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News Release
Electric Rates to Rise in 2011 for PacifiCorp Customers
December 17, 2010 (2010 - 029) (UE 217)
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.  The Oregon Public Utility Commission issued its decisions today that will increase rates for Oregon customers of PacifiCorp next year.
The general rate case decision issued will increase rates by 8.4 percent to cover all new expenses for operating the utility. The Commission approved the second case on Dec. 28, 2010, that deals with power costs.  The power costs will add 6.1 percent more to the increase, bringing the total increase to 14.5 percent.  PacifiCorp had requested a 20 percent increase.
“Commission staff and customer groups worked very hard to trim expenses where they could. I also know that the impact of this decision will be difficult for many households and businesses to absorb given our difficult economic times,” Commission Chairman Ray Baum said. “I hope we can avoid the situation in the future where large capital projects and power costs hit customers in the same year. However, these are resources that will serve customers for decades.”
The monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 900 kilowatt hours of energy a month will increase by $9.38 from $88.21 to $97.59 or 11.5 percent($5.38 is due to the general rate case and $4.00 is for power costs. The increase includes the monthly service charge. The amount will vary for customers using above or below 900 kilowatt hours.)
Energy rates for industrial customers will rise by 17 percent and large commercial customers by 17.6 percent.  
The new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2011.
General Rate Case Summary
In the general rate case, PacifiCorp requested $130.9 million, a 13.1 percent increase. The Commission reduced it to $84.6 million a year, or approximately 8.4 percent overall. Residential rates will go up by approximately 7.9 percent
PacifiCorp has invested $470 million in the Oregon-allocated portion of its system since its 2010 general rate case (UE 210). This includes costs for constructing transmission lines, adding wind resources, installing pollution control measures, and paying hydroelectric relicensing expenses.
The Commission reduced PacifiCorp’s original requested increase for a number of major expenses, including:
  • Administrative and General Costs $2 million
  • Populus to Terminal Transmission line $500,000
  • Operations and Maintenance $20.9 million
  • Capital Structure and Cost of Debt $20.3 million
The Commission held the line on PacifiCorp’s Rate of Return (ROR), which remained unchanged at 8.08 percent and its authorized Return on Equity (ROE) at 10.125 percent.  PacifiCorp had asked to raise its authorized ROR to 8.38% and its ROE to 10.60 percent.
Power Costs Summary
PacifiCorp has asked to collect $60.9 million for power costs, a 6.1 percent increase. The utility is facing higher power costs because of expiring long-term, low-priced hydropower contracts, an expired fixed-price gas contract, and expenses for integrating wind-generated energy.
The new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2011.