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Money from Pacific Power program helps Portland nonprofit with costs of housing for veterans

Renewable energy is helping organizations stay afloat.

PORTLAND, Ore. — In just a few weeks, the new Robert J. Breitung Veteran Building in Northeast Portland will become home to 28 previously houseless veterans

"Just having a space to call home and their own is a really big deal," said project manager Summer Hausman.

The nonprofit Do Good Multnomah funded the project. Not an easy task in the middle of a pandemic. But the group will be getting some help to cover operation costs from rooftop solar panels. 

"Which will then offset costs of electric bills," explained Hausman. "The savings will be put back into the project which is a really good deal."

The organization received a $92,000 grant for the project, which will end up cutting the building's utility bills in half. All the money saved will allow the organization to provide more services for local veterans. Something even more important in these uncertain times.

"We can't even predict what's going to happen tomorrow because things are changing every day," said Hausman. "Any kind of savings, especially for nonprofits doing this kind of work for houseless communities, is a really good deal."

And if you're wondering how the nonprofit was able to afford that installation, it had help. Lots of help from the community.

"These are Pacific Power customers who choose to pay a little more on their bill each month to support community renewable energy projects like the one we have here," said Bob Gravely with Pacific Power.

The customers are taking part in the "Blue Sky Program." Pacific Power customers can choose to pay anywhere from a couple bucks up to $10 extra a month on their utility bills to help fund projects like this. Since the program was developed 20 years ago, it has supported more than 100 renewable energy projects. And, program-wide participants have helped support enough renewable energy to power about 1 million homes for a year.

PGE has a similar program.

In fact, Oregon power customers are some of the most giving in the nation when it comes to helping organizations like Do Good Multnomah and ultimately our planet.

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