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News Release
PGE and PacifiCorp Customers to Receive One-Time Refund
May 18, 2004 (2004 - 016)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR – Customers of Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp will receive a one-time credit on their next bill in connection with a $15 million settlement. The settlement is the result of a state investigation of energy trading actions involving Williams Energy during the 2000-2001 energy crisis.
Under the refunds approved today by the Oregon Public Utility Commission, the average residential customer of PGE will get a $2.80 refund while the average PacifiCorp residential customer will receive $1.62. The amount will vary depending on how much energy a customer uses.
"We applaud Attorney General Hardy Myers’ aggressive action in pursuing this settlement for Oregon ratepayers," Commission Chairman Lee Beyer said. "While the amounts to customers aren’t high, it is important that those who caused the rate spikes pay a cost and that ratepayers get some relief."
Williams was the first company to agree to a settlement as a result of an investigation by the Attorney General into the volatile West Coast energy market. The OPUC has worked closely with the Attorney General’s office in the effort to obtain justice for Oregon ratepayers. At least one other company, El Paso Corp., has since agreed to settlement terms. Discussions are ongoing with several other market participants.
The Commission determined the distribution formula. The refunds were based on each consumer’s exposure to the volatility of the western wholesale electricity market.
Of the $15 million refund, approximately $4.63 million goes to PGE and $1.75 million to PacifiCorp.
Other amounts went directly to Oregon public utilities and $6.1 million into low-income utility assistance and energy conservation programs.
Williams Settlement Q&A