Get Your Heat Pump Air-Conditioner Installed Before the Summer Heat

In 2018, 30% percent of homes in Oregon had no air conditioning. Hot summers, including the heat dome of June 2021 that produced temperatures in Lake Oswego higher than 112 degrees F, have led to an upswing in interest in indoor cooling. 

Heat pumps are a great way to cool your home in the summer. This same heat pump will also warm your home in the winter–it can either replace your furnace or dramatically reduce its use. Heat pumps are 2-3 times more energy efficient than traditional furnaces, so produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions and cost less to operate.

Portland General Electric has a list of approved contractors for heat pumps and offers discounts of up to $1700 through June 30.  

Our partner Electrify Now also has a list of trusted contractors that offer discounts. 

Energy Trust of Oregon has information on ways to finance heat pumps—instead of a large upfront cost to purchase the system, a monthly charge will be added to your PGE bill.

If you want to get the benefit of a cooling system that also provides heat during the winter, lower operational costs, and the lowest impact on the environment, install a heat pump.

Lawn mower, leaf blower, chain saw

Luscher Farm Summer CSA is starting in May!

When: Starting May 19th through October 27th
Pickup Location:  Luscher Farm City Park, 125 Rosemont Rd, Lake Oswego, OR (map)
For more info and to join today click here.

If you join now, you will enjoy the bounty of healthy, fresh vegetables direct from the farm for the whole summer growing season.

The Luscher Farm CSA has been a partner for many years and is a program of Lake Oswego Parks & Rec that is managed by the 47th Ave Farm. 

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between a farmer and local families who invest in each other. Members pay at the beginning of the growing season and in return, you will receive delicious local produce all through the summer season. Harvest starts mid-May and continues through the end of October. Members come to Luscher Farm on Thursday evenings to pick up their beautiful bountiful basket of produce.

In addition to growing great vegetables, the CSA farmers are also using many different practices to increase sustainability at Luscher Farm. To cultivate and weed our fields, we use both electric tractors and draft horses. This reduces dependence on fossil fuels and runs lighter on the ground than traditional diesel tractors. We are also innovating with different cover crop mixes between our year-round vegetable crops. Cover crops can increase carbon sequestration, improve soil health, provide habitat for beneficial insects and reduce the need for off-farm inputs. All of these practices add up to more sustainable & delicious veggies for your family!

Now is the time to sign up for the Summer CSA program

Lawn mower, leaf blower, chain saw

City Landscaping Equipment Survey

Landscaping Equipment Survey for Lake Oswego Residents and Property Owners

The City of Lake Oswego is exploring possible incentives and education programs to encourage landscapers and residents to switch from gas-powered landscaping equipment to electric equipment. The city is conducting a survey of landscaping companies, residents and property owners about their use of landscaping equipment.

Please provide your input and feedback by filling out the survey. Your help is greatly appreciated.

If you own a landscaping company that operates in Lake Oswego, please contact Amanda Watson, Sustainability Program Manager, City of Lake Oswego, at awatson@lakeoswego.city to get a link for the correct survey.

Lawn mower, leaf blower, chain saw

Duke Castle’s Electrification Journey

Testimonial from Duke Castle

Duke Castle was part of a team working on the initial city-community climate action plan and learned that the quickest and most impactful thing citizens in Lake Oswego could do to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions was to electrify their vehicles. So the first thing he and Jan did was purchase an electric vehicle in the fall of 2018.

It was shortly afterwards that he began to hear about taking the electrification concept even further by electrifying everything in their home and getting off “natural” gas. Duke knew about heat pumps as the best answer for home heating but held off due to their higher cost. What finally convinced him to make the move was when Portland General Electric offered a $3000 rebate. He and Jan knew from past experience that when a gas heater fails you don’t have a lot of time to research alternatives. So they decided to act then while the rebate was still available.

Duke contacted Sunset Heating and Cooling and spoke to Peter Fritz who was quite knowledgeable and recommended a heat pump sized for their home along with a list of additional rebates they would qualify for.

Duke’s neighbor, Kathy Kremer, told Duke about the existence of heat pump water heaters so he and Jan made that conversion also.

“We had no other gas appliances at that point so I was able to call Northwest Natural and tell them to terminate our service. That felt great”!

One benefit of going with a heat pump was that the Castles now had air conditioning. Their home is so well insulated that air conditioning was never needed until the temperature reached 1160 in June 2021. “Wow, were we glad we made the switch to a heat pump when we did.”

Other changes have included signing up for community solar and signing up for PGE’s Time of Day rate structure which is saving about $35 per month.

Overall the Castles are very pleased with their choices. The EV is really fun to drive and the home is comfortable all year round.

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Kathy Kremer Has Approached Electrification Step by Step

Testimonial from Kathy Kremer

Kathy Kremer was always interested in sustainability, which she routinely incorporated into her work as a residential building designer. But in the last five years she has retrofitted her small (830 square feet–“I like small” ) Lake Oswego home mindful of the climate crisis and a slew of available incentives. She still had her original decades-old oil heater. She started her electrification journey by converting to a type of electric heat pump called a “ductless mini-split” that is wall mounted and does not use vents or ducts. She hesitated because she was not fond of the wall mounted look, but finally decided energy efficiency was more important than aesthetics. And the truth is “I began liking its looks when I began to truly appreciate its efficiency and value.” She followed with a heat pump water heater that “paid for itself in two years”, and then an electric vehicle. But her favorite appliance, being an avid cook, is her new induction range “So precise and so freaking fast! Whoever said a watched pot never boils is wrong when it comes to induction.” She understands that her clients may have an “atavistic pleasure in fossil gas”, but induction cooking is not only safer, but “just plain joyful”.

Overall, she is impressed by how much her energy costs have reduced. In 2017, as she started her electrification journey, her one-year energy cost, including hot water, heat (oil), gas for the car, and electricity, was $3786. Last year, with all her energy now electrical, her cost for hot water, heat, electricity, and EV car charging was $1607. “Imagine what the savings would be with a larger home.”

 

Pruning a hedge