Pacific Power asks Oregon PUC for 4% rate hike to cover last year’s volatile energy costs

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Also plans to introduce a 25% discount this summer for low-income customers

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Pacific Power said Tuesday it is asking state regulators for an average 4% rate increase for its Oregon customers to cover the true costs of volatile power price increases. energy from last year.

The utility has filed with the Oregon Public Utilities Commission its annual Electricity Cost Adjustment Mechanism (PCAM), which adjusts actual 2021 electricity costs to estimated costs that have been rolled into rates last year.

Demand varies by customer classifications, but in total averages 4%, or $50.5 million increase in customer costs; a spokesperson said they did not break down impacts to different categories of customers, such as residential.

“We know that 2021 has been a difficult and volatile year for energy prices in the West,” said Matthew McVee, vice president of regulatory policy and operations. “Last year saw a record high heat dome in the Northwest and unseasonably cold snaps. Our presence in 10 states and our diverse power generation sources allowed us to ride out these extremes.

“However, the skyrocketing cost of electricity that we had to buy from the market to meet customer needs, the drop in hydroelectricity production caused by the long-term drought and the prices of natural gas, which is used in some of our power plants, still exceeded forecasts.

Additionally, PacifiCorp said it was able to reduce these costs and customer impacts through its participation in the Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). EIM provides access to even more low-cost, carbon-free energy across the entire western US market while reducing emissions and increasing reliability.

In 2021, PacifiCorp saved its Oregon customers $30 million through its participation in EIM. These additional savings are passed on to CPTED customers, but in 2021 even these impressive savings were insufficient to fully offset the increases caused by market prices.

The PCAM rate application will be reviewed by the PUC. As part of this application, Pacific Power proposes that the CPTP rate adjustment take effect on January 1, 2023.

Pacific Power plans new rate discount for low-income customers

In June, Pacific Power plans to introduce a discount on billed rates to help customers experiencing revenue restrictions. The proposed reduction would be 25% for households whose qualified income is less than 60% of the state median income. If approved, this discount would go into effect on August 1.

About Pacific Power

Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 770,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. It is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost power generators in the United States, providing 2 million customers with value for their energy dollar through safe and reliable electricity. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.

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