Community Involvement

We’re a utility. We’re here to serve. But we also live here. So, it should be no surprise that community is at the core of what we do. For over a century we’ve been investing in the needs of the communities we serve. It’s in our DNA. And always will be.

Every great organization has a purpose. Ours is you.

It takes all of us to solve our most pressing challenges and make sure our neighbors are taken care of. At PGE, bringing you safe, affordable and reliable energy is what we do every day. But Oregonians expect more from their energy company. That’s why we partner with community organizations and support our employees in giving back. Together, we’re enriching education, addressing climate change and supporting economic prosperity in the communities we serve. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to equity.

PGE Project Zero

Climate change is a challenge so large it’ll take all of us to solve. Including children and young adults. Project Zero is our commitment to engaging diverse communities in learning about climate change science, exploring clean energy and other solutions, and making a positive impact on the planet through volunteerism and internship programs.

Educating youth

Project Zero starts with education. We teamed up with Portland Public Schools (PPS) to announce this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, K-12 open source climate literacy curriculum development. PGE is financially supporting PPS’s work and offering expert perspectives on how climate change impacts the energy sector – aiding teacher and students as they discuss climate impacts and the clean energy future. In addition, we’re partnering with the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Children’s Theater, Mad Science and others to offer free educational materials and interactive experiences.

Environmental stewardship

Most low-income communities, Indigenous populations and communities of color are already experiencing firsthand the negative health and environmental impacts of climate change. Project Zero invests in enhancing parks and greenspaces and improving air quality in neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by climate change. The program works alongside longstanding partners, such as SOLVE and Friends of Trees, to engage Project Zero interns, PGE employees and customers in a variety of environmental stewardship events and programs.

Workforce development

Young adults disconnected from work and school will benefit from Project Zero’s green job internships with selected community partners. These 6-month paid internships, funded by the PGE Foundation, take place at organizations across Oregon. Each intern is supported by a PGE employee mentor and receives supplementary professional development training. Current partner organizations include Blueprint Foundation, Verde, Forest Park Conservancy, Columbia Slough Watershed Council and Friends of Trees.

How PGE is reaching out to the community

As proud as we are with Project Zero, it’s just one of the many ways we are involved in the community.

The PGE Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Portland General Electric. Founded in 1997, the foundation was created through an endowment with the express purpose of improving the quality of life for Oregonians. The PGE Foundation donates about $1 million annually in grants to community-based organizations with a focus on education, creative expression through arts and culture, and safe and stable families.

We support organizations that are working toward improving the lives of others through education, safe and healthy family programs, and environmental stewardship. Our community sponsorships promote equity, diversity and inclusion and we’re proud to sponsor events and contribute to initiatives that meet the need of our communities and align with our goal to build a clean energy future, together.

Our customers are supporting the community, too

At the corporate level and through our foundation, we invest resources to improve the lives of Oregonians while building an affordable, equitable clean energy future. But we know true, meaningful change starts at home. A big thank you has to go out to our customers for their support and funding these important community programs:

Transportation contributes 40% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. We believe transportation electrification can have a substantial impact on the environment and communities we serve. The Drive Change Fund is funded by the sale of Clean Fuels program credits from customers charging electric vehicles (EVs) at home. By supporting community organizations and businesses, the fund encourages EV adoption.

The Renewable Development Fund awards grants for clean energy projects in the community. Projects like this 100kW DC rooftop solar array at the Rockwood Boys & Girls Club are funded in part by PGE customers who choose Green Future renewable energy programs.

When PGE customers sign up for Green Future, many also choose Habitat Support as a way to help fund the Nature Conservancy. For nearly 60 years, they’ve been working in Oregon to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends by protecting vital habitats and natural resources.

Supporting land and wildlife

Did you know that PGE supports the land and wildlife that our generation plants sit on? Well, we do! Learn more about our efforts to make these outdoor spaces great for the wildlife that lives there and available for the public to enjoy.

Oregon is a dream location for the outdoor enthusiast. And a great way to explore the beauty of the Northwest is at one of PGE’s parks or campgrounds. We have several sprinkled across the state, some open year-round. Pack up the gear, grab the kids and head out.

The Pelton Round Butte Lamprey Fund was established to protect and research existing populations while supporting habitat enhancement efforts downstream of the Pelton Round Butte Project. We plan to award $3 million for in-stream habitat improvements, barrier removal, passage feasibility and reintroduction, as well as research surrounding migration, core spawning areas and population sizes.

The Pelton Round Butte Fund was set up to protect and enhance fish habitats in the Deschutes River Basin. In partnership with the Warm Springs Tribes, we’ve invested $26.5 million in projects such as removing fish passage barriers, stabilizing stream banks, restoring channels and floodplains and conserving water.

Employee community engagement

PGE employees and retirees are generous with their time and money. They record more than 45,000 volunteer hours annually, making them one of the most industrious corporate volunteer teams in Oregon.

Employees and retirees are also quick to pull out their check books, wallets, or smartphones to contribute through PGE’s Employee Giving Campaign at a rate well above the national average. In 2018, their contributions combined with a 100% company match totaled more than $2 million.

PGE Community Spirit Award nominations

This award honors the community spirit of PGE employees who volunteer, give back and play an active role in their community. Do you know someone at PGE who supports our goal of being a leading corporate citizen? If so, now’s a great chance to nominate them!