Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.

Oregonians can reduce greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide (CO2) by choosing high-efficiency natural gas appliances instead of electric ones. A high-efficiency furnace, water heater, cook top and dryer produce an average of 20 percent fewer emissions than comparable high-efficiency electric equipment - including an electric heat pump.

About 34 percent of Oregon’s electricity is generated by coal

Most methods used to generate electricity emit carbon dioxide. About 34 percent of Oregon’s electricity is generated from burning coal, while only about 6 percent of the state’s electricity comes from clean resources like wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. Data from the Department of Energy shows you where Oregon's electricity comes from.

Save carbon using gas over electricity

How much carbon you save by choosing gas over electric appliances depends on which utility provides your electricity. That’s because each electric utility has a unique generation mix. Using statewide information provided by the Oregon Department of Energy, we calculated that Oregonians can save an average of 20 percent off their appliances’ carbon emissions by using a full suite of natural gas appliances. This is because burning natural gas in a central generating plant is always far less efficient than using it directly in high-efficiency equipment in your home.

The two largest electric utilities serving NW Natural customers use a higher percentage of coal to generate electricity than some other utilities do. The chart below shows how emissions from high-efficiency appliances vary by company.

  • A PGE customer using gas appliances rather than electric ones reduces carbon dioxide emissions from their home’s energy use by about 28 percent.
  • A customer on the Pacific Power system would be responsible for about 56 percent less CO2 using high-efficiency gas appliances instead of electric appliances.
  • Some smaller Oregon utilities, such as the Eugene Water and Electric Board, depend more on hydroelectric generation. If the utility depends very little on fossil fuels for electricity generation, those electric appliances would emit even less CO2 than gas appliances.