Pacific Power has filed a request with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon that calls for a 1.6% average increase, which if granted would represent the first such increase in seven years, company officials said.
“After seven years of investment without raising prices, the new proposals include a 1.6 percent average increase reflecting the implementation of Pacific Power’s Energy Vision 2020 renewable energy and transmission initiative, multiple customer service enhancements, investments in wildfire mitigation, cyber security, and innovative rate design proposals to increase transparency and opportunity for customers to better manage their energy use,” Pacific Power said in a prepared statement. “The company has also focused on expanding its renewable resources and improving how customers receive information through improved outage notification, online tools and apps, and advanced energy-management capabilities.
Pacific Power also said that “innovative and efficient improvements” over the last seven years have resulted in lowering the company’s fixed operating costs by more than $60 million. The rate proposal also reflects savings due to the early retirement of Cholla 4, a coal unit in Arizona, the company said. That and other moves “pioneering a new western energy market” resulted in $60 million in annual savings for customers, the company said.
The requested rate change would be an increase of $21.6 million, or 1.6 percent, effective on January 1, 2021. If approved by the Public Utility Commission, the monthly increase for an average residential customer using 900 kWh per month would be $4.03, the company said.
“Pacific Power’s top priority is to deliver affordable, safe, reliable and increasingly clean electricity to our customers and communities so they can thrive,” Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power, said in the statement. “These filings reflect significant progress to-date and we are committed to continue to innovate and provide our customers with industry-leading, sustainable energy solutions.”
The Public Utility Commission will consider Pacific Power’s proposal and decide whether the schedule should be accepted as filed, modified, or rejected. If accepted as filed, the rate change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
The Commission also has the authority to set final rates that may be lower or higher than the company’s request, depending on its review of the proposal.
Pacific Power provides electric service to customers in Oregon, Washington and California. It is part of PacifiCorp, which has nearly 2 million customers nationwide. For more information, visit www.pacificpower.net.