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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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BPS E-News: City of Portland joins Kilowatt Crackdown competition

Portland’s commercial building owners and managers usually compete for tenants — but now they’re competing for energy savings, and the City of Portland is joining in, too. In late October, Portland City Council adopted a resolution that commits the City of Portland to working with commercial building owners and managers in Portland to improve building performance. Resolution 1231 directs the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Office of Management and Finance to enter the Portland Building and City Hall in the Kilowatt Crackdown energy efficiency competition for commercial office buildings.

“Commercial buildings consume considerable amounts of energy, and cities around the country are mandating that large office building owners benchmark their buildings and disclose their energy performance publicly,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “We decided to try a different approach — a more cooperative and market-based approach by showing the rest of the country that there are market reasons for doing this work — and that we can improve performance because it makes financial sense.”

Kilowatt Crackdown competition aims to save over 8 million kilowatt hours

Kilowatt Crackdown is the energy-saving competition where ‘every building wins,’ and the recruitment goal is 150 commercial office buildings. Over 20 buildings have signed up so far. New participants will find helpful tools and resources, including:

  • Free “Energy Coach” to help develop energy saving initiatives.
  • Free ENERGY STAR training, technical support, and data review.
  • Advice on best practices to reduce energy use and operating costs.
  • Metro-wide recognition for participating.


The competition includes a new website, and social media tools so participants can follow colleagues’ progress on Facebook, and Twitter, #kilowattcrackdown.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, buildings in theUnited Statesaccount for more than 40 percent of total energy consumption, and about 72 percent of electricity consumption. If current trends continue, it is estimated that buildings will be the largest global energy consumers by 2025.


Free training in December


8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

BOMAOregon, NEEA¹s BetterBricks and the City of Portland offer this workshop for building owners, property managers and service providers to improve the energy performance of Portland's buildings. This hands-on session will teach participants how to benchmark your building¹s energy performance using the free on-line tool ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. Workshop participants will create an account in Portfolio Manager and begin the initial energy performance rating for their building with individual guidance from an experienced benchmarking instructor and technical assistants. Participants are welcome to bring data from their own buildings to the session. A data collection sheet will be emailed to you prior to the workshop. Sample building data will be available for participants who do not bring their own data. Participants will learn about technical and financial resources available from BetterBricks and their local utility to plan and implement energy conservation projects.


Allie Robbins, Bonneville Power Administration, KLJC

About the Building Performance Partnership

NEEA’s BetterBricks, is the commercial building initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, which is supported by local electric utilities. Through the BetterBricks initiative, NEEA advocates for changes to energy-related business practices in the Northwest buildings. In this era of heightened appreciation for the impact climate change is having on our environment and our economy, energy efficiency is a crucial component in addressing global warming.

BOMA Oregon, is the industry’s leading commercial real estate organization, representing over 30 million square feet of commercial real estate inOregon. Through a strong membership base, leadership, networking, advocacy and professional development, BOMA Oregon is the voice of the commercial real estate industry.

City of Portland Bureauof Planning and Sustainability (BPS), develops innovative and practical solutions to create and enhance a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable city. The bureau provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

Clark Public Utilities, is a NEEA funder and customer-owned utility providing electric and water service inClark County,Washington. A public utility district organized under the laws of the state ofWashington, the utility was formed by a vote of the people in 1938. The utility currently provides electric service to more than 184,000 customers and water service to more than 30,000 homes and businesses.

Energy Trust of Oregon, is a NEEA funder and independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable energy. Services, cash incentives and solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save more than $1 billion on their energy bills. The organization’s work helps keep energy costs as low as possible and builds a sustainable energy future.