Operation Switch is made up of energy-efficiency missions, each one with a dead-simple thing for everyone to do (how simple? check it out).
We’re hoping that you’ll let people know that you finished it (via Twitter, or the comment section at the end of each Mission) and let us know too.
Letting others know will help us get more people interested.
We aren’t posting any new missions right now, but you can still leave us a comment, ask a question, or complete all the missions.
The success so far?
By participating in Operation Switch, you’ve already saved an estimated 487,067 of kilowatt hours in just 15 months. That’s the equivalent to planting 26,294 trees or not driving 488,033 miles. I think we can safely say that as a community you rocked this little experiment! A huge thank you to all of you who visited, read, commented, shared, completed a mission and made a switch.
(Ask your own questions via Twitter and we’ll add them to the list here (if they’re on topic ;).)
Why would Portland General want people to use less of their product? Isn’t that how you make money?
It’s true that PGE makes money by providing electricity, but there are some good reasons that energy efficiency makes sense for us as a company:
1. Our partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon
Through a Public Purpose charge on PGE bills, our customers fund the Energy Trust of Oregon. They drive change by providing financial incentives to become more energy efficient. (Hint: If you’re not taking advantage of Energy Trust’s offerings, you are missing out on something you’ve already paid for.) Be savvy, and take advantage of this great resource!
PGE is a for-profit company (You can buy a share of PGE stock on the NYSE, where we’re listed as POR). We have employees and investors, and both groups depend on the company being succesful.
We own a number of our own resources to generate power for our customers — but at most times during the day or the year, the demand is greater than our supply, so we buy power on the market (we have an actual trading floor in our downtown office where this happens, it’s pretty cool to see it in action). The power market, like any market, can have unexpected ups and downs, and we don’t want to be overly dependent on it (or any single source), so there’s a real business incentive to us in helping our customers be efficient.
3. Power needs
You probably know that Oregon is projected to use a lot more power in the next 50 years. Even in the next 20 years, power demand is projected to increase by almost 50 percent. You probably also know that new power plants can only be built so fast, and that they’re expensive to build and maintain. What you may not know is that a primary source of available power in the future is planned to come from increasing efficiency in how power is used — nearly half of the coming increase in demand we’re expecting to cover just through efficiency.
4. We’re Oregonians too.
We’ve been here for 120 years — this is where we live, and we love it, just like you. That means we care about the future of Oregon the same way you do. When it comes down to it, efficiency is just the right thing to do — for our customers, for us and for Oregon.