Groups seek support of efficiency legislation
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
A handful of environmental and business organizations convened a conference call Friday to drum up support for a bill soon to be considered in the Oregon Legislature that would create new incentives for energy efficiency.
The call, sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of E2, the Oregon Environmental Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Climate Solutions, reviewed the bill, House Bill 3535 and asked business leaders to support it in Salem.
Jana Gastellum, global warming program manager for Oregon Environmental Council, said that about 75 businesses have so far signed on to support the legislation.
The bill includes the following measures:
• Requires the Oregon Department of Energy to adopt an energy performance rating system that would require landlords and sellers to disclose the energy efficiency performance of buildings for rent or sale.
• Requires annual reporting of energy performance by utilities and building owners for commercial buildings and adopts penalties for failure to make these reports.
• Establishes a program for property tax-abatement for high-performing buildings that approach or meet a net-zero energy rating.
• Requires utilities to prioritize measures that increase energy efficiency.
Gastellum cited figures from the Energy Trust of Oregon showing that organization's energy efficiency programs have created $76 million in wages and $11 million in new business income statewide.
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