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Efforts include LED lighting, upgraded heat pumps, insulated windows, duct sealing, solar panels and more

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - This home is one of 14 buildings in Forest Grove that have used the city's incentive program for solar panels.The city of Forest Grove is about to begin a public outreach campaign to inform the public about its existing energy-reduction activities.

The city's conservation program is funded by $266,000 from the Bonneville Power Administration and $70,000 from the city's Light & Power department.

Over the past two years (ending Sept. 30, 2017), $567,000 was spent — 34 percent on homes, 44 percent on commercial enterprises and 22 percent on industrial.

During the two-year fiscal period ending Sept. 30, the program saved an estimated 2,907 megawatt hours — enough to power nearly 40,000 homes for a whole day — and prevented 1,195 tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions.

Residential conservation projects are mainly geared toward older, electric-heated homes, said Light & Power Director Keith Hormann.

The city's most popular residential program over the past two years was incentives for ducted and ductless heat pumps, which snagged 23 percent of the conservation funding.

Another 19 percent goes to replacing windows with well-insulated models and 15 percent goes to ducted heat pumps for air and duct sealing.

The last three conservation incentives go to attic, wall and crawl space insulation (8 percent), energy-efficient appliances (2 percent) and water heating (1 percent).

Horman also said 14 residents have taken advantage of the city's solar panel incentives.

The largest share of the residential-project money — 32 percent — goes to the Washington County nonprofit Community Action, specifically to help vulnerable, low-income Forest Grove residents save money through these same conservation projects and to navigate the process.

On the commercial side, LED lighting upgrades are the most popular, taking 91 percent of available funding.

Refrigeration-control improvements accounted for 3 percent of the spending with strip curtains at groceries splitting the remaining 6 percent between coolers and freezers.

The BPA works directly with the city's large industrial projects, with 51 percent of its funds going to a customized upgrade of a large food-processing plant and 49 percent going to LED lighting projects.

Want help conserving?

For more information or to apply for residential conservation programs on Forest Grove, call 503-992-3253 or go to http://forestgrove-or.gov/lp/page/residential-conservation-programs.



By Jill Rehkopf Smith
Associate Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
503-357-3181
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