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  • Local business

  • Energy Trust of Oregon reported Wednesday it invested $154 million in energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy generation in 2012.
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  • Energy Trust of Oregon reported Wednesday it invested $154 million in energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy generation in 2012.
    The organization funded by the utility ratepayers of PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas in Oregon, and NW Natural customers in Washington, upped natural gas savings 22 percent and recorded an electricity savings gain of 12 percent over 2011, while renewable generation was 3.4 times higher than in 2011.
    In 2012, customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas made energy improvements ranging from comprehensive home weatherization and solar electric systems to high-efficiency commercial lighting and renewable energy generation from dairy biogas.
    Through these actions, participating customers will save $408 million on their energy bills over time.
    In Southern Oregon, 16,000 customers, including a Lithia Motors dealership in Klamath Falls, recorded savings of $3.3 million on their energy bills, the Energy Trust said.
    In Jackson and Josephine counties, more than 60 homeowners and businesses installed solar electric or solar water heating systems through the community-based Rogue Solar project, about one-half supported with Energy Trust incentives.
    Bend-based Cascade Bancorp, parent company of Bank of the Cascades, reported second-quarter net earnings of $46.4 million compared with $1.8 million in the second quarter of 2012.
    Cascade said its earnings were enhanced by a one-time deferred tax asset benefit of $51.7 million.
    Net interest income fell 8 percent, to $11.5 million, while Cascade's loan portfolio grew by 4 percent, to $888 million.
    It made a $1 million provision for loan losses after making no provision in the second quarter of 2012.
    Non-interest expenses rose 36 percent to $19.3 million because the bank paid a $3.8 million prepayment penalty on Federal Home Loan Bank advances.
    Compiled from staff reports
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