Opt In to Green Power
We Oregonians like things green. Even our electricity.
Our overall electricity mix is getting cleaner thanks to policies like the Renewable Portfolio Standard. And, programs that allow consumers to choose electricity powered by renewable resources are available all across the state. Renewable energy resources – which can replenish themselves naturally – include solar, wind, hydropower, bioenergy, geothermal, and others.
Green power options typically work one of two ways:
A block rate that allows customers to pay a fixed cost for a “block” of kilowatt hours of electricity – like a block of community solar
A special rate by volume, where customers purchase “Renewable Energy Credits” that equal 100 percent of their electricity consumption – effectively making their home or business run on renewable energy
Oregon’s largest electricity providers, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, each offer voluntary renewable energy options for their customers. Not surprisingly, these programs are two of the most successful nationwide. In fact, PGE’s voluntary green power program was ranked first in the country in 2017 for the highest number of participants, highest rate of participation (almost 20 percent of all eligible customers!), and the highest total megawatt hours of green power sales. And since 2009, Pacific Power has consistently ranked second in the country in terms of total program participants, and second or third in total megawatt hours of green power sales.
Some of Oregon’s consumer-owned utilities – like people’s utility districts, municipalities, and co-ops – also offer special renewable energy options, like community solar programs. The great news about these COUs is that their electricity mix is already mostly renewable, thanks to the Pacific Northwest’s vast hydropower network. COUs purchase electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, which is over 80 percent hydropower.
Learn more about Oregon’s electricity mix, and drill down to your specific electricity provider, on our website.
Learn more about renewable energy in Oregon in chapter three of our 2018 Biennial Energy Report.