Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Electric Utility Deregulation
In July 1999, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1149, which introduced competition into the retail electricity market of Oregon's two largest utilities. That legislation was amended by the passage of House Bill 3633 in the 2001 Legislature.
How It Affects Non-Residential Consumers

As of March 1, 2002, Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp allowed their non-residential consumers to purchase electricity (and certain related services) from other electricity providers. Transmission, distribution, and other facets of electricity service remain fully regulated by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC).
How It Affects Residential Consumers

At the same time PGE and PacifiCorp allow choice of provider for their non-residential consumers, they must offer their residential (and small business) consumers a choice of rates from at least three options:
  1. a regulated cost-of-service rate,
  2. a renewable-resources rate, and
  3. a market-based rate.
The PUC reported to the Legislature in 2003 on whether residential consumers would also benefit from the opportunity to choose an electricity provider from among competitors.
How It Affects Other Utilities

Oregon's publicly owned utilities - the co-ops, municipalities, and public utility districts - may decide themselves if and when they will open their service areas to competition and, if they do, how they will do it.
Public Purposes Charges

PacifiCorp and PGE opened their service areas to retail competition on March 1, 2002. When they did, they began to collect (by law) a charge, called a public purpose charge, from their consumers to pay for public purposes: conservation, renewable resources, and services for low-income households. 
Oregon's 39 publicly owned utilities may choose to open their service areas to competition. If they do, the rules for public utility public purpose charges are different than in investor owned utility service areas.
What Is Happening?

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission has completed Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 860, Division 38 on the electric utility restructuring and deregulation.
The Oregon Department of Energy has completed the Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 330, Division 140 regarding large electricity consumer self-direction of public purpose charges and reviews applications under this program.
The Oregon Department Energy also facilitates the administration of public purpose funds for schools.
The Oregon Housing and Community Services Department is responsible for administering public purpose funds for low income weatherization and low income housing.
The Energy Trust of Oregon, a non-governmental, non-profit  organization, manages the energy conservation and renewable resource public purpose funds.
Utility Restructuring Legislation Senate Bill 1149
Utility Restructuring Legislation House Bill 3633
Public Purpose Charges in Public Utility Service Territories
Oregon Public Utility Commission Role
State Agencies and Power Purchasing
Edition 4 of the Power Technologies Energy Data Book 
Who Else Is Involved?

Oregon Public Utility Commission
Oregon Housing and Community Services Department
Energy Trust of Oregon
Portland General Electric