CEC and Energy Trust of Oregon Approaches Differ

Photo portrait of Dave Markham

CEC has a long history of helping homeowners, businesses, and the agricultural sector conserve energy and save money. We have been doing this since 1978, whether supporting weatherization improvements, incentivizing purchases of high-efficiency appliances and lighting systems, promoting more efficient irrigation practices, or helping reduce the costs of custom industrial efficiency projects.

Today, we offer 16 different programs covering the full span of our consumer groups: residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural.  The programs are designed and chosen to fit the most in-demand needs among our members, while getting the greatest energy savings per dollar spent.  Because Central Electric’s and Pacific Power’s service areas are side-by-side, some CEC members are aware of the investor-owned utility’s programs. They sometimes question why we offer a program Pacific Power doesn’t and vice versa. The consumer’s question often comes down to, “why don’t you do what they do?”

The major reason is how differently our programs are funded and managed. Pacific Power’s programs are marketed and managed through the Energy Trust of Oregon, an independent entity established in 1999 by the Oregon Legislature. ETO is funded by a consumer tax, called a public purpose charge, on Pacific Power’s and Portland General Electric’s customers’ bill required by law to be 3 percent.

This is one of the costs contributing to Pacific Power’s residential bills averaging 42 percent more than CEC’s, based on the average CEC residential member’s monthly use of 1,480 kilowatt-hours.

We point to this and other factors when discussing the differences between Central Electric’s energy efficiency program management and Pacific Power’s. By choosing from among all the programs designed by the Bonneville Power Administration and qualified for use by their 124 public utility customers, CEC is able to tailor its 16 program offerings to best meet the needs of our members. This has worked exceedingly well for the past 40 years. This is supported by the fact that every year the amount of energy and money saved by our members is greater than the year before.

If you are looking at upgrading your heating and cooling system, lighting for your business, or installing a variable frequency drive for irrigation, reach out to our energy specialists by calling 541-548-2144. Our team can help you find the solutions for your energy efficiency needs. I am confident they have the best solution to meet your needs.


Dave Markham

President and CEO