Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1810 SW 5th Ave, Suite 710, Portland, OR 97201

Energy Efficiency

2030 Objective: Reduce energy use in City operations 2 percent annually

Holding Steady

Decades of smart design and consistent investment in energy efficiency upgrades have helped the City to reduce overall energy use 28 percent since FY 06-07. The City has made great strides increasing efficiency in street lighting, buildings and water pumping operations. Yet we also face a few significant challenges towards achieving our energy efficiency goal.

City operations are expanding in many areas in response to Portland’s population growth. This can make gains in energy efficiency difficult to achieve.

The City continues to identify ways to:

  • Reduce the energy use intensity of buildings (EUI is defined as energy use per square foot),
  • Increase the efficiency of the water distribution and wastewater management systems,
  • Adopt new, efficient technologies where appropriate.

Reduction in energy use compared to goal

In the most recent reporting year (FY 17-18), reductions in City Operations’ energy usage got back on track, decreasing fifteen percent from the previous year’s anomalously high energy consumption. Weather-dependent energy usage normalized relative to the previous year, when a warm summer paired with an increase in storm events resulted in high energy usage related to irrigation and water/stormwater pumping.

Total energy use by sector: Fiscal Year 2017-18

Supporting projects

The Portland Bureau of Transportation completed the conversion of 45,000 street lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. This project is the single largest energy efficiency project at the City to date; the LED conversion saves 20 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and $1.5 million annually, while drastically reducing maintenance requirements.  

The Portland Building is pursuing Path to Net Zero energy use in its upcoming renovation, due to be completed by 2020. Path to Net Zero aligns with the Architecture 2030 Challenge energy reduction standard and is attained by achieving approximately 40 percent savings over Oregon energy code.