How We Became the First Business in Portland with Renewable Power

We finally closed on our building in October 2004 and needed to establish utility service. Since we were coming from a Pacific Power service area, we needed to open an account with Portland General Electric. As I had renewably sourced power at home since the inception of that program, I asked for it for our new shop, presuming it to be a simple procedure. After all, it is the right thing to do for our environment.

The response from the PGE representative at that time was that we couldn’t have it because they didn’t have such a program for small businesses. Was that an acceptable answer? Of course not. Doing the right thing sometimes requires pushing through inconvenience and persevering.

I told the representative that even though such a program wasn’t currently available that I still wanted it. “You and I both know you’re going to have a renewable energy program for small businesses one of these days, so why don’t you go to your boss and tell them that there’s a crazy guy on Powell Boulevard that wants it yesterday. Put the program together and we’ll be your first client.”

He agreed with me and said that given PGE’s commitment to renewables that they should have a program for small businesses, that they’d discussed it internally, and that perhaps maybe it was time. I reiterated our interest, acknowledged that it would probably cost us a bit more than carbon-based energy, and left him with all of our contact information. 

Six weeks later the documents to sign up for their nascent small business energy program were on our fax machine. When I called him to confirm that the documents had been executed and returned, he thanked me and said my pushing made the program happen at that time.

That was December 2004, and we have been a consumer of PGE’s renewable power ever since. This is part of our environmental commitment here at Pacific Motorsports, where it is but one part of how we provide A Higher Standard of Service.


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