undergo retrofits and remodels to meet high performance energy use targets based on ASHRAE Standard 100. In addition, state-owned buildings permitted after January 1, 2022, and used primarily as office or other commercial work space must operate as carbon-neutral buildings following ASHRAE standard 189.1. DAS and ODOE developed and implemented a statewide plug-load management strategy to encourage occupant behavior changes to reduce energy uses not regulated by codes and standards. Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services and Department of Energy developed agency procurement guidelines incorporating equipment energy and water use requirements to drive purchase of the most efficient equipment. ODOE developed a life cycle analysis tool to analyze state building costs, including lifecycle energy and water use costs or savings, when considering energy and water measure upgrades for state buildings.

Progress and specifics on EO requirements can be found here. These include:

Many agencies are participating in Strategic Energy Management initiatives, with an emphasis on building-level data to effectively prioritize retrofits. 21 state agencies are currently using EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager to report energy use data. Oregon Administrative Rule 330-130-0080 requires state agencies to report their energy use to the Oregon Department of Energy. ODOE uses this data to benchmark facilities, identify potential energy efficiency investments, and create annual reports to agencies about their energy use in comparison to target performance. Oregon Department of Energy conducts outreach, training, and resources to local jurisdictions interested in commercial building benchmarking policies and ordinances. Based on ODOE's ongoing data gathering and Portfolio Manager reporting of state buildings, the state has benchmarked 312 buildings, or over 17.5 million square feet.

ODOE pulls reports from the Portfolio Manager database to prepare a biennial State Energy Efficient Design report to the State Legislature as required by ORS 276.915(9). SEED was originally established in 1991 as a result of Oregon State law, ORS 276.900-915. This law directs state agencies to work with the Oregon Department of Energy to ensure cost-effective energy conservation measures are included in new and renovated public buildings.

Oregon’s Green Energy Technology mandate requires all new construction or major renovations of public buildings invest 1.5 percent of project cost in green energy technologies such as energy efficiency or renewable energy systems.

ORS 276.900 requires state facilities that will be constructed or purchased by authorized state agencies be designed, constructed, renovated, and operated so as to minimize the use of nonrenewable energy resources and to serve as models of energy efficiency. University system policy requires that new construction in the higher education system meet at minimum LEED silver standards.

Schools in Portland General Electric and Pacific Power territory are eligible for the Public Purpose Charge Program (2002). As part of the Public Purpose Charge Program, school districts receive funds to conduct energy audits of their educational facilities and to implement those audits. These school districts report their energy usage data for their educational facilities into a secure online Schools Interactive Database. School districts hire energy audit firms to analyze potential energy conservation measures at their educational facilities. ODOE reviews the energy audit reports for consistency and accuracy to provide the school districts with their energy efficiency opportunities. ODOE facilitates the administration of the program and provides assistance to school districts to help them make informed energy efficiency investments.

Last Reviewed: August 2022

Fleets List All

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services (the agency responsible for managing Oregon’s public agency vehicle fleet) has set a specific target for a 10% increase in average fleet miles-per-gallon by 2020, from a 2007 baseline. This target is included as an official Key Performance Metric (KPM) in the agency's Annual Performance Progress Report. According to Oregon's 2019 progress report, the 2019 average fleet miles-per-gallon average efficiency of 20.84 mgp was sufficient to exceed the target with an 11.3% increase over the 18.73 mpg, 2007 baseline. DAS has proposed updating this KPM to achieve another 10% increase in efficiency over the 2019 value by 2030. This proposed change is expected to be accepted by the Legislative Fiscal Office.

Additionally, the Oregon Department of Administrative Service’s Statewide Fleet Management Policy (#107-009-040) discusses fleet efficiency in two sections:

  • Regarding the efficient and economical use of state vehicles, underutilized vehicles are subject to reassignment or sale, and high-efficiency vehicles are prioritized for high-usage scenarios, where their comparative efficiency produces the greatest gains. 
  • For purchasing new vehicles, by 2025, a minimum of 25 percent of new light-duty state fleet purchases and leases for applicable uses, to the extent available, will be Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV). If not available, then Alternate-fuel or Hybrid vehicles meeting the U.S. Energy Policy Act (EPACT) requirements. If not available, then Low-Emission (LEV) II standard gas vehicles. If not available, then standard gas vehicles.
  • Agencies must encourage adoption of ZEV’s and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by setting internal policies and processes such that, where a ZEV or LEV will work for state business travel needs, a ZEV or LEV will be the employee’s first choice. This applies to all state-owned vehicles, leased vehicles, or rental vehicles.
  • Agencies will follow DAS and Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) recommendations for the purchase of the most economically feasible ZEV options. However, on a limited basis, agencies may invest in higher cost, newer types of ZEVs that may not have a favorable ROI in order to test emerging vehicle technologies.
  • Wherever possible and economically feasible, agencies will replace Internal Combustion Engine vehicles with ZEV or LEV options.

While not efficiency-focused, the Oregon Department of Energy had been recognized for its alternative fuel efforts.

In 2019, HB 1044 was signed into law which has unfunded mandates for state fleet electrification. HB 1044 requires that by 2025, 25% of all new light duty vehicles in the state fleet should be zero emmission vehicles.

Last Reviewed: August 2022

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

The Oregon Department of Energy maintains a number of resources on an ESPC web page. The web page contains tools to guide choices, including a qualified ESCO list, energy use index calculator, audit guide, and an ESPC Contracting Guidebook. ESCO audits for K-12 Public Schools qualify for reimbursement under Oregon’s 1149 Public Purpose Charge funded Energy Efficient Schools program, if they are carried out to that standard. There are different rules for state agencies, who must work with a qualified ESCO from the ODOE list and also comply with State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) statutory requirements (ORS 276.900) when implementing a project.

Last Reviewed: July 2020

Research & Development List All

VertueLab, formerly Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center, is an independent, nonprofit organization established by the Oregon legislature to help Oregon businesses compete globally by transforming and commercializing university research into new technologies, services, products, and companies. VertueLab shares research facilities for study of energy-efficient buildings as well as providing energy-efficiency research grants.

The University of Oregon Energy Studies in Building Laboratory conducts research on buildings and related transportation to develop strategies for maximum energy efficiency in new materials, components, assemblies, and whole buildings.

The Baker Lighting Lab at University of Oregon provides support and opportunities for the exploration of light design ideas. Among other facets, it studies daylighting and the control of these systems.

Portland State University’s Green Building Research Laboratory is a facility where researchers work to solve the fundamental and applied research questions related to indoor and urban air quality, sustainable buildings, and human exposure to air pollution.

The Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable energy. In the area of energy efficiency, the Trust runs programs to field test emerging technologies.

The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) is a university transportation center, based at Portland State University. It is a partnership between Portland State University, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the Oregon Institute of Technology. The group supports innovation through advanced technology, integration of land use and transportation, and healthy communities. OTREC has teamed up with Portland-based Green Lite Motors to bring a 100 mile-per-gallon vehicle closer to market.

Oregon State University’s Nexus of Energy, Water and Agriculture Laboratory studies the physical, operational and geospatial connections in the energy-water-food nexus.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Score: 6 out of 12
Buildings Summary List All

The state's residential building code is equivalent to the 2018 IECC, while the commercial building code utilizes ASHRAE 90.1-2019. The state has completed a variety of activities to ensure compliance, including establishing a stakeholder advisory board. Utilities are involved in code compliance efforts.

Residential Codes List All

Oregon’s Building Code Division (BCD) produces Chapter 11 of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) which is mandatory statewide. The 2021 ORSC has been effective since April 1st, 2021, with a 6-month phase-in period. The ORSC is a homegrown code fully compatible with the IECC, which includes a mandatory additional efficiency package pathway for envelope efficiency and equipment. Significant changes found in the 2021 ORSC include locating HVAC ducts inside the thermal envelope or deeply burying them, a 10% reduction in window U-value, prescriptive air sealing requirements, and mandatory balanced whole-house ventilation. High-efficiency lighting is also required with exceptions for up to (2) two interior and (2) exterior fixtures. Those fixtures must be on automated control which equates to approximately 98% of lighting fixtures being high efficiency.

US Department of Energy (BECP Program) has certified the 2021 ORSC to be better than the 2018 IECC.

Part of the residential code update process is a target in an Executive Order from 2017 (EO 17-20) that includes equivalent performance to the Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) by October 1, 2023. An Executive Order issued last year (EO 20-04) builds on EO 17-20 and provide an aggressive target for both Residential and Commercial codes to be 60% better than the baseline year of 2006, by the year 2030. Oregon is on track to meet these goals. The Oregon Building Codes division has announced that work will begin on the 2023 ORSC. BCD will work with the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board (RMSB) and statewide stakeholders starting in July 2022.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Commercial Code List All

The Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) produces Chapter 13 of the 2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (2019 OSSC) which now utilizes ASHRAE 90.1-2019 as the energy efficiency construction standards. Chapter 13 is also known as the 2021 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (2021 OEESC). It is mandatory statewide and has been effective since April 1st, 2021, with a 6-month phase-in period. To demonstrate compliance with Part I of the energy code, Construction documents for new buildings shall include the Oregon Zero Energy Ready Compliance Form, including a ZERO Code Calculator report. Minor amendments to ASHRAE 90.1-2019 are primarily for integration with the building code administrative provisions. A few amendments allow for Oregon marketplace trade offs which neither increase nor decrease site regulated efficiency. Oregon intends to update Chapter 13 of the OSSC with ASHRAE 90.1 as the construction standards when the DOE makes its ‘Determination’ and COMcheck has updated each cycle.

The commercial code update process is part of a target in EO 17-20 which includes equivalent performance for aspects of ASHRAE 189.1 by October 1, 2022. The Executive Order from last year (EO 20-04) builds on EO 17-20 and provide an aggressive target for Commercial codes to be 60% better than the baseline year of 2006, by the year 2030. Oregon is on track to meet this goal. BCD will begin working with the Commercial and Industrial Energy Board (CIEB) and statewide stakeholders to begin work on the adoption process of ASHRAE 90.1-2022 within 180 days of its publication ( 

Last reviewed: July 2022

Compliance List All
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: 
    • Commercial: On October 16, 2019 Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) completed the Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies (Report #E19-392) for 2019 Oregon New Commercial Construction. The report indicates that “The final study group consisted of 46 buildings, representing 28% of the overall floor area of potential building stock that could be surveyed” and “using the overall subcategory view (items such as HVAC efficiency, building heat loss rate, lighting power density, etc.) we found that 90% of all the subcategory items complied” and “mechanical system efficiency complied in well over 90% of the cases.”
    • Residential: In August of 2020, PNNL (through TRC Companies and NEEA) completed the Oregon Residential Energy Code Field Study. The report indicates that “the project team visited 162 homes at various stages of construction, resulting in a data set based on observations made directly in the field” and that the “analysis of the collected field data indicates average regulated energy use intensity (EUI) of 23.92 kBtu/ft2-yr statewide compared to 23.86 kBtu/ft2-yr for homes exactly meeting minimum prescriptive energy code requirements.” The difference of 0.06 EUI equates to a 0.0025% difference from code baseline. 
  • Utility Involvement: Utility programs are encouraged by regulators via guidance to market transformation efforts to assist with quality assurance in new home programs. Oregon has a statewide building code, and the state provides training to and certification of building officials and enforcement where officials fail to enforce code. Utilities provide incentives for above code compliance and training of contractors and building owners (BPA utilities; IOUs through the Energy Trust of Oregon). Through NEEA, utilities directly support market transformation, training, and compliance with energy codes. Utility program implementers participate in code proposal development. Oregon's compliance rates are such that direct utility program intervention in jurisdictional quality control is not a need. However, NEEA, which is utility-funded, sponsors energy code training, development, compliance studies, and planning, in coordination with state agencies and other stakeholders. Energy savings from NEEA energy code programs are distributed/credited to the funding utilities. The Oregon PUC allows energy savings from code and code compliance to be included in utility IRP energy efficiency savings. The major investor-owned utility programs (gas and electric) are operated by the Energy Trust of Oregon, and the IOUs also support NEEA. The PUC and governing board oversight verify that programs support code compliance and work toward advancing codes.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NEEA operates a regional code collaborative, with regularly scheduled meetings and cooperative deliverables to help align/compare codes in the region. Oregon also works closely with the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) on codes and standards opportunities. Also, the Construction Industry Energy Board (CIEB) is a Governor-appointed board in Oregon that includes stakeholders from other building code boards (Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical, Residential, Structures, and the Oregon Department of Energy). The function of the CIEB is to facilitate state building code compliance related to energy efficiency, evaluate building code standards, and advise and provide recommendations to the state agency responsible for code administration (Department of Consumer and Business Services, Building Codes Division). Finally, Executive Order from 2017 (EO 17-20) established Built Environment Efficiency Working Group (BWEEG) a workgroup that is providing additional input to pertinent stakeholders.
  • Training/Outreach: ODOE operates a codes hotline for commercial and residential code compliance and provides a series of industry trainings each year. BCD provides the primary outreach and training for all building officials. In order to maintain their certification to work in Oregon, building officials must complete code change training courses. In April of 2021, BCD provided mandatory code update training for code officials via recorded webinars due to COVID-19. Since these are hosted on the BCD webpage, they are available for anyone to view, not just building officials. The Division has staff dedicated to answering email and phone inquiries from building officials and the public regarding the energy codes. They answer approximately 1,000 calls annually from these stakeholders. Statewide Interpretation Requests are issued via the Division should there be a code question, allowing for consistent code application in every jurisdiction. For the remainder of the market (contractors, builders, engineers, architects, etc.), the Oregon Home Builders Association conducts outreach and training to homebuilders the Oregon Department of Energy provides training and a code hotline to builders, designers, industry and other stakeholders. OHBA and ODOE programs are supported by NEEA. Additionally, utility programs also support training and outreach for "beyond code" construction. BCD has been coordinating between all the parties listed to share the residential and commercial energy code update trainings.

Last reviewed: July 2022

CHP Summary List All

The state has an interconnection standard that applies to CHP and a policy in place to encourage energy savings from CHP to help reach the state's long terms savings goals. One new CHP system was installed in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Oregon Public Utility Commission Order No. 07-319, Order No. 09-196

Description: Oregon has three separate interconnection standards and several interconnection standards particular to different utilities. One standard is for the interconnection of non-net metered small generator facilities up to 10MW, one is for non-net metered large generator facilities larger than 20MW, and one for net-metered systems. No specific technologies are identified as applicable for interconnection, and CHP is not precluded from interconnecting under any of the standards.

The interconnection standards for specific utilities were adopted in 2007 and delineate standards for systems up to 2MW in size for businesses, and 25 kW for all residential customers. The PGE and PacifiCorp standard delineates multiple levels, or tiers, of interconnection. Systems that are appropriately vetted and 25 kW or smaller can be interconnected under the first level without fee. The second and third levels of interconnection are generally correlated with greater degrees of scrutiny, possible application fees and longer application and approval processes.

Last Updated: September 2018

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

CHP in energy efficiency standards: Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent non-profit organization that establishes long-term energy savings targets and administers the renewable energy and energy efficiency projects undertaken by utilities in the state. Energy savings generated by all types of CHP are eligible to contribute toward Energy Trust's long-term savings goals.

Last Updated: July 2018

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: Oregon’s Department of Energy offered both grants and tax incentives for CHP through its Energy Incentives Program through the end of 2017. Energy Trust of Oregon can also provide incentives for fossil fuel CHP generation that increases total system efficiency, is more cost-effective than the alternative resource, and would be used on-site.

Last Updated: July 2018

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies exist to encourage CHP in Oregon. The Energy Trust facilitates feasibility studies for potential CHP system owners the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) provides technical assistance to help customers identify opportunities for integrating CHP within existing operations. Projects are handled individually based on needs of the project (e.g. scoping, thermal management, financing, integration with other agencies, etc.).

The state also has policies to encourage the use of renewable-fueled CHP systems. According to the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, utilities are required to ensure that 25% of the electricity sold to retail customers is derived from renewable resources by 2025 and renewably-fueled CHP is eligible. Energy Trust also offers custom incentives for renewable-fueled CHP based on market costs. There are also tax credits available for biomass producers or collectors to help develop a bio-energy fuel market.

Oregon has also incorporated CHP into its local resiliency planning efforts. ODOE hosted a workshop in 2016 that focused on resiliency and CHP systems entitled "Northwest Combined Heat and Power: Improving Efficiency and Resilience in Energy Intensive Businesses."

Last Updated: July 2018

Score: 7 out of 15
Utilities Summary List All

Oregon is a leading state in energy efficiency, with programs dating back to the 1980s. Oregon energy utilities were first required to offer residential weatherization assistance to their customers by the 1981 Residential Energy Conservation Act. In 1989, the Oregon Public Utility Commission’s (OPUC’s) Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) Order No. 89-507 required the utilities to consider energy efficiency as a resource when developing plans.

Oregon's 1999 restructuring law, SB 1149, established a public purpose charge to support electric energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-income programs. The public purpose charge is equal to 1.5% of the total revenues collected by the utilities.

The Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO), a nonprofit organization established by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) in 2002, administers most of the statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Portland General Electric implements revenue per customer. In its first ever long-range strategic plan, the Energy Trust of Oregon laid out energy savings goals between 2010 and 2014 of 256 average megawatts (2,242.6 GWh) of electricity and 22.5 million annual therms of natural gas. In its second long-range strategic plan, Energy Trust laid out energy savings goals for the years 2015 through 2019 of 240 average megawatts (2,102 GWh) and 24 million annual therms of natural gas. These goals include savings from market transformation programs.

NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas adopted public purpose funding for natural gas energy efficiency programs and decoupling mechanisms in Order Nos. 02-634 and 06-191, respectively. Avista Utilities’ natural gas programs are funded through deferred accounts. The ETO administers the majority of the statewide natural gas energy efficiency programs.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

The majority of Oregon's energy customers (73%) are located in investor-owned utility territory. These customers are served by energy efficiency programs administered by the nonprofit Energy Trust of Oregon (ETO). The ETO was created in association with electric utility restructuring to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

The state’s energy efficiency programs are required by legislation (SB 1149, HB 3141 2021). Oregon's energy efficiency programs are also supported by strong regional organizations—the Bonneville Power Administration, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Some utility customers are served by ETO, while others are served by utilities directly. The ETO has achieved significant success in a short time. Since its creation in 2002, the organization has rapidly developed and implemented a comprehensive menu of programs and services for customer energy efficiency.

Additionally, Oregon's public purpose charge (1.5% of the total revenues collected by the utilities from customer electric bills) supports renewable energy, energy efficiency in schools, and low income programs in Oregon. 

Self-direct options are available in Oregon. The Eugene Water and Electric Board offers a self-direct program in which customers receive contractual obligations to achieve a certain kilowatt-hour of savings annually based on the percentage of load a customer represents and the average conservation savings achieved by the industrial sector in prior years. Self-direct customers continue to pay the regular cost-recovery mechanism (CRM) of 5% but receive a monthly rate credit equal to conservation fee minus utility measurement and verification costs. Customers who fail to meet their goals must repay a proportional amount of the rate credit. Also the Oregon Department of Energy offers a self-direct option to customers with more than 1 MW. More information on large customer self-direct programs can be found in the ACEEE report, Follow the Leaders: Improving Large Customer Self-Direct Programs.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Oregon is part of the four-state region included in the scope of operations for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC), which has responsibility for resource planning for the region. NPCC has identified energy efficiency and conservation as the priority resource for meeting load growth in the region and expects that this resource can address about 85% of all load growth through 2030.

In Oregon, the Energy Trust of Oregon works on behalf of Oregon's investor-owned utilty ratepayers to specify the annual and long-term levels of cost-effective, energy efficiency that should be acquired as part of the integrated resource plan for each utility's Oregon territory. (The utilities are PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, Northwest Natural, Avista, and Cascade Natural Gas.) SB 1547  (2016) directs electric utilities to plan for and pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency. Per statute, rules and a grant agreement with the state Energy Trust is also accountable for securing those cost-effective energy savings annually through its programs,  activities and a coordinated partnership with the market transformation organization the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). Additionally, energy efficiency resource acquisition is supplemented by the work of the Oregon Department of Energy and the comprehensive energy efficiency program it oversees for nearly all of the school districts in the state.

Last reviewed: June 2020

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: Electric- Incremental targets average ~1.3% (gross) of sales annually for the period 2020–2021. Natural gas: ~0.5% of sales annually for 2020–2021.

SB 1547 (2016) directs electric utilities to plan for and pursue all cost-effective energy efficiency. ETO's 2021 Action Plan can be found here.

Annual goals for Energy Trust reflect an increment in their Strategic Plan goal. These annual goals are codified by the OPUC and then incorporated into each utilities’ Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), along with a 20-year forecast of achievable, technical energy efficiency potential. In this sense, Energy Trust’s IRP goals represent a minimum resource standard and energy efficiency savings supplied by Energy Trust function as a resource supplied each year to the utilities to meet their IRP goals. Goals include savings from NEEA programs.

Last reviewed: June 2020

Utility Business Model List All

Since 2009, Portland General Electric has implemented revenue per customer decoupling (called Sales Normalization Adjustment) for residential, small business, and “other” customers. Lost revenue recovery is implemented for commercial and industrial consumers with loads less than 1 average megawatt. The program also has a 2% rate cap on the amount recoverable by PGE through fixed costs in usage-based rate adjustments (Portland General Electric (electric): Docket No. UE-197; Order Nos. 09-020, 09-176, 10-478 and 11-110).

Avista Natural Gas was approved for decoupling effective January 1, 2017. However, Energy Trust began running some programs in 2016 for transition purposes. Cascade Natural Gas was approved for margin-per-customer decoupling effective May 1, 2006. Northwest Natural Gas has been implementing use-per-customer decoupling since 2003. Both make a base rate decoupling adjustment to reflect changes in use per customer over the past year on a prospective basis in the following year’s rates.

Cascade Natural Gas Docket No. UG 167, Order No. 06-191, April 2006; Northwest Natural Gas Docket No. UG 163, Order No. 07-426 (extending through October 2012 the prior decoupling mechanism approved in Docket No. UG 152, Order No. 03-507); Portland General Electric; Docket No. UE-197; Order Nos. 09-020 and 09-176), Avista Natural Gas Docket No. UG 288,UM 1753, Order No. 01-109, March 2016

There is currently no policy in place that rewards successful energy efficiency programs as Energy Trust is an independent, non-profit, and overseen by the State. 

Last reviewed: July 2019

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Primary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: total resource cost test 

  • Secondary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: utility cost test  

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Oregon relies on regulatory orders (Docket UM 551, Order 94-590). Evaluations are mainly administered by the Energy Trust of Oregon. Oregon has formal requirements for evaluation articulated in Docket UM 551, Order 94-590. Statewide evaluations are conducted.  

Oregon uses two of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost test (TRC) and the Utility Cost Test (UCT). According to the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), Oregon specifies the TRC to be its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for total program and individual measure level screening, although exceptions can be made under certain circumstances, such as for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket UM 551, Order 94-590. Oregon’s TRC test accounts for avoided costs of compliance with future emissions regulations. Oregon’s TRC also applies a 10% adder to give a cost advantage to energy efficiency over supply-side options, and also accounts for non-energy benefits through direct utility calculations in cases in which the value is quantifiable, such as water or operations and maintenance savings.  

Based on Oregon PUC DOCKET UM 551, ORDER 94-590, exceptions to the cost-effectiveness requirements are allowed if one of the following conditions are met:   

a. Produce significant non-quantifiable non-energy benefits;  
b. Will lead to market transformation and reduced costs;  
c. Are needed for consistency with other DSM programs in the region;  
d. Will help to increase participation in a cost-effective program;  
e. Cannot be changed frequently, and will be cost-effective during the period the program is offered;  
f. Are included in a pilot or research project; or  
g. Are required by law or are consistent with Commission policy or direction  

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for Oregon is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP). Further information on health and environmental benefits is available in ACEEE’s Overview of State Approaches to Account for Health and Environmental Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Last reviewed: July 2019

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Legislation (Senate Bill 1149) requiring electric industry restructuring for the state’s largest investor-owned utilities was signed into law in July 1999. This was updated in 2021 through HB 3141, which increased annual expenditure by the utilities of 3% of their revenues to fund “Public Purposes,” including energy efficiency, development of new renewable energy, and low-income weatherization. Per the legislation, 13% of the public purpose charge would be allocated to low-income weatherization through the Energy Conservation Helping Oregonians (ECHO) program. HB 3141(2021) increased 

Last reviewed: July 2022

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket UM 551, Order 94-590, which lays out a number of situations where the PUC may make exceptions to the standard societal test calculation. Order 15-200, signed June 23, 2015, concerns Idaho Power Company’s request for cost-effective exceptions to its DSM programs. The commission adopted the recommendation of staff that cost-effectiveness requirements in Order 95-590 do not apply to low-income weatherization programs, such as the Weatherization Assistance for Qualified Customers Program (WAQC).

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Oregon Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) is responsible for administering US DOE Weatherization Assistance Program funds. OHCS also administers other funds related to low-income weatherization, including LIHEAP, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Low-Income Weatherization Program, the occasional Petroleum Violation Escrow Program (PVE) funds and SBC-funded Energy Conservation Helping Oregonians (ECHO) program, and any funds designated for low-income weatherization awarded to the state as a result of legal settlements.

Subgrantees also have access to funds from utility rebates and the State Home Oil Weatherization Program (SHOW). Utility rebates and SHOW funds are not administered by OHCS.

Last reviewed: July 2022

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Senate Bill 1149 ​directed Oregon's two largest utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, to collect a public purpose charge from their customers to fund energy conservation and renewable projects in the state. However, large electric consumer sites that used over 8,760,000 kWh in the prior year may be eligible for the Large Electric Consumer Public Purpose Program, also known as the Self-Direct Program, which allows them to self-direct the conservation and renewable portions of their public purpose charge rather than pay the utility directly.

The Oregon Department of Energy reviews applications and approves sites that meet eligibility criteria to become Self-Direct consumers. Certified sites can submit conservation and renewable project applications to ODOE through the interactive LECPPP website. ODOE staff review applications and pre-certify eligible conservation or renewable project applications. Sites then spend their own funds to build pre-certified projects. Once the project is complete, they submit an application for credit to ODOE. ODOE reviews and approves the eligible project costs, which include a small fee paid to ODOE for program administration. Certified project costs are then added to the conservation or renewable credit balance, and the credits do not expire.

Each month when a site has a conservation and renewable credit balance, they can offset the monthly conservation and renewable portion of the Public Purpose Charge, meaning they do not pay the utility that portion of the PPC. The available credit balance is reduced by the monthly conservation and renewable offset amount. Certified conservation projects and Green Tags, also known as Renewable Energy Certificates, increase the site credit while monthly offsets reduce them.  

Two former Pacific Power sites in Emerald People's Utility District (EPUD), a COU utility, territory participate in a self direction program. But no COUs including EPUD are subject to Public Purpose Charge requirements. Portland General Electric and Pacific Power cover approximately 80% of the electric customers in Oregon. 

Participants in the three participating programs have the proposed projects technically reviewed by the Oregon Department of Energy. In Portland General Electric and Pacific Power programs, the expenditures toward qualified projects are used as credit to offset future Public Purpose Charges. The credit is applied on-bill. These funds are provided by check and/or on-bill. A technical review of claimed savings is conducted by the Oregon Department of Energy prior to construction of a project. A sampling of projects are reviewed for actual performance.

Eighty sites, or roughly one-third of eligible sites currently self-direct energy efficiency funds, accounting for about one-third of eligible load. Total savings for 2019 was 1,634,309 kWh

Last reviewed: June 2020

Data AccessList All

Guidelines for Third Party Access

The Electric Company Transfer of Data rule requires utilities to transfer customer energy use data to the Energy Trust of Oregon. An electric company must file and maintain a tariff with the Commission that specifies the types of proprietary customer information, along with the prices, terms, conditions, and consent procedures associated with the transfer of such information to its competitive operations, electricity service suppliers, affiliates, and aggregators. 

PGE and Pacific Power make use of the Green Button data sharing platform for residential and small business customers. Also, Pacific Power provides automated energy usage data to multi-tenant building managers for use with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. PGE provides interval meter data through Schedule 320 for large commercial and industrial customers. Pacific Power has historically made interval meter data available through Schedule 271. They called this service Energy Profiler. 

The only third party that regularly receives energy usage data is Energy Trust of Oregon. Energy Trust currently receives monthly data for all customers of PGE, Pacific Power, Northwest Natural, Cascade Natural Gas, and eventually Avista Natural Gas. Energy Trust is able to analyze this data for the purposes of program delivery but not general marketing. For other third parties to formally receive customer data, each individual customer must grant access via a signed release.

Requirements for Provision of Energy Data

Electric utilities are required by the Commission to "provide access to detailed, real-time information on electricity use and costs to help customers manage use and costs and understand how to save" (UM 1460, Order 12 158 (5/8/12) at 3). To date, customer engagement is still limited. Details in how the data is provided to customers, owner of multi-tenant buildings, and public agencies are not required, but access is required. 

Energy Use Data Availability

Oregon does not have an online standardized system through which access to individual or aggregated energy use data may be requested. 

Last reviewed: July 2019

Score: 10 out of 13
Transportation Summary List All

The state has targets for reduced vehicle miles traveled, tailpipe emissions standards, and integrates transportation and land use planning. Oregon has passed complete streets legislation.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

Oregon adopted California’s Low-Emission Vehicle Program in 2006, committing to a 30% reduction in average new vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from 2002 levels by 2016. The state has also adopted California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which requires increasing production of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel-cell vehicles from 2018 to 2025. 

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use Integration: Oregon has a long history of leadership on land use planning. Oregon has stringent regulations regarding the creation and use of comprehensive plans in land-use planning. The State Department of Land Use and Conservation regulates local governments, special districts and state agencies undertaking land-use changes. Each municipality must develop a local comprehensive plan and all plans must be based on the state’s 19 planning goals, which include improving upon existing transportation facilities and providing effective transportation and mass transit facilities for high-density communities. 

OAR 660-024 requires each city in Oregon to have an Urban Growth Boundary, or UGB. A UGB is used to designate where a city expects to grow over the next 20 years. Cities may amend their UGB as needed to accommodate city growth. The use of UGB’s, and the review process for UGB expansion helps to control sprawl and preserve Oregon’s agriculture, forest, and open space.

OAR 660-044 requires support for MPO areas to conduct scenario planning activities. Scenario planning is intended to be a means for local governments in metropolitan areas to explore ways that urban development patterns and transportation systems would need to be changed to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicle travel.

TGM Planning Grants is a joint DLCD and ODOT program to help local jurisdictions plan for streets and land to lead to more livable, sustainable, and economically vital communities. This planning increases opportunities for transit, walking and bicycling.

A Local Improvement District (LID) is a special public improvement area created under State of Oregon statutes. These statutes allow for public financing of public improvement projects that benefit private property. The eligible category of public improvements is quite broad and includes most major types of construction. Typical use of an LID is to install sanitary sewers, storm drainage, water lines, streets and sidewalks (Link).

VMT Targets: Oregon has a statewide greenhouse gas reduction goal set in ORS 468A.205. The goal is cumulative for all sectors, transportation is a major component of achieving the goal. OAR 660-044 sets targets for MPO areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicle travel, these targets are consistent with the state goal. 

​In March 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-04 which increased the greenhouse gas reduction goals in ORS 468A.205 to at least 45% below 1990 emission levels by 2035, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. 

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: Oregon has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Transit Funding List All

In 2009, the state passed legislation that directed a “reasonable” amount of money from the State Highway Fund towards the provision of footpaths and bicycle trails whenever a highway, road or street is constructed. The state also has a Lieu of State Payroll Tax Program that provides a direct ongoing revenue stream for transit districts that can demonstrate equal local matching revenues from state agency employers in their service areas.

The state of Oregon passed HB 2017 in the 2017 Legislative session that included an employee-wage statewide transit tax. Employers must start withholding a one-tenth of 1% or .001 from wages in Oregon beginning July 1, 2018. Funds will be transferred into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) to fund public transit, not rail. The funds will be distributed by the following: 90% to qualifying entities (transportation service providers), 5% to competitive grants, 4% for intercity services, and 1% for ODOT to establish a technical resource center. Program operative date is January 1, 2019. It is estimated the tax will generate about $115 million a year to start.

The state also has a Lieu of State Payroll Tax Program that provides a direct ongoing revenue stream for transit districts that can demonstrate equal local matching revenues from state agency employers in their service areas.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

In the 2017 Legislative session, Oregon passed HB 2017, the "Keep Oregon Moving" Act, a large transportation bill that included incentives for ZEVs. Beginning January 1, 2018, EV purchasers in Oregon may submit an application under the Oregon DEQ EV Rebate and the Charge Ahead Rebate Programs. The EV Rebate Program offers rebates up to $2,500 for purchase or lease of vehicles with 10 kWh of battery or more and cost of less than $50,000. The Charge Ahead Program will be designed for applicants who are low to moderate income residents and can be used for new or used vehicles. If new, then the Charge Ahead applicant is eligible for both programs for a total of $5,000. DEQ is in process of rule-making. Funding for program is generated from a tax imposed on car dealers for “the privilege of engaging in the business of selling taxable motor vehicles at retail in this state.” A pending lawsuit over this funding mechanism is currently before the Oregon Supreme Court for consideration. If funding from this tax is determined to be ineligible to pay rebates, then no rebates will be provided unless the legislature approves a new funding source.

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Equitable Access to TransportationList All

Public transit access

Oregon does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, but it does consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners.

Oregon Department of Transportation is conducting a Transit and Housing Study in response to a request from Oregon State Legislature which will consider policies and actions that could improve households' quality of life through increasing housing opportunities with easy connections to transit. This study will engage housing agencies, developers, transit providers, local and tribal governments across Oregon to identify policies and actions that improve access to attainable housing and convenient, reliable transit. It will explore new tools for addressing growing transportation challenges while simultaneously tackling housing affordability.

ODOT's Strategic Action Plan has an outcome of increased equitable access to active and public transportation, and also the outcome to electrify Oregon’s transportation system. STIF program funding prioritizes and measures public transportation improvements benefiting low income households. 

Equity in transportation electrification

  • Oregon Charge Ahead Rebate: This rebate is for the purchase or lease of a new or used zero-emission vehicle (battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric) for low- to moderate-income Oregonians. Eligibility for the program is dependent on income level, which varies by geographic area. The rebate is $2500 and can be combined with the state’s Clean Vehicle rebate, which is up to an additional $2500 and open to all residents (link).
  • Oregon Public Utilities Commission’s Order No. 18-376 put an emphasis on underserved communities in the expenditure of Clean Fuels Credit funds which has been the biggest source of transportation electrification funding ever since.
  • HB 2165 requires utilities to collect a .25% surcharge on retail sales to fund TE programs. Half the expenditures have to be on underserved communities: 
  • Every Mile Counts: Directed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown in 2019, this is a multi-agency action to implement the state’s strategy to reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector. Understanding and addressing equity is a core component of the initiative and included a 2-day workshop with multiple leaders of underserved communities to identify best practices for the agencies as they work to implement the action plan (Workshops Summary Report). The result of the workshop included guiding principles and an overview of specific feedback from participants that will guide the agencies throughout implementation. State agency activities to support transportation electrification are a key element of the EMC Implementation Workplan, which includes the development of a Zero-Emission Vehicle Interagency Action Plan (ZAP) and to conduct a Transportation Infrastructure Needs Analysis (TEINA) study. The ZAP includes equity-focused activities, including increasing the awareness and effectiveness of the Charge Ahead rebate to low- and moderate-income communities and providing guidebooks for local governments and multi-unit dwellings and residents with off-the-shelf information to help them more easily plan for and support development of charging infrastructure. 
  • Transportation Infrastructure Needs Analysis (TEINA) study: Mandated by Oregon Governor Kate Brown in Executive Order 20-04, this study is intended to assess gaps in charging infrastructure needed to meet the state’s EV adoption goals established in SB 1044 (2019). As part of this work, the TEINA study is included an equity-focus, which not only looks at charging needs for personal EV and identifying a large gap in available EV charging to low-income and other underserved communities.

  • Most of Oregon’s mass transit is in PGE’s service territory. PGE has a pilot program to fund EVSE for TriMet, Oregon’s largest transit agency (link).

  • Most of Oregon’s low-income multi-unit dwellings are in PGE’s service territory too. PGE has a special incentive for EVSE in low-income MUD (link):

  • Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality offers a higher EV purchase subsidy for income-qualifying car buyers (link). 

Last Reviewed: November 2022

Appliance Standards
Score: 2 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Policy: ORS 469.229 through ORS 469.229 et seq., Energy Efficiency Standards

Description: State efficiency standards are promulgated by Oregon's Department of Energy under guidelines established by Oregon Administrative rules which were created for the purpose of implementing the standards. Oregon passed legislation for Energy Efficiency Standards in 2005 and 2007 creating standards for seventeen products.  By January 1st, 2010, thirteen of these were preempted by federal standards mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence Act of 2007. In 2013, Oregon set new standards for three products: televisions, battery chargers, and double-ended quartz halogen bulbs. 

In 2017, ODOE conducted minor rulemaking regarding definitions of small, non-consumer battery chargers. This was a non-substantial rulemaking however, and Oregon did not take any action to adopt any new appliance standards this year. Oregon continues to be an active member in the Pacific Codes Collaborative Codes and Standards group, along with California, Washington, and British Columbia. The PCC group conducts monthly calls to share and coordinate appliance standards activity across the region. We are closely monitoring federal inaction opportunities and preparing backstop standards in the event that certain federal standards are not renewed

Last Reviewed: June 2019