Like the Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard, Oregons 81st Legislative Assembly uncorked a flurry of late-in-the-game tidy energy and energy equity laws. Included in that slate is a law that updates and extends the public function charge, Energy Trust of Oregons core energy performance and renewable resource financing.
The general public function charge expense (House Bill 3141) passed with bipartisan votes and assistance from Gov. Kate Brown, energy efficiency and eco-friendly energy supporters, electrical utilities, and consumer, community, environmental and equity-focused groups. Its passage declares the value of the public function charge while improving it to fit todays needs of energy consumers and the energy system.
Gov. Kate Brown indications HB 3141 at a July 27 ceremony in Portland
Energy Trust is one of 3 entities that presently invests the public purpose charge on behalf of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power consumers. The public function charge was the initial funding for Energy Trust when the company opened its doors 2002 and now supplies about one-third of the organizations yearly budget plan.
Energy Trust invests the funds in affordable energy performance and small-scale renewable resource systems that deliver bill cost savings, and health, comfort and financial benefits.
HB 3141 makes sure funding through 2035 for Energy Trust to support roof solar, biopower and small hydropower systems. The bill enables Energy Trust to use these funds for projects that enhance the reliability and resiliency of the electrical grid and requires Energy Trust to invest 25% of the funds to serve low- and moderate-income customers.
The costs moves electrical performance funding from the public purpose charge into the basic rate-making processes used by the Oregon Public Utility Commission for PGE and Pacific Power. This change simplifies the energy efficiency preparation procedure at Energy Trust. It also is a recognition that energy performance is an energy resource like any other an utility prepares for, purchases or creates for its consumers. This change effectively removes any sunset on the efficiency financing.
Significantly, HB 3141 directs the OPUC to set equity metrics for all funds invested by Energy Trust– the renewable resource and electrical effectiveness described above and gas efficiency funding, too. The metrics will assist make sure equitable investment of the funds for customers who have traditionally not gained from them and develop responsibility for environmental justice.
In addition to these modifications affecting Energy Trust, the bill increased financing for weatherization of low-income homes by Oregon Housing and Community Services, permits OHCS to invest its public purpose charge funds on produced house replacement and continues funding for affordable real estate and energy preservation projects at K-12 schools.
While the changes to the general public purpose charge take impact January 1, 2022, the OPUC is expected to start recognizing processes this year to implement the energy performance and sustainable energy pieces of the expense.
The 2021 legal session thought about numerous energy and energy equity policies. Bills that passed the legislature included:
For a summary of all energy-related legislation thought about by the Oregon Legislature, checked out the Oregon Department of Energys 2021 Legislative Session Report.
The costs moves electric performance financing from the public purpose charge into the basic rate-making procedures used by the Oregon Public Utility Commission for PGE and Pacific Power. This change improves the energy effectiveness preparation procedure at Energy Trust. It likewise is an acknowledgment that energy efficiency is an energy resource like any other an utility prepares for, purchases or produces for its consumers. This change efficiently eliminates any sundown on the effectiveness funding.
Moving the state towards 100% emission-free electrical power by 2040
Enabling for the prospective decrease of energy rates for low-income utility consumers
Boosting incentives for electric cars and solar + storage systems
Committing funding to support energy-efficient structure practices as homes and services are restored after the 2020 wildfires
Increasing the performance levels of a dozen typical devices and products