Energy Trust offers cost-saving solutions

A solar farm near Volanoes Stadium in Keizer.

Energy Trust of Oregon is a taxpayer-funded service available to qualifying residents and business-owners in Keizer and around the state specializing in helping consumers save energy and money.

Thousands of dollars in incentives are available to qualifying individuals and businesses, such as $250 toward a new high-efficiency air conditioner, up to $250 toward a gas-powered fireplace and up to $1,650 toward other high-efficiency heating solutions. Similar help is also available to people wanting to update their insulation, utilize high-efficiency kitchen equipment, add efficient lighting solutions, install a “smart” thermostat or water heater, replace outdated windows with the latest styles, or install a high-efficiency washer and dryer.

According to Energy Trust Executive Director Mike Colgrove, the agency’s information, cash incentives and contractor connections help customers use less energy, generate renewable power and protect the environment.

“We are a mission-based organization collaborating with utilities, nonprofits and government agencies to deliver significant clean energy benefits for Oregon,” he said.

More than 18,000 homes in Oregon are now at least partially powered by solar, and when combined with state and federal tax credits, Energy Trust can help interested home and business owners in Keizer offset up to 50% of the cost for a new solar system. They will also come out and do a free, no-risk evaluation upon request.

In many cases, a new solar system can be installed for no cost to the consumer, at all. Depending on location and credit score, most utility companies will now give consumers a credit large enough to cover the entire cost of converting to solar in addition to the monthly savings that goes along with that. If a high-capacity electrical storage device is also added, consumers can even sell back their stored energy to the local utility company, in some cases.

All of this is just a small part of what Energy Trust of Oregon does. With 50 employees focused on different residential, commercial and even agricultural sectors of the state economy, the agency can offer a variety of cost-savings options to almost anyone.

Meduri Farms, located in Dallas, produces infused dried fruit for restaurants and grocery stores around the world with a relatively small staff and space, compared to their competitors. The owner, Joe Meduri, initially thought his 300-employee business was too small to benefit from Energy Trust’s commercial services, but just in the first four years after joining Energy Trust’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program, they reported receiving more than $148,000 in cash incentives from state rebate programs and local utility companies.

The savings prompted Meduri to continue adding improvements, including a high-efficiency boiler and dryer tunnels for their production lines. According to Meduri Farms Facility Manager Dennis Bell, Energy Trust has helped save more than 1,381,000 kWh of electricity and 543,000 therms of natural gas in the 10 years they have been participating.

“Energy Trust has helped us lower energy costs and put the polish on our work around employee engagement and continuous improvement,” said Bell. “Now we use a lot of the SEM philosophy and concepts in other areas of our business to resolve challenges.”

Interested home and business owners can find out what incentives are available by emailing, calling or visiting the website and requesting a free evaluation. Energy Trust of Oregon is based in Portland, but serves most of Oregon and Southwest Washington. They can be reached by calling 1-(866) 268-7878, emailing [email protected], or by visiting