The Saylor Family Started with a Heat Pump

Testimonial from Erin Saylor

Referred by PGE.  

Erin Saylor’s views on electrification were informed by her work at an environmental nonprofit where she had a front row seat to discussions about the climate and health impacts of our country’s reliance on fossil gas. She was determined to start to wean her family off fossil fuels, but even she is surprised by how fast the state-wide emphasis on electrification has happened. “It seems like the benefits of electrification were just whispers a few years ago, but the 100% Clean Energy for All legislation that will move Oregon to clean electricity by 2040 has really moved electrification discussions to the forefront.” 

She has also become more concerned about the potential health impacts the family’s gas appliances have on her three young children. Financial constraints led her family to think carefully about where to start. But with their gas furnace in a poorly ventilated closet in the main part of the house, a carbon monoxide scare in a vacation rental, and last summer’s heat dome, they decided to start by replacing their furnace with a new heat pump system that provides both heat and air conditioning. A ducted heat pump system was installed in the main part of the house while a ductless mini-split was added to the primary bedroom over the garage. The family was delighted to work with Green Savers, an Electrify LO recommended contractor. The system was designed with an eye toward easily adding rooms to the house in the future. 

To finance the system, the Saylor’s participated in a program through the regional nonprofit called Craft3 which allows them to pay for the new system through their monthly PGE bill. They appreciate several aspects of their new heat pump system: the air conditioning, the ability to control the temperature of individual rooms, its relatively quiet compared to other HVAC units, and a perception of greater comfort as the temperature stays more consistent.  

The Saylor family is planning more electrification projects in the future – likely next on the list: replacing their gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater. Longer term, they’re considering a kitchen remodel that would add an induction stove and a potential move to an EV car – assuming they can find one that fits the whole family. Erin’s advice is “do your research, find a good company to work with, and go for it. Electrification protects the environment, improves safety for your family, and will save you money in the long run.”

Pruning a hedge

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.

Pruning a hedge