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Stats & Facts

svg Individuals

A 2018 survey of low-income families in Washington County, Oregon, found that utility hardship affected more people (56%) than any other condition, including unemployment (33%) and falling behind on the rent (29%). The same survey found that “affordable utility bills” was the top resource that would make respondents feel “stable and secure.”

svg Disabled

More than 20% of Oregonians living with a disability earn less than $15,000 a year, leaving them with little to spare for necessities like food, clothing, and utilities.

svg Household

1 in 5 families nationwide sacrifice food, rent, or health care to pay their energy bills each year, putting them at high risk of illness, hunger, and homelessness. Give a neighbor a helping hand.

svg Seniors

Senior citizens are highly vulnerable to illness from extreme temperatures, including hypothermia and hyperthermia. Yet 1 in 10 Oregon seniors live in poverty, forcing them to go without indoor heating or cooling when they need it most.

svg Children

Children are in great danger of long-term harm from utility hardship. They may experience serious illnesses, undernutrition from food insecurity, cognitive and developmental deficiencies, and lasting trauma from the stress of poverty. Studies suggest that 1 in 5 families with children suffer from utility hardship.

A 2018 survey of low-income families in Washington County, Oregon, found that utility hardship affected more people (56%) than any other condition, including unemployment (33%) and falling behind on the rent (29%). The same survey found that “affordable utility bills” was the top resource that would make respondents feel “stable and secure.”

More than 20% of Oregonians living with a disability earn less than $15,000 a year, leaving them with little to spare for necessities like food, clothing, and utilities.

1 in 5 families nationwide sacrifice food, rent, or health care to pay their energy bills each year, putting them at high risk of illness, hunger, and homelessness. Give a neighbor a helping hand.

Senior citizens are highly vulnerable to illness from extreme temperatures, including hypothermia and hyperthermia. Yet 1 in 10 Oregon seniors live in poverty, forcing them to go without indoor heating or cooling when they need it most.

Children are in great danger of long-term harm from utility hardship. They may experience serious illnesses, undernutrition from food insecurity, cognitive and developmental deficiencies, and lasting trauma from the stress of poverty. Studies suggest that 1 in 5 families with children suffer from utility hardship.

In Their Own Words

“My husband and I both lost our jobs and we were unable to pay our bills. We had one child, another due, and winter was on its way. Assistance helped us stop a shut off. We were able to get caught up on bills and concentrate on other things we needed. We wish we didn’t need it, but are very glad that Oregon Energy Fund was there to help.” –Sam, Josephine County

“I am a veteran on fixed income, so this year’s extreme cold has been tough. In fact, for the first time ever, I had an energy bill this winter that was actually higher than my rent. Oregon Energy Fund kept me afloat.” –Douglas, Multnomah County

“Our child has medical issues and the cost of trips to and from the doctor have been adding up. Having the electricity paid is part of our rental agreement. Assistance from Oregon Energy Fund helped us avoid a shut off… we were able to set up a payment plan for the future and we could stop worrying about being evicted.” –Kathryn, Marion County

 

Read more testimonials from OEF recipients here

Become Energy Efficent

5 must-do energy steps

Lightbulb Switch to LEDs

When you’re spring cleaning, switch out a few bulbs. LEDs use about 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. Thanks to Energy Trust of Oregon, you can find reduced prices on LED bulbs for can lights, table lamps and other fixtures at Costco, The Home Depot and Lowe’s. Look for signs or ask at the store.

Source: Energy.gov

Temperature Set the Temp

Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or as low as possible during the day. Set it at 50 to 55 degrees at night or when you are gone.

Source: Energy.gov

Filter Check Filters

Clean or replace filters on furnaces, air conditioners, or heat pumps once a month or as needed. Also, make sure to maintain the system according to manufacture’s instructions. Replace clogged air filters on an older car with a carbureted engine to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and to protect your engine.

OEF_icon_power-plug Always Unplug

Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use—TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.

Save Water

Save water by not letting water run while you are shaving. Fix leaky faucets, thirty drips a minute of hot water wastes 50 gallons of water a month. You can also install water-saving faucet aerators on sinks you use most commonly use.

When you’re spring cleaning, switch out a few bulbs. LEDs use about 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. Thanks to Energy Trust of Oregon, you can find reduced prices on LED bulbs for can lights, table lamps and other fixtures at Costco, The Home Depot and Lowe’s. Look for signs or ask at the store.

Source: Energy.gov

Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or as low as possible during the day. Set it at 50 to 55 degrees at night or when you are gone.

Source: Energy.gov

Clean or replace filters on furnaces, air conditioners, or heat pumps once a month or as needed. Also, make sure to maintain the system according to manufacture’s instructions. Replace clogged air filters on an older car with a carbureted engine to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and to protect your engine.

Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use—TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.

Save water by not letting water run while you are shaving. Fix leaky faucets, thirty drips a minute of hot water wastes 50 gallons of water a month. You can also install water-saving faucet aerators on sinks you use most commonly use.

“Saving Money & Energy At Home”

Prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy

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