Numerous Oregonians can expect higher power bills beginning on New Year’s Day.
Portland General Electric and Pacific Power customers will see approved rate increases from Oregon’s utility regulator on Thursday, citing rising electricity production and purchase costs.
“Unfortunately, fuel cost increases and supply chain delays caused by global events, combined with increasing volatility in regional electricity markets, drive the price for utilities to produce and purchase electricity,” Megan Decker, who chairs the Oregon Public Utility Commission, said in a press release.
Electricity rates for PGE customers will rise by 6% beginning January 1. From $114.54 to $122.60, PGE residential customers who typically use 780 kilowatt hours per month can anticipate an increase in their monthly costs.
In the mean time, Pacific Power clients will see a 15% expansion. According to the company’s press release, a typical residential customer using 900 kilowatt hours per month can anticipate an increase in their monthly charges, which will range from $91.89 to $111.34.
According to Pacific Power, costs associated with mitigating wildfire risk, inflation, market volatility, and the significant increase are to blame. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the company in connection with the wildfires that occurred around Labor Day in 2020; one of those cases got comfortable November, and a class activity suit anticipates preliminary.
The parent company of the utility, PacifiCorp, serves approximately 2 million customers across six states, including 630,000 Oregonians. PGE serves approximately 900,000 customers across 51 Oregon cities.
Pacific Power and PGE both have discount programs for customers with limited incomes. Local community action organizations, such as the Oregon Energy Fund, the Oregon Energy Assistance Program, the COVID Energy Assistance Program, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also provide assistance to customers.