March 18, 2020

Multnomah County saves $100,000 in annual utility costs and wins "Most Natural Gas Savings" awardMultnomah County was awarded "Most Natural Gas Savings" out of 34 large public and private organizations participating in Energy Trust of Oregon's Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program as a result of saving 467,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and 66,000 therms of natural gas. That roughly equates to $100,000 in annual utility savings that were passed through to the county's operating programs.  

In addition to receiving the award, Multnomah County received a check for $22,646.45 from Energy Trust of Oregon for participating in the SEM program, which is led by staff from the Department of County Assets' Facilities and Property Management team and the Office of Sustainability. The incentive dollars are returned back to the Facilities project or cost center that paid for the upfront cost of the work to achieve the savings. 

"Every dollar that we don't spend on fossil fuel energy, or other utilities, is a dollar we can use to deliver the services that Multnomah County residents depend on," said John Wasiutynski, Multnomah County Sustainability Director. "The Facilities and Property Management staff are not only ensuring that our buildings stay operational and safe, but they continue to innovate and improve and this award is a well deserved point of recognition for their ongoing efforts."

Energy efficiency has been proven to be the most cost-effective energy resource available. Through the tireless efforts of Facilities and Property Management staff to work toward the organization's commitment to eliminating the use of fossil fuels and to being responsible with taxpayer dollars, Multnomah County's efforts continue to add up.

Participation in the SEM program includes identifying potential energy saving improvements in County facilities, participating in technical and employee engagement workshops, developing educational opportunities for staff, and tracking Multnomah County's progress. 

"I am proud of Facilities and Property Management staff for having been recognized for their efforts," said Naomi Butler, interim Facility and Property Management director. "We can achieve great things when we set our minds to it."