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News Release
 
PGE to Boost Customer Rates in 2011
 
December 17, 2010 (2010 - 030) (UE 215)
 
Contacts: Ray Baum, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Susan Ackerman, Commissioner, 503 378-6611
John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR.  Today the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved new rates for customers of Portland General Electric’s (PGE).  Customers will see overall rates go up by approximately 3.9 percent, or $65.2 million a year, beginning Jan. 1, 2011.
 
The company had originally asked for an increase of approximately 9.2 percent or $154 million for rising expenses. The Commission and customer groups worked to reduce PGE’s request down to $100 million, about a 6.0 percent increase.
 
The $100 million was further reduced by approximately $35 million due to a drop in power costs, bringing the total increase down to approximately $65.2 million or 3.9 percent overall. PGE buys some of its power from others to serve its customers.  And PGE is able to take advantage of historically low electric and natural gas costs and pass the savings along to customers.
 
“This increase could have been significantly more. However, credit should go to our staff and the hard work of customer groups who found ways to reduce it. Customers will also benefit from low prices for wholesale power and the addition of wind resources,” said Commission Chairman Ray Baum.
 
The typical residential household using 900 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will see their bill increase by about $3.14 from $94.40 to $97.54, or about 3.3 percent. (The amount will vary for customers using above or below 900 kilowatt hours)
 
Rates for industrial customers decrease by 2.2 percent while large commercial customer rates will increase by less than one percent.   
 
The Commission reduced PGE’s request in several major expenses, including:
  • Operations and maintenance by $18.3 million
  • Advanced metering (smart meters) $1.7 million
  • Wages and salaries $3.5 million
  • Boardman Fly ash $2.6 million
  • Removed four capital projects $12.9 million
  • Storm damage restoration $3.9 million
 
The Commission set PGE’s Rate of Return (ROR), at 8.03 percent. PGE had asked for 8.3 percent. The Return on Equity (ROE) will be 10.0 percent.  PGE asked for 10.5 percent.
 
Customers groups that participated in the rate case in addition to PUC staff, include the  Citizens’ Utility Board, Industrial Customers of  Northwest utilities, and Kroger.
 
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