Business FAQ

To learn more, click on any question below; click on it again to "close" it.

Learn more about the Blue Sky renewable energy program

What is renewable energy and why is it important?

Renewable energy is energy generated from  resources  that can be regenerated or replenished  naturally, such as wind, solar, various forms of biomass, geothermal, hydropower and offshore wind, wave and tidal. Renewable energy is important for many reasons, including:

  • Less impact on the environment than non-renewable sources
  • Lower levels of air pollutants and wastewater
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced reliance on imported and domestic fossil fuels
  • Boost to local economies through job creation and investments in local renewable energy projects

What is the Blue Sky program?

Blue Sky is a voluntary program that provides an easy and convenient way for our customers to support renewable energy in the West. It goes beyond the renewable resources included in your basic service mix and helps build a larger market for renewable energy by increasing demand. 

How does Blue Sky work?

When you enroll in Blue Sky, Pacific Power purchases renewable energy certificates from renewable energy facilities in the West to match your Blue Sky purchase. This process:

  • Guarantees that electricity from renewable resources  is delivered to the regional power system equal to your Blue Sky purchase
  • Reduces the need for electricity generated from non-renewable sources like fossil fuels
  • Has measurable environmental benefits that you can claim
  • Increases demand for renewable energy in the region on your behalf
Why should my business enroll in Blue Sky?
  • Avoid carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions—visit our online calculator to see just how much.
  • Be a leader in your community and industry and differentiate your company from the competition
  • Generate customer loyalty and employee pride
  • Create positive publicity and earn recognition benefits from Pacific Power
What options are available to my business to support renewable energy?

The Blue Sky program provides your business with an easy way to support renewable energy development in the region. You can purchase blocks of 100 kilowatt hours for a flat amount each month to meet your specific business goals. Learn more about your options »

Program Option

Customer Segment**

Description

Extra Cost

Blue Sky Block

Available to all customer segments

Support renewable energy in fixed price,100 kilowatt-hour “blocks” of 100% western region wind energy and help fund new, community-based renewable energy projects in your state.

$1.95 per 100 kwh block

Blue Sky Usage (Oregon only)

Oregon small non-residential (schedules 23 and 41)

Support a blend of 100% Pacific Northwest renewable resources from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho equal to your monthly usage.* The resource mix is likely to include wind (78%), biomass (12%)solar (9%) and geothermal (1%).

About a penny ($0.0105) per kwh, which adds about 10% extra per month

Blue Sky Habitat

(Oregon only)

Oregon small non- residential (schedules 23 and 41)

Same as Blue Sky Usage and also helps restore and preserve native fish habitats in Oregon via the non-profit organization The Freshwater Trust.

About a penny ($0.0105) per kwh and a $2.50 monthly donation to The Freshwater Trust

Blue Sky Quantity Savings (QS)

Oregon large businesses (schedules 28, 30, 41L or 48) and all businesses in California and Washington

Purchase of 101 OR more Blue Sky Blocks per month for 12 months (1,212 blocks minimum purchase)

Varies: $1.94 to $0.70 per block. The cost is based on a sliding scale. Depending on volume of purchase

 

*A minority of resources from the greater Western Region may be purchased, if needed, to maintain price stability.

** Rate schedule appears on customer bill.

How much renewable energy should my business buy?
If your goal is to
You should
Here's how we can help
Spend a certain amount of money on your renewable energy support each month
Determine the amount of money you are willing to spend on renewable energy each month. Divide that by $1.95 and that's how many blocks you should buy.
Visit our cost calculator.
Support renewable energy equal to 100 percent of your energy use

If you are a small Oregon business (Schedule 23 or 41), simply select Blue Sky Usage or Habitat.

Otherwise, find out your average monthly usage of kwhs and divide that by 100. That is how many blocks you should support to equal your average monthly use.

Enroll in the Usage or Habitat options or call 1-800-769-3717.

Also, please call us if you need help deciding how many blocks to support to equal your average monthly use. (You cannot buy partial blocks)

Earn recognition benefits associated with my support

Look at the Pacific Power Blue Sky partner chart and select the benefit level you'd like.

Then, calculate the required support. Also, read about the EPA Green Power partnership program below to find out how you can qualify.

We know it can be difficult to navigate kwh requirements and blocks, so give us a call at 1-800-769-3717, and we'll do the work for you.
Spend less than $14 / month, but still receive some recognition Sign up for seven blocks to become a Blue Sky Supporter (or four if you are a low energy user, using less than 10,000 kwh / month). It's really that easy – just click enroll and choose seven blocks.
Support a large number of blocks at a lower rate / block
Participate in the Blue Sky QS which offers volume discounts for any business buying more than 100 blocks per month over a period of 12 months.
Visit our cost calculator.
What are the rewards/incentives for Blue Sky support?

The Blue Sky business partnership program recognizes organizations that support Blue Sky renewable energy at a level that meets or exceeds minimum purchase requirements related to your electricity usage. A minimum purchase level and a one-year commitment are required to participate in the business partnership program.

Oregon Blue Sky business partners can offer coupons to all Blue Sky customers via the Chinook Book mobile app platform. If you’d like to offer promotions or coupons to Blue Sky customers, please email us.

Blue Sky can also help businesses meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program renewable energy requirements. LEED is a Green Building rating system. It is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Buying renewable energy can provide your building with a LEED “credit” toward the achievement of the LEED Green Building standard. Buildings are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve. Learn more about LEED.  

Where is the renewable energy for the Blue Sky program generated?
  • Blue Sky customers support renewable energy from newly developed facilities in the western region. Learn more about the renewable energy resources that Blue Sky customers support.
  • See a list of facilities Blue Sky customers support and learn more about the community renewable energy projects that Blue Sky customers have helped fund.
What if I wanted to encourage my employees or customers to enroll in Blue Sky?

The Blue Sky program has been proud to cultivate many partnerships with businesses and organizations who want to encourage their customers and constituents to choose renewable energy. Every relationship looks different and the possibilities are endless.

If you have any ideas for ways we can work together, please e-mail us.
 

Are there any other ways to promote my business with Blue Sky?

Oregon Blue Sky business partners can offer coupons to our Blue Sky customers on the Chinook Book mobile app platform.

If you’d like to offer promotions or coupons to Blue Sky customers, please email us.

List of participating businesses»

How do I sign up?

Sign up now or call us toll free at 1-800-769-3717.

Cost related answers

Where does my money go?

Funds received from participating customers are used to purchase  renewable energy certificates (RECs) from regional renewable energy facilities equal to the Blue Sky purchase  to grow the support for renewable energy through customer education and outreach efforts, cover the costs of offering the program and depending on your enrollment option, may support the construction of new community-based renewable energy projects in your state (Block option) or native fish habitat restoration in Oregon (Habitat option). We are required by regulations to allocate the costs associated with the Blue Sky program to customers who choose to participate, and we do not make a profit by offering this option to customers.

Information provided is based on a three year average for the 2013-2015 periods. Percentages are for the Pacific Power region - which includes Oregon, Washington and California.  The Usage/Habitat options are available in Oregon only.

*Customer funds can be used to create funding awards for renewable energy projects throughout the company’s service territory to help advance renewable energy technology. For this period 31 percent of renewable energy funds went to support the construction of new community-based projects that increase public education and awareness of renewable technologies.

Learn more about these projects »

 

How do I know I’m getting what I pay for?

The Blue Sky program is overseen by your state’s public utility commission, regional advisory groups and is Green-e Energy certified.  Green-e Energy certifies that the Blue Sky program meets the minimum environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions that were developed in conjunction with leading environmental, energy and policy organizations.

Learn more about Green-e Energy certification »

Is my renewable energy purchase tax deductible?

Your Blue Sky support is not tax deductible.

Does Pacific Power profit from our Blue Sky participation?

No.  Pacific Power does not profit from any of the Blue Sky options.

While Pacific Power operates renewable energy facilities that produce RECs which may be sold to other utilities, those facilities are entirely separate from the renewable energy facilities that supply the renewable energy credits, or “green tags” to the Blue Sky program. Pacific Power does not make a profit from Blue Sky funds. Further, the program itself is certified by Green-e Energy, the nation's leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy.

EPA Green Power Program

What is the EPA Green Power Program?

The EPA Green Power Partnership program is a voluntary partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and organizations that buy renewable energy. Through this program, the EPA supports organizations that are buying renewable energy with tools and resources to help them promote their purchase.

The EPA Green Power Partner Program can also offer guidance on making a green power purchase. The renewable energy purchase to qualify as a Green Power Partner depends on the average electricity consumed by your business.

More about EPA Green Power program»

How do we qualify as an EPA Green Power Partner?

By making the minimum purchase required, your business will qualify as a Green Power Partner; there are also higher levels for those who wish to be part of the Green Power Leadership Club.

PDF Learn more or see how much energy your business would have to purchase»

After making a qualifying purchase, you must fill out a Partnership Agreement (PDF) on the EPA Web site.
 

What is an EPA Green Power Community?

Green Power Communities are cities and towns where the local government, businesses and residents come together to improve the environment by purchasing renewable energy in amounts that meet or exceed the EPA Green Power Community purchase requirements. By making it a priority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions they are increasing their pride and sense of community while enhancing their image. It is up to the local government to start the process by making a minimum Blue Sky renewable energy purchase to become an EPA Green Power Partner. From there, they can initiate a community-wide campaign to encourage local businesses and residents to buy Blue Sky renewable energy. Pacific Power has assisted multiple communities throughout the Western United States to become EPA Green Power Communities.
 

List of Green Power Communities»

Green-e Energy Certification

What is Green-e Energy?

Green-e EnergyTM was established by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions to provide a simple and objective way for you to quickly identify energy products that meet certain environmental and consumer protection standards.

When you see the Green-e Energy logo, it means:

  • the renewable energy option contains 100 percent new renewable resources;
  • the renewable sources of energy supplying the Blue Sky program are independently verified by Green-e Energy, operated by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions;
  • the purchaser of a Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy certificate is the sole "owner" of the environmental attributes of a specific megawatt hour (MWh) of energy added to the grid. Independent verification ensures that no megawatt-hours are double-counted, and
  • the company offering the certified renewable energy option agrees to abide by the Green-e Energy Code of Conduct and Customer Disclosure Requirements governing its ethical treatment of customers.


More information on Green-e Energy certification requirements» or call 888.63.GREEN.
 

Is the Blue Sky program Green-e Energy certified?

Yes! Green-e Energy is the nation's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e Energy offers certification and verification of renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation products. It is a program of the Center for Resource Solutions.

Learn more about Green-e certification»

Why is Green-e Energy certification great for businesses and organizations?

Green–e Energy certification also means that businesses participating in the Blue Sky program can take advantage not only of our Blue Sky business partner program and partner logo but also participate in the Green-e Marketplace – a program that lets your company display the Green-e Energy logo once you’ve purchased a qualifying amount of renewable energy in relation to your electricity usage. The Green-e Energy logo is the national symbol for renewable energy excellence and can be displayed on consumer products, in connection with services, offices or retail locations.
 

How can my business qualify to use the Green-e Marketplace logo?

Businesses and organizations participating in our Blue Sky program that wish to use the Green-e logo must:

  • Purchase a qualifying amount of renewable energy
  • Meet all of the requirements outlined in the Green-e logo Energy use agreement – sign and submit the agreements to Center for Resource Solutions
  • Annually attest that your organization has met the renewable energy minimum purchase commitment
  • Pay an annual licensing fee established by Green-e

Green-e Marketplace staff will work with your business to effectively promote your outstanding environmental commitment through use of the nationally recognized symbol for renewable energy excellence. Green-e Marketplace Certified companies cross a wide range of industry sectors including manufacturing, banking and finance, organic foods, retail and business services. Companies choose to display the logo on annual reports, displays, marketing collateral, select product packaging and corporate websites to promote their renewable energy use.

Access Green-e Marketplace requirements and documents» 

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

What is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and will my purchase help my building get LEED certified?

Yes, it can. LEED is a Green Building rating system. It is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Buying renewable energy can provide your building with a LEED “credit” helping to achieve the LEED green building standard. Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve.

More information about LEED»

Quick facts about renewable energy

If I choose a renewable power option, will I actually receive electricity generated from renewable energy generation sources?

Because of the way the power system works, electricity from a specific facility or source does not flow directly to a specific customer. However, we guarantee that renewable energy in the exact amount you sign up to buy through Blue Sky is purchased on your behalf from newly developed facilities in the western United States. This creates measurable environmental benefits and hastens renewable energy development. These purchases of renewable energy credits are in addition to the renewable energy Pacific Power already generates or purchases on behalf of all customers.   
 

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) or “green tag”?

Renewable energy certificates (RECs), also known as “green tags,” are proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy was generated and delivered to the regional power pool, and they represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects. RECs are sold separately from the electricity commodity.

For every unit of renewable energy generated and delivered to the regional power pool, an equivalent amount of renewable energy certificates (RECs) are created representing a tracking mechanism to ensure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. When you sign up for Blue Sky, Pacific Power contracts for RECs to match the equivalent of your ongoing electrical needs or the number of Blue Sky blocks you elect to purchase. Thus, the more RECs that are sold, the more demand is created for renewable power. As renewable facilities sell out their RECs, demand shifts to bring more renewable energy sources on-line.

New renewable energy sources are being constructed across the United States to meet the demand created for renewable energy. Your purchase of RECs benefits the environment by encouraging greater renewable energy generation and displacing non-renewable generation from the electricity system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_12VYXms6-c&feature=youtu.be

Want to know more about how RECs work? Warch this EPA video »

What is Pacific Power doing to bring more renewable energy to the region?

Pacific Power is dedicated to providing safe and reliable electric service to our customers, and acquiring cost-effective resources to meet customers’ growing electricity needs. PacifiCorp (Pacific Power’s parent company) is the second largest owner of wind-powered generation in the nation, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Our planning and investment in cost-effective wind energy has provided valuable tax revenues, jobs and other benefits for our customers and the communities we serve. It also has positioned the company to meet renewable portfolio standards and/or carbon reduction initiatives enacted in four of the six states within our service area.

Information about Pacific Power's environmental commitment »

How do wind turbines affect wildlife?

Wind power generation is associated with many positive impacts for the environment; however, wildlife interactions do occur at some sites. The wind industry continues to work hard to minimize these impacts and it is important to note that modern wind projects are far less harmful to birds than radio towers, tall buildings, airplanes, pesticides, vehicles and numerous other man made objects. This is an ongoing focus for the wind industry, permitting agencies, wildlife agencies and supporters of renewable energy resources.

Blue Sky facilities*
It is our desire to ensure that the renewable energy supported by customers through Blue Sky meets their expectations – that includes supporting newer facilities with more advanced technologies and practices. Green-e Energy certifies that the Blue Sky program meets the environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions, which consider environmental, energy and policy organizations.

Technical advances
The wind industry continues to innovate and collaborate with permitting agencies, wildlife agencies and researchers among others to minimize the impacts of wind farm construction and operation with advances in:

  • siting and operation of wind farms
  • technologies that help minimize harm to birds and other wildlife
  • mitigation of habitat and wildlife impacts through conservation measures
  • federal guidelines that protect wildlife

Federal guidelines
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service provides guidelines that help wind energy project developers avoid and minimize impacts of land-based, wind projects on wildlife and their habitats. These voluntary guidelines focus on minimizing impacts through siting, design and operation of wind farms. To the extent there is adverse interaction between a renewable resource and avian, bat or other forms of wildlife, wind facility owners typically collaborate with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and/or other wildlife agencies to create conservation and mitigation plans. These plans, which typically include pre-construction siting assessments and monitoring commitments, protocols and statistical adjustments to account for scavenging, then serve as the basis for collaboration between the wind project owner and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to avoid, minimize and mitigate for avian interactions.

*The wind generation facilities that Blue Sky customers support are in addition to those facilities that PacifiCorp owns.
Where can I find more information on renewable energy options and renewable energy generation?