Photo of sunrise over Steens Mountain - Little Blitzen Gorge, 2016
So… What just happened in Salem?
Oregon’s 2021 legislative session has come to a close. We’ve made some major progress on statewide climate action, but before we dive into those details, let’s talk about how we got here.
Clean buildings

Heating and powering our homes and businesses generates a substantial amount of our climate-changing pollution; our built environment is a major contributor to global warming.  If our homes and buildings were carbon-free and energy efficient, we would significantly reduce our climate pollution, drastically cut energy costs for owners and renters, and improve air quality where we live and work. 

For example, in Washington State, emissions from buildings are growing at a faster rate than any other source of carbon pollution, with this increase largely attributable to the use of fossil gas in homes and buildings. Combusting fossil gas in homes and buildings is not only a significant contributor to climate change, but also poses significant health risks for our communities, children, and other vulnerable populations.

Indoor air quality issues are particularly concentrated for low-income residents in smaller units with poor ventilation. Communities of color are already disproportionately impacted by outdoor air pollution, and should not continue to be disproportionately harmed by poor indoor air quality as well. Gas appliances also worsen our outdoor air quality.  For example, California’s residential appliances releasing more than two times as many NOx emissions as all of their gas power plants combined, and commercial gas appliances releasing just as much NOx pollution as all of California’s cars.

Many cities in the region and around the country are increasingly looking at ensuring all new buildings are electric as a key cost-effective pathway for achieving their local or state greenhouse emissions goals. Electrifying buildings is critical to addressing climate change, but it is also achievable, affordable, safe, and creates a more resilient energy system.

We are working with partners to move toward electrifying our buildings for heating, cooling and cooking.  We can also construct homes and buildings that get all their energy from sustainable sources, and even produce as much energy as they use — net zero energy buildings. 

On the road to net zero energy homes in Oregon?

It's time for Oregon to reclaim a leadership position on building codes and to join the vanguard of states leading the way in pursuit of net zero energy homes and businesses. 

Cities Moving on Clean Energy

American cities are reducing climate pollution by investing in energy efficiency, renewables, grid innovations, and clean transportation. Energy Efficiency

The Urban Clean Energy Revolution

The Urban Clean Energy Revolution report details the state of play of low-carbon cities and describes a rich array of best practices and examples of urban clean energy innovation and carbon reduction.

The Path to Urban Carbon Reduction

The international climate talks are a moment in time for forward-looking urban leaders to demonstrate the collective political will they have amassed for bold climate action, and to show how far they have already come in reducing carbon emissions.

A Stronger Energy Code to Cut Carbon

A package of hugely important changes to Washington State codes are needed to make buildings more energy efficient and ready for solar and electric vehicle charging.

Carbon Reduction Know-How

In the early days of climate action, urban plans to reduce carbon frequently suffered from the laundry list syndrome: cataloguing potential strategies without any evidence of how they would meet long-term goals. Since then, cities and counties have become more sophisticated about cutting carbon, and are developing clean energy transition plans to do it.

The Silent Hero: breaking down barriers to energy efficiency

Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson once named energy efficiency the “silent hero” in the climate crisis. Republican Governor Butch Otter of Idaho called efficiency the “low hanging fruit in the energy orchard.” We know that a key way to reduce our climate pollution is to reduce our energy demand. By reducing energy use, we also save money on our utility bills. So why are there still barriers to homeowners embracing deep energy efficiency? 

Lowering utility bills while creating jobs—now that's efficient

“Every watt saved by energy efficiency measures helps create living-wage jobs,” says Stephanie Pitts of McKinstry, the latest business recipient of the BlueGreen Alliance's "Right Stuff" award.

400 Oregon businesses call for clean energy and climate protection

Oregon businesses are responding in ever-increasing numbers to the threat of global warming, and the ways climate change is harming our state's economy right now. You'll be inspired to see who's on the list!

Cities Get Clean Energy

City leaders across the United States see that energy efficiency means not only carbon reduction but also good government and sound economic policy:

Clean buildings are part of the climate solution

Mitigating climate change requires holistic action across all sectors of our society. The good news is that actions that reduce our carbon emissions often have positive benefits on other aspects of our communities and economy. This is why we’re excited to support the Clean Buildings Package of legislation in Washington State.

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CleanTech Showcase 2016

CleanTech Showcase is the Pacific Northwest’s premier cleantech business event. This one-day event gathers the industry’s best and brightest to learn about the latest clean technology innovations, research and investment opportunities.

Engage the industry’s best and brightest while seeing the latest cleantech innovations from across the region.

  • Network with 350+ industry leaders, investors, media and policymakers.

  • Hear and learn from renowned speakers across research, investing and industry.