The Corvallis School District’s Partnership with the Energy Trust of Oregon

Welcome Vy Pham to the CSD team

Vy is presently a full-time student at Oregon State University majoring in Chemical Engineering. She has been passionate about natural resources conservation ever since she learned about renewable resources and materials. She realizes that there are still many barriers to approach and promote green energy technology, which explains why she was motivated to major in chemical engineering with an emphasis on environmental sustainability; especially on materials and energy management. Vy decided to join the Corvallis School District (CSD) team due to their sustainability impact in education and services to children and families. In October 2020, Vy started working on the School Carbon and Environmental Benefits Calculator Project as a Seasonal Sustainability Intern at the Corvallis School District.

CSD’s Partnership with the Energy Trust of Oregon

The Energy Trust of Oregon is a non-profit initiative that focuses on reducing our environmental impact through research and utilizing the applications of clean and renewable energy. The Energy Trust has partnered with many organizations to host a wide amount of energy saving programs throughout the state of Oregon. Additionally, most Energy Trust projects are funded by a 3% fee on residential and commercial electricity bills which is dedicated to improving and delivering clean energy to local power companies within Oregon and Southwest Washington. Since 2002, The Energy Trust organization has invested approximately $2 billion to lower-cost efficiency, clean, and renewable energy which is expected to save over $8.2 billion on customer utility bills in the next 18 years.
For the past 4 years, the Corvallis School District has collaborated with the Energy Trust on the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Program, a program designated to identify and promote low and no-cost practices and mechanisms to manage energy usage. Six of our 13 schools are currently enrolled in this program since 2017. Throughout the Energy Trust’s SEM project in 2019, the six schools had conducted several pilot energy efficient projects which was reported to save over $19,000 per year in energy cost.

Why is this information important?

Currently, burning fossil fuels (e.g. coal, natural gas, petroleum, etc.) is the most common way to generate electricity. In Corvallis, most schools and households receive electricity from Pacific Power which currently uses coal and natural gas to generate approximately 70% of the electricity that they make. These sources of energy cause global warming, climate change, and air pollution throughout the world due to the greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc.). However, this considerable worldwide problem can be reduced or even eliminated by the implementation of clean and renewable energy. Acknowledging the benefits of green energy and utilizing it in the right way would be a stepping stone to approach a healthier and greener future. With the help and support from the CSD Facility Department, the Energy Trust will be able to use the information from this project to help student green teams coordinate multiple energy saving projects while educating students and staff about how energy is made and why it matters environmentally.