Ever wonder whether all this effort to save energy, all these home improvements, public awareness campaigns, appliances and apps really even make a difference? In Oregon, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Preliminary results from The Energy Trust of Oregon’s annual energy savings report indicate that 2012 was a record-breaking year. The non-profit, which helps utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable energy, reports that it it exceeded its goals for the reduction of electricity and gas consumption as well as renewable energy production.
The Energy Trust encourages utility customers to invest in energy efficient products and behaviors through partnerships with Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas, and more than 2,400 trade ally contractors and other allied professionals.
The organization’s 2012 accomplishments include electric and natural gas savings exceeded the year’s “stretch” goals of 48.8 average megawatts of electricity and 5.7 million annual therms of natural gas. Additionally, Energy Trust participants achieved 5.1 average megawatts of renewable energy generation through installation of solar, biopower and other renewable energy technologies. 2012 also marked the installation of more than 5,000 solar electric systems installed since 2002—bringing online more than 50 megawatts of capacity.
These results, though unofficial, show that a joint effort between utilities and conservation advocates is the perfect recipe for making energy efficiency the norm. Making it easier for the end consumer to understand and access energy efficient upgrades is the quickest route to adoption, especially when organizations can point to stunning results such as these.
The Energy Trust’s full annual report will be available April 15th.