When it comes to energy efficiency, Pendleton Oregon, famous for its rodeo, is taking the bull by the horns.


Bob Patterson is Pendleton’s Public Works Director. He says the city’s sustainability efforts took off after city officials voted to install solar panels at a water treatment plant in 2007. It was so economically and environmentally successful, they put solar panels on another water treatment facility and…

PATTERSON: “We sat down and masterminded a way to do public outreach and do an all-encompassing solarize program.”

They offered residents nine-thousand-dollar loans at zero percent interest.

Homeowners could pay off the loans with money received from federal and state solar tax credits. Two years later, the city also began offering loans to businesses. So far, more than 100 homes and 7 businesses have gone solar — seventy-six of them using city loans. Their success keeps spurring them on.

PATTERSON: “On the heels of doing Solarize, it moved us into doing Weatherize Pendleton.”

This program helps residents make their homes energy efficient. As a result, Pendleton is proving that small cities can be sustainability pioneers.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

More Resources
Powering the New Energy Future from the Ground Up: Profiles in City-Led Energy Innovation
Small Cities and Towns Pioneering Clean Energy Economy
Solarize Pendleton
How the Solarize Pendleton program works
Scientist Turns Solar

Topics: Energy