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News Release
PGE Refunds Put on Hold
December 4, 2008 (2008-029) (DR-10, UE-88, UM-989)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, Ore. Portland General Electric (PGE) won’t be taking out ads in major newspapers this month after all to publicize a $33.1 million Commission-ordered refund. The refund was approved on September 30, 2008 to resolve a decades-old dispute over customer rates and expenses from the now retired Trojan nuclear plant.
This week the Oregon Public Utility Commission put the refund process on hold for at least 60 days. The Commission did so because it expects a filing with the Court of Appeals that will seek to suspend the refunds until the case is fully litigated.
The Utility Reform Project and the Class Action Plaintiffs have appealed the amount of the refund, which is approximately $20 for a residential customer. They are expected to seek the stay from the Oregon Court of Appeals pending a final decision.
The Commission does not think it is prudent for PGE to incur significant expenses to process the refund when it may be stayed by the Court of Appeals.
The Commission’s order had directed PGE to begin running the newspaper ads this month and to complete the refund process by April 20, 2009. Commission attorneys estimate the appeals could take up to three years.