Go oregon

Power on, the Oregon Way

Electricity is the energy that powers so much of our lives. It helps us move, create, earn, and build. And, of course, it keeps the lights on, warms us, and cools us. When we flip a switch, we probably don’t think twice about the system that delivers reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean electricity. But there is an Oregon Way of delivering electricity that drives innovation while protecting our people, our economy, and our environment.

The Oregon difference

Unlike some other states, Oregon fully regulates electric companies. That independent oversight helps ensure Oregon is moving to a clean energy future while maintaining accountability, fairness, reliability, and affordability. Oregon’s regulated electric system ensures that Oregon values are core to how electric companies like Portland General Electric operate their business.

The Oregon Way: protecting consumers

The Oregon Way helps keep electricity prices below the national average supported by a public, transparent process run by the independent Oregon Public Utility Commission. The OPUC is in charge of approving electricity prices and regulates the profits electric companies can make. Our regulated electric system also ensures that a portion of every electricity bill helps fund important things like the Energy Trust of Oregon and bill assistance for low-income families.

The Oregon Way: ensuring reliability

Oregon’s regulated system includes making sure electric companies have enough power to fuel our people and economy, now and in the future. PGE plans years in advance, factoring in changing business needs, a growing population, and the demand for cleaner electricity -- all with oversight from the OPUC to ensure this planning happens. We also invest billions of dollars in innovative solutions to strengthen the grid, making it more resilient in case of earthquakes and other natural disasters, and to secure it against physical and cyber-attacks.

The Oregon Way: protecting Oregon for future generations

Oregon’s regulated electric companies are key partners to a clean energy future. PGE is actively driving down greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the “decarbonization” of our electricity supply through the Renewable Portfolio Standard, the mandate to remove coal from rates by 2035, and our own clean energy commitments. By 2022, we expect to serve customers with 50% clean and renewable energy, and ultimately reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80%.

Over the past decade, PGE has invested more than $2 billion in new clean and renewable resources, energy efficiency, and green technologies. For customers who want to go further faster, we have programs that allow them to be 100% renewable today, generate their own electricity and sell it back to the grid, and take charge of their energy use through energy shifting programs.

And because the transportation sector is the largest and fastest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, we’re working to support communities and help customers reach their transportation electrification goals, including:

  • Supporting nonprofits and businesses with transportation electrification through the PGE Drive Change Fund
  • Providing grants to school districts for new electric school buses
  • Partnering with TriMet to electrify bus fleets
  • Building electric vehicle infrastructure and charging stations
  • Helping establish zero-emission vehicle adoption goals for Oregon

The Oregon Way: keeping it local

The Oregon Way of powering the state through a regulated, integrated system enables PGE to create more than 3,000 family-wage jobs and contribute millions in tax revenue to local communities. And more than 90% of the energy we serve customers with is generated in the Pacific Northwest (two-thirds of it right here in Oregon).

PGE also strengthens the community through environmental stewardship and recreation projects, including:

  • Working with communities on habitat mitigation and restoration on over 36,500 acres of natural habitat
  • Helping pass almost 1.5 million juvenile salmon and steelhead downstream on the Deschutes River since 2010
  • Owning and operating 14 public parks and recreation sites across the state

Making our home even more incredible

Oregon is a unique and amazing place. We value the spectacular, natural beauty, the abundant wildlife, and all the people who call it home. To help keep it that way, we’re committed to protecting what we all love about Oregon. That means investing both time and money to create spaces and activities that everyone can enjoy, and providing resources, programs and tools that support all our customers — from high bill help, to Energy Tracker, to renewable energy options.

PGE parks and campgrounds

From the Columbia River to the Clackamas River to Central Oregon, we manage 14 parks and campgrounds that you can enjoy. Camp, hike, fish, paddle board, raft, bike and more. Find your next Oregon adventure at a PGE park.

Helping build a vibrant community

A strong community is the foundation for a prosperous future.  To help create that future, we are committed to community investments in:
  • Education and workforce development
  • Creative expression (arts education)
  • Safe and stable families
  • Environmental stewardship
Together with our employees and retirees, PGE invests more than $3 million annually to communities where we live, work and play.  We also have the PGE Foundation, a separate non-profit, that invests more than $1 million annually to help improve the quality of life for Oregonians.

Protecting our environment

We know producing electricity does have an impact on our environment and we’re committed to helping minimize that impact and protecting this wonderful place we call home.

Our environmental stewardship programs focus on two key impact areas:

Air quality and emissions:
As we work to combat the effects of climate change, we are focused on powering Oregon with clean, reliable energy. This includes work to reduce our GHG emissions and increase energy efficiency (for ourselves and our customers).

Water quality and wildlife habitat:
We work to help protect our rivers, fish and wildlife. Through monitoring water quality, protecting fish passage and restoring habitat.  

We also have a team dedicated to caring for the people and places of Oregon. We’ve even heard them say they have the best jobs ever. Read their stories to learn more about what they do every day to help our customers and contribute to a clean energy future.

Meet the people making a difference

Gonzalo fly fising in the river
Gonzalo Mendez
Biologist Deschutes River
Mini cleaning old stone engraving
Mini Sharma-Ogle
Archaeologist and Cultural Historian
image of dorothy smiling
Dorothy Brown-Kwaiser
Parks Outreach and Junior Ranger
Program Founder
Gonzalo fly fising in the river

Get to know Gonzalo Mendez

Gonzalo is a Fisheries Biologist working to bring salmon and steelhead back to the upper Deschutes basin. “I play with fish,” he modestly puts it. “At least that’s what it feels like to me.”

Gonzalo’s team includes more than a dozen people dedicated to learning about the movement of fish in central Oregon and reconnecting the river ecosystem. “Fish may have behaved a certain way in the ’50s, before the hydroelectric dam, but things are different now,” he says. “The data we’re collecting is creating a new baseline to help us understand behavior of reintroduced salmon and steelhead.”

From February to early June, he’s very busy catching, weighing, measuring and tagging juvenile fish before releasing them. The data collection requires a technical understanding of fish biology, statistics, population dynamics and lots of patience. Ultimately, the goal is to restore lost fragments of our environment, and healthy returns of Chinook and steelhead are key indicators of success.

“Our focus is to make sure the fish are safe,” he says. “I take a lot of pride in the notion that PGE is taking a substantial role in bringing back fish that are an integral part of our Northwest identity.”

Gonzalo fly fising in the river

Get to know Mini Sharma Ogle

In her role as Senior Environmental Specialist, PGE’s archaeologist Mini Sharma Ogle combines science, engineering and dirt digging. “Sometimes it calls for a hard hat; other times, high heels,” she says.

In working with architects and engineers, Mini helps PGE consider the history of a site as well as the community. “I manage our responsibilities towards cultural resources management, making sure we are a good steward of our collective history — particularly with indigenous communities in the areas we serve.”

One day she might be working with local Tribes on a site that dates back 13,000 years. Another day it could be a seismic upgrade to a facility that’s 50 years old. “It’s our job to get ahead of the backhoe,” she says.

Whether it’s the repurposing of materials — like the Faraday Power plant’s creative reuse of wrenches and pipes into a playground — or protecting sensitive areas by altering plans to “go over instead of under,” Mini works hard to balance science and art, engineering and archaeology, and history and modernity.

“I love coming to work because I sincerely feel like I make a difference in how PGE and our employees think about our shared history and how we learn from it,” she adds. “We’re powering the future while protecting the past.”

Gonzalo fly fising in the river

Get to know Dorothy Brown-Kwaiser

As Parks Education Specialist, Dorothy works at her dream job every day. “I’m the Park Ranger in the big hat, sharing stories and pointing at things on the hiking trail.”

One of her main responsibilities every summer is running PGE’s Junior Ranger program for kids aged 5-12, not that anyone checks ID. As part of the program, each Ranger-in-training receives an activity book. Once completed, they get a badge and certificate as proof of their Junior Ranger status.

In addition to being a fun activity, the program was created to help build a relationship between kids, families, and park rangers while instilling a sense of respect for nature. “Not everyone needs to be a Park Ranger,” Dorothy says, “but we can all be good stewards of nature.”

Her love of nature comes from her time as a student at Northland College in Wisconsin where she studied the teachings of environmentalist Freeman Tilden. One of his quotes still inspires her: “Through interpretation, understanding; through understanding, appreciation; through appreciation, protection.”

With nearly 700 participants in just its second year, it's easy to see that Dorothy and the team is providing inspiration for the next generation of Park Rangers.