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Pacific Power files for rate hike with Oregon PUC; average residential customer would see nearly $30 monthly boost

Pacific Power

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Pacific Power has filed a general rate case and a Transition Adjustment Mechanism update with the Oregon Public Utility Commission. The combined rate actions would result in a 16.9% rate adjustment, or roughly $304 million, and would support continued investments in wildfire risk management strategies, transmission infrastructure and renewable generation projects. 

The utility said the average residential customer with typical energy usage would see an increase of about $29.47 per month.  

“Through careful stewardship on behalf of our customers, we have delivered safe, reliable and affordable service at prices that are well below the national average,” said Matt McVee, vice president of regulatory policy and operations.

“While our essential operating costs remain low, extreme weather events and increased wildfire risks are impacting all households and businesses, raising the costs of providing our essential services. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers and our communities and will continue to seek new ways to reduce impacts to customer bills while making critical investments in the West’s energy grid.”   

Key factors driving the rate request include: 

  • Transmission infrastructure investments, which enable the integration of new renewable resources to serve growing customer needs.  
  • Continued investments in low-cost renewable energy resources. 
  • Cost of capital to finance utility operations and reflect current market conditions and risk. 
  • Wildfire risk management, including rapidly growing wildfire insurance premiums, wildfire mitigation and vegetation management and the creation of a catastrophic fire fund, which would create a mechanism to manage the risks associated with increased wildfire activity.  

Pacific Power said it "remains committed to actively managing its system in the face of rising costs to limit price exposure and reduce cost volatility for our customers. This includes actively working with a diverse set of stakeholders across the region to develop and implement tools to address the growing risk of wildfires."  

In 2014, Pacific Power helped pioneer the Western Energy Imbalance Market in partnership with the California Independent System Operator, which provides access to the lowest-cost energy available. Through the participation of PacifiCorp, Pacific Power’s parent company, in the market, the company has saved customers throughout its six-state service area over $745 million through the end 2023. 

PacifiCorp has also announced that it will join the new Extended Day-Ahead Market, which will result in tremendous savings to customers through optimal power purchases a day ahead of time, when critical resource decisions are made.    

Pacific Power offers on-bill rate discounts ranging from 20% to 40% to support customers who are experiencing income restraints. Pacific Power’s most vulnerable customers can access a variety of bill support programs through local community action agencies, including the Oregon Energy FundOregon Energy Assistance Program and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.       

In addition, Pacific Power offers a variety of ways to budget for energy expenses, including time of use and equal pay billing options. In partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Power customers can  access information and rebates to help improve their energy efficiency and lower their bills. Customers can call 1-888-221-7070 to discuss options.  

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