October Energy Awareness Month

Media Contact: Jenna Cooper-Gross, jenna.cooper-gross@nwnatural.com; 503-226-4211, ext. 3511 or 503-880-8881


October 6, 2010


October's Energy Awareness Month Means Money-Saving Reminders

Time is ticking on valuable home improvement incentives

PORTLAND, Ore. — It's happening all over the Northwest, people are turning on the heat for the very first time this season. And while NW Natural customers will enjoy the same low natural gas rates they had in 2004, the company reminds customers that conservation and energy efficiency are the keys to a sustainable future.

"There's never been a better time to invest in home weatherization and energy efficiency, while tax credits from the federal stimulus package are still available," said Jenna Cooper-Gross of NW Natural. "And for our customers who think they can't afford to weatherize, they should consider our low-income weatherization programs. The energy savings can translate to real dollars in their pockets and a warmer home this winter."

Low-Income Weatherization

While home repairs and improvements can come with a hefty price tag, NW Natural customers with incomes at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible for no-cost or low-cost weatherization.

The Oregon, and now Washington, Low-Income Energy Efficiency programs help homeowners and renters with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level to reduce their energy bills while staying warm and comfortable through the winter. Eligible residents can get help from reliable contractors at no cost. Interested customers should contact their local community action agency.

Energy Trust of Oregon can help homeowners and renters with incomes between 200 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level increase the energy efficiency of their homes through its Savings Within Reach initiative. Savings Within Reach helps a largely underserved population find a qualified contractor and better afford insulation, air and duct sealing and more. For information, call Energy Trust at 1.877.395.6757 or visit www.energytrust.org/savingswithinreach.

To Your Credit

Energy-saving actions like buying a high-efficiency furnace or a tankless water heater or installing home insulation are much more attainable this year thanks to a federal tax credit worth up to $1,500. When purchasing a qualifying furnace and a tankless water heater installed by a NW Natural Certified Contractor, NW Natural's Oregon customers could receive up to $2,590 back, and in Washington, the incentives total up to $1,900. But, there is a time limit to these tax credits and rebates. Customers should check with ENERGY STAR for information on federal tax credits, and the Oregon Department of Energy for information on state tax credits. NW Natural customers in Oregon and Washington may also qualify for Energy Trust of Oregon cash incentives for qualifying energy-efficiency improvements.

Energy saving freebies

From free Energy Saver Kits to a one-hour Home Energy Review, Energy Trust is offering NW Natural customers free products and services that can help both homeowners and renters save more energy this fall.

Customers can visit energytrust.org/free or call 1.866.368.7878 to request any of the following offerings:

1. Energy Saver Kit

Trim energy use around the home with an Energy Saver Kit. It comes filled with easy-to-install energy-saving items such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, an energy-saving showerhead and faucet aerator.

2. Energy-Efficient Showerhead

Get a free WaterSense® showerhead that can help cut water heating bills, typically the second largest energy expense at home.

3. Home Energy Review

Request a Home Energy Review to have a trained energy advisor visit your house or apartment. In the course of an hour, they will show you where your home wastes energy and which energy-saving improvements can increase comfort and reduce energy costs. More information on reducing energy use and lowering bills can be found on NW Natural's Website.

About NW Natural

NW Natural is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and serves about 670,000 residential and business customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest and is one of the fastest-growing local distribution companies in the nation.

For more information about NW Natural, please visit nwnatural.com.

About Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save nearly $600 million on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future.

Learn more at energytrust.org or call 1-866-368-7878.

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