Power cost inflation a primary cause
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) finalized an increase in rates for Portland General Electric (PGE) customers as reflected in the company’s annual update tariff (AUT). The AUT is filed annually to update customer rates to reflect the company’s cost to produce and purchase electricity.
PGE’s expected cost to purchase electricity and natural gas in the energy markets in 2023 has increased significantly over the prior year’s forecasts, which results in an increase to customer rates for 2023. Effective January 1, 2023, a typical residential customer using 780 kilowatt hours per month can expect monthly bills to increase from $114.54 to $122.60, which is about a 7.0 percent increase. The impact will vary by household depending on actual energy usage.
“We recognize that increasing rates at a time when Oregonians are already dealing with high inflation presents challenges for many customers,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “Unfortunately, fuel cost increases and supply chain delays caused by global events, combined with increasing volatility in regional electricity markets, drive the price for utilities to produce and purchase electricity. Although the utilities cannot avoid all of the impacts of these higher prices in the short term, there may be options available for residential customers to help reduce the bottom line impact.”
PGE launched a bill discount program offering monthly bill discounts from 15 to 25 percent to support customers who are experiencing income restraints. PGE’s most vulnerable customers can also access a variety of bill support programs through local community action agencies, including the Oregon Energy Fund, Oregon Energy Assistance Program, COVID Energy Assistance Program and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Additionally, PGE offers a variety of ways to budget for energy expenses, including time of use and equal pay options. No-cost weatherization program are available to qualifying customers through Community Action Agencies in each county. In partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, PGE customers can access information and rebates to help improve their energy efficiency and lower their bills. For more information on these options, call 800-542-8818.
PGE serves approximately 900,000 customers with a service area population of 2 million Oregonians in 51 cities.
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The PUC regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities, including Portland General Electric, Idaho Power, Pacific Power, Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural. The PUC also regulates landline telephone providers and select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregonians have access to safe, reliable, and fairly priced utility services that advance state policy and promote the public interest. We use an inclusive process to evaluate differing viewpoints and visions of the public interest and arrive at balanced, well-reasoned, independent decisions supported by fact and law. For more information about the PUC, visit oregon.gov/puc.