Our daily lives are becoming increasingly energy intensive. From the transportation fuels to move people and goods, electricity to power our buildings and manufacturing, natural gas to heat the air and water in our homes, energy embodied in the goods we buy and use to grow the food we eat, and even the electronic consumer goods upon which we are so reliant. The amount of energy we consume and the materials needed to sustain our lives has a direct impact on climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases.
Reducing our reliance on non-renewable energy sources not only has a positive impact on our contribution to climate change, but also prepares us for instability and volatility along our energy supply chain. Energy usage, both type and amount, influences the extent and rate of global climate change, while climate change influences our local environment and resulting energy needs. There are many opportunities for citizens, small business and organizations to reduce overall energy usage while also increasing the percentage of energy used from renewable sources. In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to have access to a variety of renewable energy options and incentives to reduce our energy burden.
For some Pacific Northwest perspectives on climate change, check out this resource: Facing Climate Change, a documentary project that tells the story of global change through local people. This new video series is from the Pacific Northwest, and features stories about oyster farmers confronting ocean acidification, coastal Tribes planning for sea level rise, potato farmers adjusting to reduced snow pack, and plateau Tribes concerned about habitat loss.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Energy efficiency and conservation provide the best opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce our GHG emissions. Learn more here.
Water conservation is closely related to energy conservation. More than half the electricity used by the City for its operations is to pump, treat, and move drinking water. Learn more about the City's water conservation program, including free technical assistance, rebates, and incentives.
Renewable energy may be the right choice for buildings once they have achieved high levels of energy efficiency. Solar, wind, geothermal, wave, biomass, and small-scale hydro are considered renewable energy resources in Oregon. With an abundance of these resources, it makes sense to capitalize on them when possible. Up front investment in renewables will pay "dividends" for many years to come, particularly in light of rising energy costs, unpredictable energy markets, and political instability
Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
A major concern to the Lake Oswego community and beyond is a changing climate due to increased greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from human activity. Learn more about climate change, Lake Oswego's GHG emissions, and actions we can take.
Find additional climate change resources here.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The City has installed electric vehicle charging stations in downtown Lake Oswego as part of two state-wide electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure projects. Learn more about the projects here.