Emergency Ordinance

*Authorize the Director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to execute the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund Heat Response, Equipment Purchasing Partner grant for a total allocation not to exceed $11,495,820


The City of Portland ordains: 

Section 1.     The Council finds:

  1. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) shapes Portland’s future and advances climate protection for a more prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient city now and for future generations.
  2. In November 2018, Portland voters created the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits (PCEF) program, which invests in community-originated climate action solutions that advance racial and social justice (Ballot Measure 26-201). City Council codified non-taxation elements of the PCEF program in Portland City Code (PCC) 7.07.
  3. The PCEF program is projected to generate $44 to $61 million annually in new revenue to provide grants to qualified non-profit organizations for projects that reduce carbon emissions, advance resiliency and promote equity for all Portlanders, with a focus on low-income communities and communities of color.
  4. A nine-member PCEF Committee makes funding recommendations to Council and measures and evaluates the effectiveness of the PCEF program.
  5. Over several days in June 2021, more than 100 Oregonians lost their lives to extreme temperatures associated with climate change, with over 60 lives lost in Multnomah County. This heat wave was the deadliest documented natural disaster in Multnomah County’s history during the past ~200 years of white-colonial settlement.
  6. In August and September of 2021, PCEF staff conducted outreach to dozens of housing providers, community organizations, tenant advocates and technical and government partners to identify potential approaches to address future extreme heat events caused by climate change that disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. A clear and consistent message during those discussions was support for the PCEF program to ameliorate the impact of future extreme heat events by funding energy efficiency programs and, in particular, a program to purchase and distribute efficient, portable heat pump/cooling units.
  7. On October 6, 2021, PCEF staff presented a heat pump/cooling purchase and distribution program to the PCEF Committee. The PCEF Committee approved the concept and directed PCEF staff to develop two Request for Proposals (RFPs), focused on two distinct roles needed to implement a Heat Response Program:
    (a) A single Equipment Purchasing Partner (EPP) to coordinate the centralized purchase of 15,000 portable heat pump/cooling units, coordinate equipment delivery to contracted community distribution partners, and provide logistics and technical assistance.
    (b) A number of nonprofit Community Distribution Partners (CDP) to distribute and install portable heat pump/cooling equipment, provide information about how to use the devices, and potentially install basic weatherization kits.
  8. Funding for the Heat Response Program is allocated under the energy efficiency program priority under PCC 7.07.060(1) because the Heat Response Program is focused on distributing efficient heat and cooling equipment.
  9. On October 13, 2021, PCEF staff released an RFP for the EPP role. On October 19, 2021, PCEF staff released an RFP for the CDP role.
  10. Two applications were received for the EPP role – from Diversifying Energy and Earth Advantage – that were subsequently reviewed and scored by a three-member scoring panel based on criteria set forth in the RFP.
  11. On November 10, 2021, the PCEF Committee recommended Diversifying Energy for the EPP role as set forth in the “2021 PCEF Heat Response Program, Equipment Purchasing Partner Funding Recommendation Memo”, attached as Exhibit A. The total recommended grant funding is $11,495,820.
  12. After Council approves the grant proposal, PCEF staff will work with Diversifying Energy to finalize a grant agreement.
  13. PCEF staff will return to Council in early 2022 for funding recommendations for the Community Distribution Partner role.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. The BPS Director is authorized to execute a grant agreement with Diversifying Energy for up to $11,495,820 for the EPP role, with a grant scope as described on pages 3 and 4 of Exhibit A.
  2. Amendments to the grant agreement – including scope of work, budget and grant amount – may be executed by the BPS Director, provided those amendments do not increase the fiscal risk to the City or increase funding as authorized above.
  3. In the event Diversifying Energy is unable to execute the grant agreement authorized by this ordinance, the BPS Director is hereby authorized to execute a substantially similar grant agreement with Earth Advantage provided that the proposed budget is equal to or less than the authorized amount in this ordinance.

Section 2.     The Council declares an emergency exists because PCEF resources are urgently needed to respond to the ongoing climate and economic crisis impacting historically marginalized communities; therefore, this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Mary Hull Caballero

Impact Statement

Agenda Items

852 Regular Agenda in December 1, 2021 Council Agenda


  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Time Requested
30 minutes