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NewsRelease
Electric Rates to Change in 2012 for PacifiCorp and Portland General
Electric Customers

Dec 30, 2011
 
2011-16
 
UE-228, UE-227
 
Contacts:  Susan Ackerman, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Steve Bloom, Commissioner, 503-378-6611, Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR.  2012 will usher in new rates for customers of Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp to reflect changes in power costs experienced by the utilities in 2011. Power costs include the purchase, generation and delivery of  electricity from its source to homes and businesses.
PacifiCorp customers will see their rates go up, while PGE customers will pay a little less beginning January 1, 2012.
 
PacifiCorp
The 4.4 percent overall rate increase amounts to $51 million.   The increase for residential customers is approximately 3.8 percent.  The average monthly bill will increase by $3.46 from $93.42 to $96.88 for a residential customer using 950 kWh (per month).  The increase for large general service customers will be approximately 6.1 percent. 
The largest single factor in the increase was higher coal costs.  Another important factor was an increase in demand. These two factors accounted for approximately two thirds of the rate increase.
The Commission trimmed $10.9 million from the amount PacifiCorp initially asked for.
 
PGE
The1.3 percent overall rate reduction for PGE amounts to $21.8 million.
The rate decrease for residential customers is approximately 0.9 percent.  The average monthly bill for a typical customer using 900 kWh per month will drop by $1.23 from $99.57 to $98.34.  Rates for the large non-residential customers served under Schedule 89 will decrease by approximately 2.1 percent.  
 
The reduction is due to lower per unit contract costs and some replacement of
 non-hydro contracts with less expensive market purchases.
 
The Commission adopted annual adjustments after the 2001 energy crisis, when market electricity and gas prices became much more volatile than they had been in the past.  In a volatile market environment, if rates are not reset frequently, a utility can easily collect much more or much less than its actual power costs.  Given that power costs change substantially from year to year, rates are changed annually. 
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PacifiCorp order UE-227
http://apps.puc.state.or.us/orders/2011ords/11-435.pdf

Portland General Electric order UE-228
http://apps.puc.state.or.us/orders/2011ords/11-518.pdf