Electricity Rates in Oregon: Inflation in the cost of generating electricity is a major factor in both Portland General Electric and Pacific Power’s 2023 rate increases. The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved price increases for PGE and Pacific Power due to higher year-over-year costs for generating and acquiring power.
Electricity Costs In Oregon Are Set To Increase In 2023
Beginning on January 1, 2023, the new rules will be in place. PGE customers with 780 kWh/month use should expect an increase in their monthly payment from $114.54 to $122.60, or around 7%. Monthly prices for 900-kilowatt-hour users of Pacific Power will rise from $91.89 to $111.34, a 15% increase.
PGE serves around 2 million people in Oregon, with 900,000 of those being customers. PGE’s service region covers 51 communities.
Megan Decker, Chair of the Oregon Public Utilities Commission, acknowledged the difficulties raised by the rate increase during a period of high inflation for Oregonians. The costs of producing and acquiring power for utilities are determined by factors such as rising fuel prices, supply chain delays caused by global events, and rising volatility in regional electricity markets. Even if utilities cannot prevent all of the effects in the short term, there may be solutions for home consumers to help mitigate the financial burden of these price increases. PGE has just introduced a bill reduction program for clients who qualify based on their income.
Pacific Power Statements
“We take our obligation to meet the needs of our customers seriously and understand that a price increase is never welcome news. It is our responsibility to assist customers in comprehending their bills and why prices are rising.”
“We are committed to delivering reliable power in an inflationary environment that has pushed power costs higher. The costs of providing electric service are rising due to new factors such as extreme weather events and changing economic conditions. In the last year, natural gas prices have risen 44%, while power costs have risen 72%.”
“Alongside these price increases, Pacific Power has reached settlements in regulatory proceedings that will see customer bills rise by an average of 15% over 2022 levels starting January 1, 2023. We’re deferring an additional 1.9% rate increase until April 1, 2023, to lessen the impact of rate increases on customers during the heating season.”
“Despite these inflationary pressures, Pacific Power is actively managing our system to offset costs. Because of our ongoing efforts to integrate low-cost renewables into our diverse resource portfolio and participate in markets with other suppliers to buy energy at the lowest possible price, the upcoming rate increase is lower than the nationwide spike in energy prices.”
Pacific Electricity submits an annual report to the Transition Adjustment Mechanism (TAM) that includes an adjusted estimate of its power costs through 2023. Because of rising electricity prices, the corporation’s yearly power projection has increased. As a result of the agreement, Oregon’s electricity prices will rise by 11.1% over 2022 levels.
Pacific Power’s General Rate Case (GRC) settlement requires the company to make additional efforts in fire prevention and vegetation control. To help pay for these expenses, consumers should expect an average 3.7% rate increase above 2022 levels by January 1, 2023. Following the initial increase, a 0.8% increase will take effect on April 1, 2023.
Customers of Pacific Power will see an average 1.1% increase in their monthly bills after April 1, 2023, as a result of the company’s Power Cost Adjustment Mechanism (PCAM). The planned increase reflects an increase in the cost of buying electricity off the market in 2021, a year marked by extreme weather events such as the summer heat dome, the February ice storm, and the ongoing effects of dry conditions that have reduced hydropower output.
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