— For many customers, the cost of upgrading to more energy efficient equipment is out of reach. This year, NW Natural is adding $1.7 million to its energy efficiency funds dedicated to low-income customers in Oregon. Funding will go toward weatherization projects and energy efficiency upgrades.
“Energy efficiency is one of the most meaningful ways we can reduce emissions to meet our region’s climate goals, while at the same time improving the comfort and wellbeing of families in our community,” said Bill Edmonds, environmental policy and sustainability director at NW Natural. “A future with less carbon – it’s possible because of energy efficiency work like this.”
The increased funding was included as a portion of a .1% increase of the Public Purpose Charge on customer bills in Oregon, bringing total funds available for the low-income energy efficiency program to about $5 million. For the average residential customer in Oregon, this adjustment will amount to less than a dollar a year. The change went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Another update to the program this year allows funds to be used not just for single-family housing, but also multifamily properties, such as senior living or shorter-term affordable housing. These types of projects have the potential to reach a greater number of low-income households at one time.
Project funding is distributed to qualifying customers through agencies like County departments and community action partners. It will also now be available for partnerships with additional affordable housing agencies, relieving some of the burden from community action partners who often have waiting lists because of limited resources and capacity.
In addition to NW Natural’s program, all customers may continue to access energy efficiency offerings from the Energy Trust of Oregon.
Less We Can
Energy efficiency is one of the key components of NW Natural’s Low Carbon Pathway, along with plans to deliver renewable natural gas and renewable hydrogen to customers. Thanks to energy efficiency, since 1970, NW Natural residential customers have cut their emissions in half.
Energy efficiency projects include sealing leaks and adding insulation, or updating heating system equipment. Even small changes can make a lasting impact. For instance, each 10-degree reduction in water temperature can save between 3-5% in energy costs. To learn more about NW Natural’s low-income energy efficiency programs, visit www.nwnatural.com/Save.
About NW Natural
NW Natural provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities through 760,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. It consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores. NW Natural is part of Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and owns NW Natural, NW Natural Water Company, and other business interests and activities.