Residential and commercial utility customers are encouraged to participate in programs that support clean, renewable energy. See Conservation Programs to find out about expert advice, rebates and free audits offered by the City.
Solar Pioneer Programs
Solar Pioneer I - From 2000-2002, over 260 citizens and businesses generated nearly $30,000 to finance local solar projects Ashland utility customers voluntarily added a Solar Pioneer surcharge to their electric bill, paying increments of $4.00/month to support photovoltaic installations at the Civic Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Southern Oregon University. Solar Pioneers was also supported by BEF, both financially and through donated staff time. Funds from this program are used to reimburse OSF and SOU for solar electricity at $.25/kWh, until their investments are fully reimbursed, which will take 8-12 years.
Solar Pioneer II - In 2007, the City of Ashland installed a 63kW community solar system at the City of Ashland Service Center making solar energy generation available to any Ashland Utility customer. Individual solar panels (even down to 1/4 of a panel) can be purchased by the customer, who then receives a credit on their monthly electric bill equal to the energy production of their panel. As of 2010, roughly half of the panels have been purchased.
BEF Renewable Option Program: Receive the benefits of clean, renewable wind energy for your home or business
Through our partnership with BEF’s Renewable Option Program, you can affordably purchase the environmental benefits of wind power generated throughout the Pacific Northwest. BEF’s Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Option RECs represent renewable energy sources from Pacific Northwest projects where clean zero-emission wind energy has been delivered to the North American power grid to replace fossil fuel based electricity.
Each block of Renewable Option RECs represents the environmental attributes of 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity generated from wind energy facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest.
After you make your purchase, you will still receive a separate power bill from the City of Ashland. BEF will charge you a modest fee for your Renewable Option REC purchase and will deliver you proof of purchase identifying your specific product supply by email.
Learn more—download the residential program brochure (PDF)
Learn more—download the business program brochure (PDF)
The City of Ashland has partnered with BEF on several successful projects. BEF contributed about $60,000 to fund and build Solar Ashland, which encompasses the solar installations at the Civic Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and SOU. At the time of its construction, Solar Ashland was the largest solar plant in the Pacific Northwest.
The City also received guidance from BEF to create, market and implement the Solar Pioneer program. In 2003, BEF provided funding to Ashland for the solar project at the Wilderness Charter School, which will provide on-site renewable electricity for the school and be used in hands-on academic projects.