Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image

News Release
Williams Settlement Q&A
Why are customers receiving a settlement?
 
The settlement is a result of the Oregon Attorney General’s investigation of Williams’ actions during the 2000-01 West Coast energy crisis. After announcing the refund in early 2003, the Oregon Attorney General asked the Oregon Public Utility Commission to determine the distribution of the funds on a pro rata basis based on each consumer’s exposure to the volatility of the western wholesale electricity market. Following a public hearing and public comment period, the Attorney General adopted the distribution plan.
 
How much will customers receive and when will the amounts be refunded?
  • Customers of Portland General Electricwill receive $4.64 million ($2.80 for the average residential customer). Customers will receive a credit on one bill starting with bills rendered for meter readings on May 27. The refund amount will vary based on a customer's usage.
  • Customers of PacifiCorp (Pacific Power)will receive $1.75 million ($1.62 for the average residential customer). Customers will receive a credit on one bill starting with bills rendered for meter readings on May 27. The refund amount will vary based on a customer's usage.
  • Customers of Idaho Power Companywill receive $0.18 million. Idaho Power Company requested and received approval from the Oregon Attorney General to credit its portion of the refund against the balance of its 2001 deferred power cost account so that Idaho Power customers also receive the benefit of lower carrying costs over the power cost recovery period.
Certain customers received a direct refund check from the Oregon Attorney General for the load that was served by the utility on market-based rates during the relevant 2000-01.  
Will refunds be provided to former customers?
 
No. A process will not be established to provide refunds to prior customers. It is expensive to process requests for refunds from prior customers and prior customers may not have paid their full cost*.
*Certain excess power costs related to the West Coast energy crisis were deferred and subsequently recovered from customers. To that extent, customers that previously disconnected may have avoided power costs that were incurred to serve them in the relevant period.
Why is the refund being made in one month?
 
To meet the specifications outlined by the Oregon Department of Justice and to reduce administrative costs.
 
Why do residential, commercial / industrial, and irrigation customers receive a different credit per kWh?
 
The amounts going to residential, commercial / industrial, and irrigation customers were allocated to those classes based on their respective usage in 2003, so that each class receives its fair share. Due to differences in annual usage patterns, the distribution of the credit in one month causes a variation in the per kWh credit.
 
Will direct access customers receive a refund?
 
Yes. Although these customers now purchase their energy supply from an alternative supplier, these customers purchased their energy from the utility during the relevant period.
 
Will customers be receiving future refunds from other investigations?
 
The Oregon Department of Justice is continuing to investigate these matters and additional refunds may occur in the future. Also, the Commission will be distributing to PGE customers an $800,000 settlement related to a PUC investigation of PGE trading activities.