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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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Resources for Improving your Building's Energy Performance

Energy efficiency basics – low and no-cost options

You can start cutting energy-related operating expenses today with simple no- and low-cost solutions, such as:

  • Changing or cleaning HVAC filters regularly.
  • Turning off lights when not in use or when natural daylight is sufficient.
  • Putting computers, monitors and other equipment in sleep mode when not in use.
  • Upgrading to high-efficiency bulbs and fixtures.
  • Using a smart power strip to turn off equipment that doesn’t always need to be on.
  • Installing programmable thermostats to automatically control heating and cooling during closed hours.

You can also use simple methods for identifying easy opportunities to save energy by using ENERGY STAR’s Treasure Hunt toolkit or learn from BetterBricks how to conduct a Building Night Walk.

Incentives and support from the Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon offers technical assistance and cash incentives to businesses making energy-saving upgrades. Visit Energy Trust to cash in on incentives, connect with a contractor and improve energy performance in your building.

Use the Pencil it Out tool to help estimate the potential financial benefits and energy savings that may occur in connection with an energy-efficiency project based on certain assumptions.

Energy Trust also offers Strategic Energy Management, a program where businesses, along with a cohort of peers, can gain the tools, experience and know-how to help their staff identify cost-saving opportunities.

Learn more about best practices

  • Use the High Performance Portfolio Framework for offices to learn how to integrate energy management strategies into your existing business processes.
  • Find out how some landlords are working with tenants to use Green Leases to better align the costs, savings and benefits of energy efficiency projects with their tenants.
  • Browse BetterBricks to find even more case studies, tools and resources to help manage and operate your building for efficiency and cost savings.


Help your staff stay up-to-date on the latest best practices in energy management:

  • Visit the PGE Energy Education Center for a calendar of upcoming training events.
  • Get a Building Operator Certification designed for building operators, custodians, maintenance staff and others interested in learning ways to save energy through building operation and maintenance.
  • Visit Energy Trust of Oregon’s Tools and Training page to learn more about upcoming events and certification and training programs for engineers, technicians and facility maintenance and energy managers.

Go deeper to save big

  • Check out any of the more than 85 tools from the Smart Buildings Center’s diagnostic Tool Lending Library to better understand how the systems in your building are actually operating.
  • Use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Asset Score tool to evaluate the physical and structural systems in your building that support efficiency.
  • Investigate different energy efficiency improvement scenarios using the interactive Spark Tool, designed for real estate professionals.


Traditional financing methods can, in many cases, be used to finance building energy upgrades. Some lenders, like Craft3, offer financing for businesses specifically for clean technology and energy efficiency upgrades.

The PropertyFit program offers up to 100%, long-term financing for energy-efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, and seismic projects to improve building performance and ENERGY STAR score. Visit the PropertyFit website for more information or contact Shelly Haack at Prosper Portland for assistance.