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Commission Approves PGE Rate Changes Effective Jan. 1, 2015



December 5, 2014 (2014-20)
Contacts: Susan Ackerman, Chair, 503 378-6611, Stephen Bloom, Commissioner, 503 378-6611,
John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962 
Salem, OR.  Customers of Portland General Electric will see a modest increase in their electric rates beginning in January.
The Commission’s formal decision trims the company’s initial request to raise rates by $81 million a year to $15 million.  As a result, customers will see their rates go up by about one percent beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
The average residential customer who uses 840 kilowatts per month will see their monthly bill go up from $98.71 to $99.49, an increase of 78 cents.
The amount of the general rate increase was reduced by credits and price adjustments including lower forecast power costs, Bonneville Power Administration credits, a reduction in return on equity, lower borrowing costs and reductions in operating expenses. Customers also get a credit from a legal settlement related to the cost of storing spent fuel at the Trojan nuclear reactor.
”This decision strikes a fair balance of providing PGE with funds to meet the future needs of its customers while at the same time minimizing the impact on the rates paid by its customers,” Commissioner John Savage said. “Much of the credit goes to PUC staff and customer groups who put in the hard work to find ways to trim the initial request.”
PGE filed its request in February to begin covering the cost of the Tucannon wind farm in southeastern Washington and the expansion of its natural gas fired plant in Clatskanie.
Without the adjustments, the rate filing would have resulted in an overall rate increase of 2.56 percent, or $44.33 million in additional revenues. However, the various adjustments brought it down $15 million a year or about one percent.
The Commission’s order formalized various settlements reached in September between PGE, PUC staff and other customer groups.
Rates will vary for customer class. The different rates are based on how much power each customer class receives from PGE’s transmission system.
Residential: 0.9 percent
Commercial: 1.1 percent
Industrial: 0.9 percent
PGE requested a return on equity 10 percent. PGE’s authorized return on equity in this case will be 9.68 percent.
Link to order: