State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



35.0Scored out of 50Updated 10/2018
State Government
Score: 5 out of 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

Financial Incentive information for Oregon is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Oregonand State Energy Office contacts. Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here. In addition to the state-funded incentives on DSIRE and below, Oregon has enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has one active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Planning Assistance and Transportation and Growth Management Grants: The Department of Land Conservation and Development offers grants to local and tribal governments to complete projects that update and modernize comprehensive plans, land use ordinances, development codes and other planning regulations. The Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program (TGM) provides local governments with funding for planning projects that lead to more livable, economically vital, transportation-efficient, sustainable, pedestrian-friendly communities.

Last Updated: July 2018

Building Energy Disclosure List All

Effective July 2014, Oregon approved three in-market systems to rate energy use and efficiency potential of new and existing homes. This 2013 legislation (HB 2801) built on a 2009 effort (SB 79) to add additional requirements to scoring systems and licensing for Home Energy Assessors. There is no requirement to score homes at point of sale – scoring is voluntary in the market. The expectation is that as values are documented for the benefits of scoring and subsequent retrofits, scoring will become more commonplace and the market will support a mandatory, time-of sale score. The Multiple Listing Services for the majority of the Oregon market accepts and posts each of the three approved scoring systems.

The three systems currently approved for use in Oregon include the USDOE Home Energy Score, RESNet Home Energy Rating System and Energy Trust of Oregon Energy Performance Score. Scores are asset based – energy models normalize the home’s energy use to typical occupant behavior. A stakeholder panel reviews systems seeking approval in Oregon, monitors approved systems and develops deployment approaches to strengthen scoring/disclosure in the market.

OAR 330-063-0000 descibes the requirements for commercial and residential scoring in the state. Scoring is not mandatory (except in the City of Portland) but any programs that issue score are subject to OARule. For residential, Oregon no longer allows systems to use their own software to generqte scores. All systems must use the USDOE Home ENErgy Score for a 1-10 rating and estimates of energy use.Local energy proces and local GHG content of electrricity are also required.

Last Updated: June 2018

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. All public buildings are required to invest 1.5 percent of project cost in solar PV or approved green energy technology. Existing buildings must reduce energy use by 20 percent compared to the building’s baseline energy use in 2000 by June 30, 2015. They reached that goal in calendar year 2012. In 2013, the Governor’s 10-Year Energy Action Plan set an additional target of 20 percent reduction by 2023. Agencies are working toward that goal now via benchmarking and comparisons with the Buildings Performance Database. State-owned facilities over 5,000 square feet and meeting certain energy use thresholds are required to report into Portfolio Manager. The largest agencies have implemented two-year Strategic Energy Management initiatives, with an emphasis on building-level data to effectively prioritize retrofits. As of January 2015, 20 state agencies are using EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager to report data. 

ORS 276.900 requires state facilities to 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 LEED silver standards. 

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services policy 107-011-010 directs state agencies to report their energy use to the Oregon Department of Energy. ODOE uses a web-based electronic database system. The State Energy Use Database allows state agencies to enter their energy use data directly into the database on a monthly basis. Agencies can compare their current energy use with that of the base year (2000) or any year of their choosing and can compare energy use indices and check whether mandatory energy savings have been achieved. State Buildings and Public Schools voluntarily disclose energy use via Portfolio Manager. ODOE uses these data to benchmark facilities and identify potential energy efficiency investments. The state also conducts outreach, training, and resources to local jurisdictions who are interested in commercial building benchmarking policies and ordinances. Based on ODOE's ongoing data gathering and PM reporting of state buildings, the state has benchmarked 303 buildings, or 18,368,742 square feet. 

ODOE pulls reports from the 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. 

Schools in Portland General Electric and Pacific Power territory also report their energy use to ODOE as part of the public purpose charge program (1999). The school district staff must gather information from their utility bills before audits can be performed on their schools and before entering Energy Usage Index information into the secure, online School Interactive Database. 

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 must develop a statewide plug-load management strategy and strategies by January 1, 2019, for other occupant behavior changes to reduce energy uses not regulated by codes and standards. DAS, with support from ODOE, must ensure that all equipment purchased by the state meets high-efficiency energy and water use specifications by incorporating efficiency standards into procurement requirements developed in FY 2018. Finally, ODOE must develop analysis tools by January 1, 2019, to analyze state building costs, including lifecycle energy and water use costs or savings, when considering energy and water upgrades for state buildings.

Last Updated: June 2018

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 2017 progress report, the 2017 average dropped slightly from the 2016 value, but they are still on target to achieve the 10% increase over 2017 levels by 2020. Currently they are at an 8.8% increase over the 18.73 MPG 2007 baseline.

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, a mandatory Total Cost of Ownership analysis prioritizes alternative-fuel or Hybrid vehicles meeting the 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPACT) requirements, followed by Low-Emission II standard gas vehicles, and then standard gas vehicles. The state fleet motor pool also has a dispatch prioritization policy that recommends Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) to those commuting within the rated distance of the NGV tank. In other words, if you are driving to a destination for state business that is within the range that one tank of natural gas, then the state employee, absent a special request, is assigned an NGV.

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

Last Updated: June 2018

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

Oregon offers a number of financial incentives to promote ESPCs, including a loan program to help minimize interest rates and fees imposed by ESCOs and a business energy tax credit that limits/postpones tax burdens on energy efficiency products. The Oregon Department of Energy maintains a number of resources, including a list of prequalified ESCOs and a detailed guide to the process for users. The ESPC web page contains several tools to guide choices, including a qualified ESCO list, calculator, audit guide, and an ESPC Contracting Guidebook. ESCO audits for K-12 Public Schools qualify for reimbursement under the SB 1149 funded Energy Efficient Schools program, if they are carried out to that standard. There are different rules for state agencies, who must also comply with State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) statutory requirements (ORS 276.900) when seeking to use an ESPC for a project. 

Last Updated: July 2018

Research & Development List All

The Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) 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. BEST 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 Renewable Energy Research Labconducts sustainable urban development research, which covers smart grid development and net-zero energy use. The Lab is a joint University-Portland General Electric (PGE) project, established in 2010 with $50,000 in funding from the utility.

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. 

Last Updated: May 2018

Score: 6.5 out of 8
Buildings Summary List All

The state's residential building code is equivalent to the 2015 IECC, while the commercial building code is equivalent to ASHRAE 90.1-2013. 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

The 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code is mandatory statewide. Its provisions are developed by the state and are not based on a model code. The state currently enforces the 2014 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC), which has been certified to US DOE as equivalent/more efficient to IECC 2015. Oregon has approved IECC 2015 as an alternative and is putting in place provisions for it to replace the current Reach Code. Reach Code compliance is mandatory for all new state-owned and occupied buildings and substantial remodels. Oregon adopted a new Residential Code in 2017 (2017 Oregon Residential Specialty Code, or 2017 ORSC), which became effective October 1, 2017, with a 90-day phase-in period. The 2017 ORSC is based on the 2015 IECC with Oregon amendments, which include mandatory alternative efficiency package pathways for envelope efficiency and equipment such as furnaces, water heaters, and heat pumps that exceed federal minimums.

Last Updated: June 2018

Commercial Code List All

The 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code used the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty code as a base document, and new amendments made strengthening the 2010 OEESC, including updating lighting power density tables to equal to ASHRAE 90.1-2013 where the 2010 OEESC did not already meet or exceed 90.1-2013. 2010 OEESC was equivalent in stringency to 2012 IECC (and ASHRAE 90.1-2010) regarding the commercial provisions. The 2014 OEESC has been verified to be equivalent to ASHRAE 90.1-2013 by the University of Oregon Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory. The commercial code went out for proposed changes in 2017 and is currently in the proposal review process, using 2018 IECC as a baseline (OR amendments will likely exceed 2018 IECC). Also part of the commercial code update process is a target in a recent executive order (EO 17-20) that includes equivalent performance for aspects of ASHRAE 189.1 by October 1, 2022. The targets in this Executive Order provide an aggressive timeline for Oregon commercial energy code, which are being considered as part of the current cycle and will be considered in the next code cycle to meet the October 1, 2022 effective code date.

Last Updated: June 2018

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance conducts studies for the region, including Oregon-specific studies, to evaluate energy code-related progress, opportunities, and compliance. NEEA published a Market Progress Evaluation Report in February 2017 (in addition to recent compliance studies) to evaluate code efforts and affect implementation of the most recent commercial and residential energy codes. Oregon already experiences high code compliance based on other recent studies, but this study looked at other potential actions to improve state energy code implementation and development. This study looked at various code activities in the state, highlighted successful programs, and provided various opportunities for process and program improvement in Oregon to improve overall energy code implementation and compliance. NEEA, as well as other state organizations, can use this study to inform future near- and long-term actions to facilitate code implementation and compliance. 
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: NEEA completed a 2013 compliance study for the region. It includes recommendations to improve compliance, which Oregon is incorporating into training and process improvements. Design is underway for Commercial Compliance studies in the NEEA Region. NEEA’s study measured compliance on two scales and returned results of 91% and 96%, prescriptive pathway. For commercial energy code compliance, a pilot study to develop an appropriate methodology applicable to the region was completed by NEEA in April 2016. Throughout 2017, the design of a detailed Oregon-specific compliance study was developed by NEEA, with direct input from the Oregon Department of Energy and the Energy Trust of Oregon on data collection and sampling structure. The initial design phase is complete, and NEEA's contractor for this study is in the middle of initial implementation, recruitement, and detailed building audits/site visits to complete this detailed commercial code compliance study. Due to significant data collection requirements and in-field work, this study is fairly time-intensive and is expected to be completed at the end of 2018.
  • 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).
  • Training/Outreach: ODOE operates a codes hotline for commercial and residential code compliance and proves a series of industry trainings each year. The Oregon Building Codes Division provides the primary outreach and training for all building officials. The Division provides mandatory code update training for code officials. In order to maintain their certification to work in Oregon, building officials must complete the code change training course. The Division also provides call support for the codes. Statewide Interpretation Requests can be issued 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. Oregon has both residential and commercial code updates upcoming in the next year. In consideration of these updates, the Building Codes Division, Oregon Department of Energy, and NEEA will collaborate to provide a coordinated training effort to jurisdictions and industry to provide detail on new energy code developments. BCD total budget is spread across many teams (Policy and Technical Services, Training, Statewide Services, Enforcement) and funds are difficult to differentiate from non-energy tasks. Local enforcement by over 100 local building departments.

Last Updated: June 2018

Score: 2.5 out of 4
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. No new CHP systems were installed in 2017.

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: 12 out of 20
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 3% of the total revenues collected by the utilities and provides about $60 million per year for the electric programs. 

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. Average expenditures for the natural gas programs are $10-$12 million per year. 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 Updated: August 2018

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 electric energy efficiency programs are required by legislation (SB 1149). 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.

Oregon's public purpose charge (3% of the total revenues collected by the utilities from customer electric bills) provides roughly $60 million per year to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, and low-income programs in Oregon. This funding supports the Energy Trust of Oregon's electric programs as well as electric low-income programs provided by Oregon Housing and Community Services, a state agency. In 2007, SB 838 extended the public purpose charge through 2025. The ETO also receives funding from natural gas utilities (NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas) to administer natural gas efficiency programs.

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 Updated: August 2018

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.

Specific to the state, 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 of each of these utilities' Oregon territory. (The utilities are PacifiCorp, Portland General Electric, Northwest Natural, Avista, and Cascade Natural Gas.) 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 Updated: August 2018

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: Electric: Targets are equivalent to 1.4% of electric sales from 2014 through 2019. Natural Gas: 2015-2019 gas targets are equivalent to 0.7% of forecasted sales.

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. These goals include savings from NEEA programs. Electric targets were equivalent to 0.8% of 2009 electric sales in 2010, ramping up to 1% in 2013 and 2014. Natural gas targets ramped up from 0.2% of 2007 natural gas sales to 0.4% in 2014. 

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. Electric targets were set to an estimated 1.4% of electric sales forecasted for 2014 through 2019. Natural gas targets are set at approximately 0.7% of forecasted natural gas sales for the same five-year time period.

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.

Achievement of Oregon’s goals is contingent upon continued increases in IRP funding. Goals include savings from NEEA programs.

Last Updated: August 2018

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 Updated: August 2018

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: TRC, UCT
  • Uses a deemed savings database: no

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Oregon for Energy Trust investor-owned utility territory 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 Utility/Program Administrator Test (UCT) and Total Resource Cost test (TRC). 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, with exceptions made for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in Docket UM 551, Order 94-590. 

Beginning with 2014 reporting, Energy Trust describes what was formerly considered to be a 'Societal' Cost-Effectiveness Test as a Total Resource Cost test (TRC), which more accurately describes it. Energy Trust continues to use the Utility Cost Test (UCT) as well. 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 

Last Updated: August 2018

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. The law establishes an 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.
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 updated: August 2018

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

The self-direct option for the Public Purpose Charge is required for two of the three investor-owned utilities. This program is uniform statewide across all impacted utilities. One consumer-owned utility has chosen to design and run a self-direction program. Programs cover approximately 80% of the electric customers in Oregon. Eligible sites must demonstrate they were over 1 MW on average in the prior year to enter and remain in the program. Participants in the three participating programs have the proposed projects technically reviewed by the Oregon Department of Energy. In two programs, the expenditures toward qualified projects are used as credit to offset future Public Purpose Charges. The credit is applied on-bill. In the third, the utility does a set-aside program in combination with credit toward future Public Purpose Charges. 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. 17 out of the estimated 230 eligible sites are participating. The percentage of eligible load is not published by the utilities. Total savings for 2017 was 7,213,754 kWh.

Last Updated: August 2018

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 Updated: August 2018

Score: 8 out of 10
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 Updated: July 2018

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. 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. The State Department of Land Use and Conservation regulates local governments, special districts and state agencies undertaking land-use changes.

The state passed HB 2186 in 2009 calling for all Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to create a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Task Force that looks for alternative land use and transportation planning scenarios that would meet community growth needs but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state. 

VMT Targets: The state finalized region-specific per capita GHG reductions ranging from 17 percent to 21 percent by 2035 from auto travel.

Complete Streets: ORS 366.514 requires the inclusion of facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists wherever a road, street or highway is built or rebuilt

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 Updated: July 2018

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.

Last Updated: July 2018

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

In the 2017 Legislative session, Oregon passed HB 2017, 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 Updated: July 2018

Equitable Access to TransportationList All
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. Last Updated: July 2018
Appliance Standards
Score: 1 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 Updated: July 2018