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.
Ashland Renewable Pioneers Program
By purchasing Green Tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), Ashland utility customers can become Renewable Pioneers and support renewable energy projects located in Ashland and the greater Pacific Northwest.
Each time a City of Ashland utility customer purchases a Green Tag, BEF will direct a portion of the purchase to local renewable energy projects. Funds generated by Renewable Pioneers will be used by the City to install solar systems, and to teach Ashland students about solar energy. A purchase is tax-deductible and is paid separately from your utility bill. The Renewable Pioneers program replaces the Solar Pioneer program.
Green Tags, also called renewable energy certificates, represent the environmental benefits of renewable power, such as wind and solar. They directly further the development of NEW renewable energy projects, offering one of the most effective ways to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and hydropower. Fossil fuels cause air pollution and global warming. Large hydropower dams destroy rivers and fish habitat.
Become a Renewable Pioneer. Purchase Green Tags. Visit www.GreenAshland.org or call BEF toll-free at (866)BEF-TAGS
About the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF)
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.BEF, a non-profit organization, was established in 1998 to further the development and use of clean energy resources. Through revenues generated from the sales of renewable power products, BEF funds projects that restore damaged watersheds and support new energy projects from solar, wind and biomass. BEF pioneered the sale of Green Tags in 1999 and has helped establish national standards for renewables certification and trading. For more information, call toll free at (866)BEF-TAGS or visit online at www.B-E-F.org