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Trimmed Pacific Power rate hike due Jan. 1


The Oregon Public Utility Commission on Wednesday formalized an all-party settlement with customer groups that will raise electric rates for Oregon customers of PacifiCorp by 1.9 percent overall, or $23.7 million, beginning Jan. 1.

Last March,PacifiCorp filed its application with the PUC, seeking to raise rates by 4.6 percent, or $56 million annually.

The commission’s order approves a settlement reached earlier this year that cut the initial request by $32 million.

As a result:

Residential rates will increase 1.5 percent

Average overall increase for commercial and industrial customers is 2.32 percent.

(The average residential customer who uses 900 kWh will see their bill go from $97.17 to $98.61, an increase of $1.44 or 1.48 percent.)

The customer groups and Commission staff provided us with a settlement that represents a fair and reasonable resolution for Oregon ratepayers and the utility,” said Commission Chair Susan Ackerman. “Plus, I am encouraged that the utility agreed it will not file a new general rate case with the Commission until 2015 at the earliest.”

These numbers cover both the general rate case filing UE 263 and the filing to revise depreciation rates (UM 1647).

The additional revenue will help pay for investments in a fish collector system, upgrades at the Bridger power plant, transmission reliability and communications upgrades.

Authorized rate of return 7.62 percent

Return on equity of 9.8 percent.

The cost of a combined-cycle gas plant that is under construction, known as Lake Side 2, could go into rates the second quarter of 2014, depending on when it begins generating electricity. Oregon’s share of the plant, or $22.7 million, will add 1.8 percent to overall rates.

PacifiCorp serves about 580,000 customers in Oregon.

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