PGE customer actions resulted in the largest electricity demand-shift in company history during multi-day heat wave

Small energy conservation efforts added up to big results

July 11, 2024

Portland General Electric (PGE) customers worked together this week to reduce energy use during Portland’s first heat wave of the summer. Coupled with PGE’s ongoing system upgrades and preparedness efforts, customers’ collective energy conservation actions supported reliable power delivery and grid stability during a time of extremely high power demand.

Customer actions this week reduced electricity demand by nearly 109 megawatts (MW) during peak demand hours on Monday, July 8, and 100 MW on Tuesday, July 9; that is enough electricity to power over 90,000 homes for a four-hour period. Participation in PGE’s energy shifting programs, avoiding running large appliances during evening hours, and energy conservation efforts like adjusting the air conditioner by a few degrees or making energy-saving upgrades to their homes all added up to the significant energy-demand reduction.

PGE has several voluntary energy shifting program options for customers and the company typically employs one or two at a time, as needed throughout the year. On Monday and Tuesday, PGE activated its entire portfolio of energy shifting programs, which approximately 200,000 customers participate in, to help alleviate strain on the grid due to record-breaking hot weather. This is only the second time in company history that PGE has called upon all the programs for multiple, consecutive days; the first time was during last August’s heat wave.

Advancements in technologies and electrification are creating a more dynamic electric grid and customers are able to play a more active role that has an impact on the stability and health of the grid, while saving money on their power bill.

This was a community-wide, collaborative effort, and PGE employees also worked diligently on several efforts to address or prevent potential heat-related issues, including staffing extra crews to quickly respond to any outages, and taking technical precautions to help keep essential distribution equipment from overheating.

As the Pacific Northwest continues to see record-breaking summer and winter weather, customers can enroll in energy shifting programs like Peak Time Rebates, Smart Thermostat, Time of Day and EV Smart Charging, all of which enable PGE to safely reduce power use on the system during peak demand.

About Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is an integrated energy company that generates, transmits and distributes electricity to over 930,000 customers serving an area of 1.9 million Oregonians. For more than 130 years, Portland General Electric (PGE) has powered social progress, delivering safe, affordable, reliable and increasingly clean electricity while working to transform energy systems to meet evolving customer needs. PGE customers have set the standard for prioritizing clean energy with the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the country. PGE is committed to reducing emissions from its retail power supply by 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. PGE is recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the company’s commitment to creating a more equal, inclusive workplace. In 2023, PGE employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated nearly $4.6 million and volunteered over 23,000 volunteer hours to more than 400 nonprofit organizations. For information, visit PGE.

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