Request To Reject PGE’s 7.3% Rate Increase Denied By Oregon Public Utilities Commission

Portland General Electric (PGE) faced significant backlash when it proposed a rate hike of over 7% just months after implementing an 18% increase. The Oregon Citizen Utility Board (CUB) strongly urged the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reject PGE’s proposed rate increase, which, when combined with the past four years of increases, would result in a cumulative total of approximately 40%.

In response to the public outcry, an advocacy group called on the PUC to deny PGE’s rate increase. However, this past Thursday, the commission made the decision to deny that request, stating that doing so would establish a negative precedent. This decision comes after the utility company’s 18% rate increase took effect in January, coinciding with a week-long ice storm that caused power outages and downed power lines throughout the Willamette Valley.

The CUB had previously fought against the 2024 rate increase but was unsuccessful. In fact, when the rate increase was approved, it ended up being higher than the initially proposed amount. According to Jenks, a representative from the CUB, it is common for additional costs to be added during the PUC’s lengthy process of reviewing rate increase filings. The final decision on PGE’s rate increase will be made in December, and if approved, it will go into effect on January 1, 2025.

The PUC’s denial of the request to reject PGE’s 7.3% rate increase has sparked concerns among customers who have already experienced multiple increases in recent years. The decision will undoubtedly have an impact on households and businesses, as they will be faced with higher electricity bills. 

The CUB and other consumer advocacy groups will continue to monitor the situation closely and explore any potential avenues for mitigating the financial burden on customers. The process moves forward with hopes by the public that both PGE and the PUC ensure transparency and engage in open dialogue with customers.