imagine community ownership of ecologically-sound utilities.
This section addresses utilities, including city water
and sewer management, solid waste collection, and gas,
electric, and telecommunications services. While not
many Portlanders mention utilities, those who do are
concerned primarily with electric utilities and water
bills. Portlanders want to City to move towards sustainable
sources of energy and favor local ownership of utilities
as well as services such as waste management. Community
members who mention utilities in their vision for the
future imagine Portland moving towards energy self-sufficiency,
with the public creating and managing solar power, wind
power and other forms of sustainable energy.
This section contains significant overlap with Environment:
Energy, which addresses alternative energy, local
power production, energy prices, and other related topics.
However, that section is limited to a discussion on
energy while this section covers comments on a range
possible, Portland should encourage local ownership
utilities of the future will be environmentally friendly.
- Portland’s water is excellent,
but bills seem too high.
- Should Portland have purchased
Portland General Electric (PGE)?
possible, Portland should encourage local
ownership of utilities.
- Many people favor regional and/or local
ownership of water and electric utilities.
- Quite a few respondents call for breaking
up monopolies on services such as
garbage collection, phone service and cable
service. A number of people say they would
prefer to see many small, locally-owned companies
providing these services as opposed to large,
- While opinions differ on whether or not
the City should have purchased PGE, many people
feel that local ownership of electric utilities
would make power more affordable and more
2030] the people of the city own/control
all public utilities, and our power sources
are all ecologically sound ones.”
management is the topic of the day, and
a possible nightmare of tomorrow. Move
away from an oil-based economy. A first
step is public power, a bigger step is
'net zero' building regulations. Or changing
code requirements for proximity to basic
services for neighborhoods, such as grocery
utilities of the future will be environmentally
- Portlanders want utility providers to quickly
adopt “green” technologies and make environmentally
friendly utility options more affordable and
more widely available.
- Many Portlanders imagine that in the future,
solar power and wind power will replace fossil
fuels as the primary source of energy.
- Portlanders are interested in reducing reliance
on conventional utility providers and encouraging
individuals and communities to produce and
manage their own sources of energy and water.
2030] green options for utilities (like
wind power for electricity) are no longer
voluntary, but standard.”
2030] our energy use decreased enough
to cause PGE and PacifiCorp to close all
of their coal-fired power plants. Our
water use decreased by so much that we
never use the Columbia Aquifer well field
and Bull Run even stores less than right
now. We earned a commendation for stormwater
management from the EPA for eliminating
combined sewer overflows. We do such a
good job at stormwater management that
the big pipe rarely every holds runoff.
Our local economy is thriving. Our landfills
are not even used anymore we recycle,
reuse, compost everything.”
- Legalize the use of grey-water
- Create solar panel grants to encourage more
people to install solar panels in their homes
- Create a municipal solar utility.
- Reduce fees and create a more efficient
permitting process for private solar use.
- Create a public education campaign to educate
Portlanders on different utility options and
on the benefits of supporting environmentally
water is excellent, but bills seem too high.
- Many people wonder why water and sewage
bills are so high and ask for prices to be
- At the same time, people love that Portland
has tap water that tastes clean and good.
They also love public water fountains (for
more, see Environment:
those water charges. Water costs are
high and keep rising. Why? Who’s keeping
H20 billing and gains-my bill just doubled
to $98/month. Wow! For single retirees.”
Portland have purchased Portland General Electric
Community members disagree over whether or not Portland
should have attempted to purchase PGE. Some people
are clearly opposed to public ownership of PGE, while
others think public ownership is a good idea. Still
others speak of resenting the amount of time, energy
and money invested in “thinking about buying PGE.”
It is unclear whether these people wanted the City
to simply go ahead and purchase it or not to have
considered it in the first place.
Despite these disagreements over the specific issue
of PGE, most people who mention public power in
this section are generally supportive of the concept.
They believe that over the long term, public ownership
of electric utilities will result in power that
is more affordable and more environmentally sustainable.
should own PGE. If you look at the Austin PUD
they have developed wind power and lock in customers
at rates that are now below prices for conventional
and polluting electricity.”