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News Release
Commission Hires Utility Program Director
December 14, 2001 (2001 - 041)
Contacts: Roy Hemmingway, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Lee Beyer, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962;
Salem, OR – The Oregon Public Utility Commission today announced the selection of John Savage as the Commission’s Utility Program Director.  Savage has served as the director of the Oregon Office of Energy from 1994 to present. The agency runs more than 20 programs to save energy and develop renewable resources; operates a $300 million energy loan program; sites new power plants and other energy facilities; oversees the Hanford cleanup and transport of radioactive materials in Oregon; develops nuclear emergency response and oil shortage contingency plans; and develops and evaluates energy resource plans and policies.
Savage advised the Governor, Governor’s office, State Legislators, and congressional delegation on urgent energy issues and prepared briefs, reports and legislative proposals. He also played a key role in developing the recent energy siting and conservation legislative package, Oregon’s carbon dioxide emissions law, and the public purpose provisions in Oregon’s electricity restructuring law. He will assume his new position in mid January.
"We are extremely fortunate to have someone with John’s extensive energy background to run our utility program in these challenging times," Commission Chairman Roy Hemmingway said. "John in his capacity as director of the Oregon Office of Energy has demonstrated the ability to develop and maintain a high-performance program, has demonstrated a commitment to staff morale, and brings an extensive knowledge of the current regulatory landscape to the job."
The Utility Director position has been vacant since February of this year following the retirement of longtime utility director Bill Warren.
The utility program is responsible for providing advice to the Commission on rates and services of all investor-owned electrical, natural gas, water, and telecommunications utilities in the state.
Investor-owned utilities currently receive over $3 billion in revenues annually from 2.4 million Oregon customers. The Utility Program has the responsibility for those utilities in order to ensure that Oregon consumers receive safe and adequate service at just and reasonable rates.
The Utility Program director is responsible for providing the overall vision and general direction for the agency’s Utility Program so that proposals to the Commission meet the Commission’s statutory responsibilities and Commission policy. This position reports directly to the Commission.
The Utility Director manages administrators in four divisions:
  1. Electric and Natural Gas Division
  2. Telecommunications Division
  3. Economic Research
  4. Regulatory Operations Division
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