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30 Years of Powering Lives

30 Years of Powering Lives

April 12, 2019

On October 19, 1989, a group of civic leaders met at Pacific Power in downtown Portland. Among them were representatives from Portland General Electric, the Oregon Department of Energy, Northwest Natural, and then-Governor Victor Atiyeh.

Their goal: to create a statewide, not for profit organization that would help low-income Oregonians “manage their energy needs.”

The group first adopted the name Oregon Energy Services, Inc., before settling on Oregon H.E.A.T. (Home Energy Assistance Team). In addition to being the only statewide nonprofit dedicated to energy assistance, Oregon H.E.A.T. would have a unique format.

The organization would collaborate with local community service agencies around the state, who would then “provide energy counseling, weatherization, bill payment assistance, and referral and advocacy for other types of assistance,” according to Colleen Bennet, the first Executive Director.

In its first year of fundraising, Oregon H.E.A.T. raised more than $500,000 in donations. Three decades later, as we prepare to celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’ve raised more than $35 million and provided energy assistance to nearly 300,000 people across the state, thanks to the help of supporters like you.

Our name and logo may have changed, but our mission has always stayed the same: to help Oregonians keep their power on in times of crisis.

We’re proud of our service to our community over the last 30 years, and grateful to our supportive family of friends and donors across the state.

We hope you’ll join us in the coming months as we look back on 30 years of compassion, collaboration, and innovation – and look ahead to the next 30.