Pillar 1: Customer Value

Connecting our customers to what matters most

PGE’s Sustainability Report

Pillar 1 - Customer Value

“As the largest electric utility in Oregon, we're taking important steps to ensure our communities are headed toward a clean, equitable energy future. We’re confident these investments will allow our customers to reap the benefits of our increasingly modern electricity grid for years to come.”

Bill Nicholson, Senior Vice President, Transmission and Distribution

Story 1

Portland's First Solar + Energy Storage at Fire Station and Emergency Response Hub

In partnership with the City of Portland, we are in the final stages of building the City of Portland’s first solar-plus-energy storage facility. The facility is located at Portland Fire & Rescue Station 1, a critical emergency response hub for the city.

The solar and energy storage setup will help provide emergency power to the fire station in critical emergencies, and provide PGE customers with power during high energy usage periods and even during normal energy usage periods. In addition to improving grid resiliency, the 30-kilowatt system is projected to save the station approximately $5,000 per year in electricity costs.

This project is part of the City of Portland Fire & Rescue’s citywide integration of renewable energy through microgrids, electric vehicle charging stations, solar panels and demand-response participation. These contributions play an important role in our initiative to create an electric grid that’s more flexible, resilient and integrated.

The station’s solar panels will be installed this summer and the battery will be ready by the end of 2018. While coordinating multiple energy resources, technologies and agencies can be challenging, we’re committed to working collaboratively on projects that move us toward a clean energy future. This project represents a portion of a larger partnership between PGE and the Portland Fire Bureau that also includes their enrollment of all facilities into PGE’s smart thermostat program as well as the utilization of contributions from Green Future’s customer-backed PGE Renewable Development Fund.

Story 2

Partnering with customers to reduce peak energy demand

When energy demand increases due to extreme temperatures, it can often put pressure on our energy grid and increase costs for customers. As part of our grid modernization, we are developing new capabilities for data and systems interoperability that will enable us to ingest large volumes of data from generation, transmission, distribution, meter and home appliances to manage those grid demands.

On Aug. 3, 2017, we made the decision to partner with customers to reduce demand caused by especially high temperatures. Through several programs, commercial and residential customers voluntarily shift their energy usage (either manually or using smart devices) on those days when it gets really hot or really cold, which helps us increase reliability and decrease costs.

For this particular event in August, the results were better than expected, and we reduced the load on our system by 18.7 megawatts, which was even more than we forecasted and the equivalent of more than 9,000 homes.

It wasn't just PGE customers using less power — our World Trade Center corporate headquarters was also able to curb 114 kilowatts of demand, representing about 30 percent of our expected usage.

What’s next

Partnering for an electric future

PGE is working to increase electric vehicle adoption and expand access to electricity as a transportation fuel for all customers. This year, PGE requested approval from the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) to spend $4.3M to support these goals. The plan includes partnering with TriMet to support their first all-electric bus route with three bus charging stations; deploying six new Electric Avenue charging hubs; and increasing awareness of EVs by providing outreach and technical assistance across our community.

For more information, check out the Customer Value section of our Key Metrics summary.