Testimonials

We asked respondents to share the importance of energy diversity and choice in their lives during the 2024 January winter storms in the Pacific Northwest, and they wrote back. Below is a collection of lived experiences from individuals who reside in geographically diverse areas of the Pacific Northwest, including metropolitan Portland, rural Washington, and beyond. Share your story with us today!

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We lost power for several hours and thankfully we had a propane powered generator that kept our family warm and didn't have spoilage of our food during the cold snap. We can't rely 100% on electricity!
- Lori M.,
Island County, Washington

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I live in what is essentially the Fraser River Delta in Birch Bay, Washington. My weather is much different than Seattle/Everett, and even Bellingham in the same county. This year, we saw temperatures as low as eight degrees Fahrenheit for a succession of nights, along with nine inches of snow. In the past, power has gone out, and I needed to use a generator for electricity, which is enough to power the blower of my furnace which operates off clean natural gas. Because of this, I was able to stay warm.
– Kevin C.,
Birch Bay, Washington

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We had a limb come down that took out our power. We were without power for 12 days. Although our natural gas furnace was damaged by the power surge caused by the fallen limb, we have a gas fireplace, a gas stove, and a gas water heater. We were able to keep warm and cook food. Thank God for natural gas. Glad we had alternatives to electricity.
-Linda M.,
Eugene, Oregon

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My wife and I built a new home in King County in 2022. It is the home we intend to age gracefully in. We built it with energy security in mind. With an eye to the environment, it is all electric except for two features: a natural gas-powered backup generator and a gas fireplace. Both are intended to keep the house warm in the event of electrical power outages, which are an every-winter event on the Enumclaw plateau. It is our sincere hope that we will continue to enjoy energy diversity and not have our lives imperiled by ill-considered political choices.
William P.,
Enumclaw, Washington

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We did not lose power, however, we did receive e-mails twice from the local utility asking us to turn off lights, etc. due to high electrical demand. If Washington bans natural gas, we truly will be freezing to death in the dark. I have a small generator that allows me to run our gas furnace during power outages. Without natural gas coupled with the rising demand on electricity, there is no way we will be able to meet power needs.
– Henry W.,
King County, Washington

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I live in the Rose City Park district of Portland, right next to NE Sandy Boulevard. My neighborhood south of NE Sandy lost power due to trees falling on powerlines. Our neighborhood was without power for nearly 36 hours in 18-degree temperatures, with wind bringing the figure closer to 13 degrees. Due to the power outage, my mother and I both stayed with family during the January freeze because there were no hotels or motels left with rooms. This was a life-threatening, scary time in the middle of Oregon's largest city. Drastic change is required for a very broken energy system.
- Todd M.,
Portland, Oregon

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I must admit, being a gas customer, I wasn't concerned about how bad the January storms might get. With natural gas as my heating source and cooking source, I feel safe.
– Lory R.,
Everett, Washington

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The winter storm temperatures were too cold my heat pump. I hired a neighbor to split wood and got my wood stoves going. Only had a few cool nights until the wood stoves got the house heated up.
– John C.,
Newport, Oregon

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At least two times natural gas provided by Puget Sound Energy kept our generator running, providing light, heat, and kept food from spoiling.
John H.,
Snohomish, Washington

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