Many Oregonians can expect higher electric bills starting on New Year’s Day.
Oregon’s utility regulator announced Thursday approved rate hikes for Portland General Electric and Pacific Power customers, citing increased costs to generate and purchase electricity.
“Unfortunately, rising fuel costs and supply chain delays caused by global events, combined with increased volatility in regional electricity markets, are driving up the price for utilities to generate and purchase electricity,” said Megan Decker, Oregon Public Utilities is the chairman of the services committee. in a press release.
Starting January 1, PGE customers will see a 6% increase in their electricity bills. A typical PGE residential customer using 780 kWh per month can expect monthly bills to increase from $114.54 to $122.60.
Meanwhile, Pacific Power customers will see a 15% increase. In a press release, the company said a typical residential customer using 900 kWh per month can expect monthly bills to increase from $91.89 to $111.34.
Pacific Power attributed the significant increase to inflation and market volatility, as well as costs associated with bushfire risk mitigation. The company faced multiple lawsuits related to the 2020 Labor Day wildfires; One of those cases was settled in November, and the class action is pending trial.
PacifiCorp, the utility’s parent company, serves nearly 2 million customers in six states, including 630,000 customers in Oregon. PGE serves approximately 900,000 customers in 51 Oregon cities.
Both PGE and Pacific Power offer programs that provide rebates to customers who face income restrictions. Customers can also receive assistance through local community action agencies, including the Oregon Energy Foundation, the Oregon Energy Assistance Program, the COVID Energy Assistance Program, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.