Managing Emissions

We’re doing a lot to manage our emissions, even as population and demand grow

Our commitment

As people who live, work and raise families here, we’re committed to powering Oregon’s energy future in ways that reduce carbon and other pollutant emissions, while also providing customers with reliable, reasonably priced electricity.

Greenhouse gas emissions profile

We generate electricity from a diverse range of generation resources, including natural gas, coal, hydro, renewables, long-term contracts and market purchases. Some of these emit greenhouse gases.

It’s not yet possible for utilities like PGE to provide reliable, safe and affordable electricity with an entirely emissions-free generation mix.

See our 2014 Sustainability Report for data on our air emissions and a July 2015 national benchmarking report for our emissions ranking among the nation’s 100 largest utilities.

Carbon management today

Our efforts in the past decade have helped us avoid emitting almost 1.6 million tons of CO2 each year. This work includes:

  • Helping our customers use energy more efficiently to reduce the need to build new plants.
  • Reducing regional transportation emissions – one of leading causes of emissions – by increasing the use of electric vehicles in our fleet and supporting public charging station infrastructure.
  • Adding wind and solar resources like our Biglow Canyon and Tucannon River wind farms, which are helping us meet Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which was updated in 2016 by the Oregon Legislature as part of the Oregon Clean Electricity Plan. We also purchase wind power under long-term contracts and run the nation’s No. 1 renewable power program.
  • Making plant efficiency upgrades that increase electricity production, and fish-passage improvements that allow us to keep making emissions-free hydroelectric power.
  • Purchasing carbon offsets for new natural gas plants through the Climate Trust. For more information, see the Climate Trust Report.
  • PGE payments toward greenhouse gas reduction projects total more than $17 million as of the end of 2014.
  • Using smart meters, which communicate with PGE remotely and securely, and cut 1.2 million miles of driving per year.

Reducing emissions in the future

New actions will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 2.2 million tons per year by 2021 through energy efficiency measures, renewable power development, and actions at our Boardman Power Plant.

Making emissions-free hydropower Making emissions-free hydropower

Our Pelton Round Butte and Sullivan plants generate low-impact hydro power, having passed a rigorous certification process to demonstrate minimum impact on fish and wildlife. Only 33 U.S. hydro plants have earned this designation.

Did you know? Did you know?

A variety of factors can increase or decrease greenhouse gas emissions in any given year. These include water availability for hydro generation, the energy demand of customers, and the availability of intermittent renewable resources such as solar and wind.

What’s the Renewable Portfolio Standard Oregon’s Clean Electricity plan bringing more renewable power

We were part of a collaborative group that developed this plan to transition the state off of coal power and double renewable energy.