Portland Energy Bills too High?

portland home energy bills score

Bills, bills, bills… nobody likes them, but for some, they’re truly unmanageable. 

If you’re paying too much for electric and other utilities in Portland, there are options, and Home Energy Score can help. But first, let’s take a look at what the average household pays. 

Average Utility Rates in Portland

Electricity and Natural Gas

Energy utilities make up the majority of household utility costs in Portland. So how much are they? 

It depends on where you live, and unfortunately, there is no agency (that we know of) keeping track of the average. In fact, the Home Energy Score report might be the best resource to understand how your energy bill compares to others. And you don’t need to get your own to do some comparisons. 

Using Home Energy Scores to Compare Your Utility Bills

First, get an idea of what you’re paying over the year by getting out your electric, natural gas and any other energy-related bills for the past 12 months. Then take a look at what some similar-sized Portland homes are paying. 

To do that, head to the US Green Building Registry, the online database of Home Energy Score reports. Here, click the blue button for Map View, and zoom into Portland. Click on any of the green dots to see the Home Energy Score reports for that area.

The average Score (the number that measures efficiency) for a Portland home is 5. Homes that score a 5 pay between $1300-$1600/year for their utilities, or about $122/month. That’s for all energy utilities; a breakdown for electricity, natural gas, etc is provided on the first page of the report. 

Other Average Utility Bills in Portland 

The City of Portland provides water and garbage pick-up services, so there is better information available for these. 

  • According to the Portland Water Bureau, the typical water bill is $42.15/month. 
  • Sewer and stormwater fees are added to the water bill based on usage. For most users, it’s a few extra dollars a month. 
  • The current going rate for residential garbage/recycling/compost pick-up service in Portland is around $60/month for a single-family home. 

What to do about high energy bills in Portland

According to studies released by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, a nonpartisan research group, 5% of average-income-earning households experience energy costs that are too high to be affordable. 

When household energy bills add up to more than 6% of income, they’re said to constitute an energy “burden”. And the ACEE found that the less money you earn, the more likely you are to experience energy burden — in fact, they found that 2 out of 3 low-income households are paying a high percentage of their income on utilities. 

Help with High Energy Bills in Portland

The best way to solve high energy bills in Portland is to improve efficiency, and getting a Home Energy Score report is the great way to start that process. 

For help paying your home energy bills right away, visit the Oregon 211 Utility Assistance page