Energy Trust offers $40 that can be donated to Food Bank to feed hungry
The Clackamas Review
For the next two months, customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power have added reason to unplug and recycle their older, energy-wasting refrigerators and freezers: They can help local families in need through the Oregon Food Bank.
Energy Trust of Oregon is offering a new opportunity as part of its ongoing refrigerator recycling service, which provides free in-home pickup, responsible recycling of refrigerators and freezers, and a $40 cash incentive. Through July, customers can choose to donate their $40 to the Oregon Food Bank, which will help provide the equivalent of 120 meals or four emergency food boxes for those in need.
Refrigerators and freezers built in 1993 or earlier can guzzle up to $200 a year in energy costs, which is two to three times more than todays more energy-efficient options. These include qualifying models that only cost around $40 a year to operate. For households keeping older, second fridges in the garage or basement, the extra costs can add up.
Unplugging and recycling an inefficient refrigerator or freezer is an easy way to make an immediate difference on the monthly energy bill, said Matt Braman, residential program manager for Energy Trust. Now, by working with Oregon Food Bank, our customers have the added option to donate their incentive to help their neighbors in need.
The Oregon Food Bank distributes food through the Oregon Food Bank Network, a cooperative statewide coalition of 20 regional food banks including four Oregon Food Bank branches and 16 independent regional food banks. The regional food banks work to distribute food directly to people who are hungry in the form of emergency food boxes or prepared meals through local agencies.
The Oregon Food Bank Network helps nearly one in five households fend off hunger. According to the Oregon Food Bank, since the recession began in 2008, the need for emergency food boxes has increased 41 percent. More than 1 million emergency food boxes were distributed last year alone.
Long-term hunger is at an all-time high in our region and especially affects families, children, seniors and those who are disabled, said Susannah Morgan, chief executive officer of Oregon Food Bank. It takes our whole community to address hunger, and recycling a fridge through Energy Trust gives people another easy way to help.
All Oregon customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power are eligible for the recycling service and the opportunity to make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank. Appointments can be scheduled online at energytrust.org/fridgerecycling or by calling 866-444-8907. To qualify, the refrigerator or freezer must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet and in working condition. Purchase of a new refrigerator or freezer is not required to participate.
Energy Trust launched its refrigerator recycling service in August 2008 and to date has recycled more than 82,100 refrigerators and freezers. In 2012, this helped participants save approximately $5 million on energy bills and 45.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough energy equivalent to powering 4,000 average Oregon homes for a year.