April-June 2007

PNW Extension Energy Initiative
April-June 2007
The Extension education network is being used to facilitate adoption of EERE technologies and
practices by citizens in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska), a subset of
the Western Region. The WSU Extension Energy Program is providing technical assistanceconsultations for clients of Extension in the Pacific Northwest through the existing EERE Information
Center service, in particular for the primary target audience, those interested individuals from local
governments and agencies.
Joint State Activities
A number of conference calls were held for the PNW project Extension Specialists to provide an
orientation to the project and to the EERE Information Center. The current plan of work includes
conducting state surveys to determine how the project might provide specific information to target
audiences. The state energy extension specialists, Lyla Houglum and Mike Harrington collaborated
to develop a survey instrument which included a standard set of questions as well as state-specific
questions. After pilot testing, the surveys were deployed to extension staff in each state using
Zoomerang. To date there have been 146 responses. A copy of the Oregon survey is attached.
Alaska: Participants are working with USDA Rural Development and also the Department of Natural
Resources, Division of Agriculture on alternative energy issues and opportunities for rural Alaska.
Oregon: Oregon continues to utilize its renewable energy group to coordinate efforts including a
state renewable energy conference. Members of the group meet with a variety of potential end user
groups including county officials, commodity groups, and interested individuals. A collaboration
MOU is being developed with the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE). The ODOE has issued a
contract to hire an OSU faculty member for the home energy efficiency and residential tax credit
program. A special presentation was given to for State Extension Citizens Advisory Network and an
article on the PNW energy initiative was published in the state Extension newsletter. There is
considerable interest in woody biomass utilization owing to the presence of forestry related industries
in the state. Another high interest area is biodiesel. A presentation entitled: Biodiesel Basics &
Safety was developed and presented at a number of group meetings. Other activities
included hosting tours of wind turbines and Camelina test plots (biofuels), development of fact
sheets on wind turbines and wind energy and on biofuels. Oregon Extension has assisted a variety of
businesses with obtaining grants to implement renewable energy projects.
Idaho: Participants in Idaho continue to inform county commissioners, school districts, and
community and county liaisons about EERE topics and to inform growers with particular emphasis on
energy crops. One example of how the project is working in Idaho is with the Butte County
Commissioners and the Butte County Clerk who were made aware of the EERE Information Center
and Program via a presentation "Local Governments Save Energy and Money" and brochures
"Examples of Assistance" and "Local Governments Can Save Energy and Money". The commission
has expressed interest in future consultations when energy related activities/projects arise. Efforts are
also being made to link with the Western Governors Association via participation in the recent
Western Governor's Association Energy Summit.
Washington: The WSU Energy Extension Program continues to provide information via the web
including the development a weekly electronic newsletter “Energy Newsbriefs” to the participating
states which provides links to resources, recent news and emerging issues. The energy extension
specialist made 34 contacts with interested stakeholders.
Overall Assessment
The project has resulted in increased awareness of EERE information and the need to become more
aware of energy issues. The results of the state surveys are providing new information about the
needs expressed by the general public in each state which will facilitate the development of focused
programming and informational resources. There are increased partnerships with state and local
agencies as well as the implementation of new energy information resources that are made available
through electronic means and in print.
Matching Contributions
WA-Energy Center
H. M. Harrington