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Self-Direction of the Public Purpose Charge

Introduction

Senate Bill 1149 provides that PGE and Pacific Power must collect a public purpose charge from both residential and business consumers within their service areas that is equal to 3 percent of the total revenues from electricity services. It went into effect on March 1, 2002.
 
Large electric consumers (over 1 average megawatt or 8,760,000 kilowatt hours a year) may be eligible to self-direct portions of their public purpose charges. The Oregon Department of Energy is directed to review and certify applications by large electric consumers for conservation projects and renewable energy resources. If an audit shows there are no conservation opportunities available, the consumer may receive credit of 54 percent of the public purpose charge.
 
The following is a summary of the process large electricity consumers use to self-direct public purpose charges. The Oregon Department of Energy has developed an interactive Web site for large electricity consumers to apply to self-direct their public purpose charges. This site tracks monthly credit. It also provides reports such as the monthly site statement, public purpose invoices, conservation project applications, conservation project credit requests and adjustments and transfers.
 
Please review the entire process below before going to the interactive Web site. After your review, you may go to the Large Electric Consumer Public Purpose Program (LECPPP) interactive Web site by clicking on the link below.

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Background

Senate Bill 1149 was passed in July 1999. The public purpose charge was set at 3 percent of the retail electric consumers’ electric bills. The public purpose charge applies to PGE and Pacific Power customers starting March 1, 2002.
 
Large electricity consumers with qualified sites who have installed electric energy conservation projects or purchased renewable resources can claim a credit against these public purpose charges. The site and completed projects must be certified by the Oregon Department of Energy before the consumer may claim a credit.

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Eligibility

Those eligible for the self-direction of the public purpose charges would be large electric consumers who use greater than one average megawatt (8,760,000 Kilowatt hours in the previous year), and are metered through a single meter, or have a contiguous site - buildings within 1000 feet of each other.

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Log-on Identification

  1. Click the Large Electric Consumer Public Purpose Program (LECPPP) interactive Web site link (below).
  2. The person indicated as your authorized agent will receive an automatic e-mail with attached Word documents to sign and mail to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  3. Once the authorized signature is received, the Oregon Department of Energy will e-mail your user name and password.
  4. Log on to the LECPPP interactive Web site using your user name and password and continue the process.

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Certifying the site

  1. Click on the LECPPP interactive Web site and go to "Existing Site Logon."
  2. Consumer submits an application for site eligibility to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  3. The Department of Energy reviews the application for site eligibility.
  4. The Department of Energy acknowledges eligibility.
  5. The site is re-certified annually.

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Self-direction categories

Eligible large electric consumers may self-direct their public purpose funds in two areas:
  • Conservation - Projects (56.7 percent of the public purpose charges)
  • Renewable - Renewable Power Contract (17.1 percent of the public purpose charges)
 

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Conservation Projects

Conservation Project
  1. Consumer with an eligible site submits a project pre-certification request to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  2. Consumer submits project details, drawings, costs and calculations to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  3. Consumer submits deposit to offset administrative costs.
  4. The Oregon Department of Energy reviews project.
  5. The Oregon Department of Energy certifies project and cost eligibility.

Certification of qualified expenditure - Conservation Project
  1. Consumer submits project actual cost to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  2. Consumer mails project cost and installation details to the Oregon Department of Energy. (Projects of $50,000 or more require certified public accountant compilation of expenses. See sample letter below.)
  3. The Oregon Department of Energy reviews application for certified project expenditure.
  4. The Oregon Department of Energy certifies project costs for consumer to claim credit.
  5. The Oregon Department of Energy enters credit into database.
  6. The large electricity consumer requests that their electric distribution utility (PGE or Pacific Power) remove public purpose charges from their monthly billing.

Claiming credit for certified conservation expenditures
  1. Consumer enters electric bill into Interactive Web site.
  2. Database calculates net public purpose charge and applies credits certified by the Oregon Department of Energy.
  3. Consumer mails net public purpose charge owed to the electric distribution utility (PGE or Pacific Power).
  4. To remain eligible to self-direct public purpose charges, large electricity consumers must pay the public purpose charges monthly that they owe for schools and low-income residences, or any uncredited conservation or renewable resources. Public purpose charges are owed, less any credits, regardless if they appear on monthly utility bills or not. 
 

Pre-March 1, 2002 conservation projects
For projects started on or after January 1, 2000, but prior to the implementation of direct access of March 1, 2002, a self-directing consumer may claim a public purpose credit provided:
  • The energy conservation measure did not receive funding from an electric company conservation program and was certified by the Oregon Department of Energy after January 1, 2000, or
  • The energy conservation measure did receive funding from an electric company conservation program and was certified by the Oregon Department of Energy after January 1, 2000, but the consumer repaid the amount of such funding.
 

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Renewable Energy

Renewable resource purchases
  1. Consumer is eligible for the purchase of renewable resource electricity at above market cost.
  2. Consumer submits renewable purchase summary to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  3. Consumer mails purchase details and contract to the Oregon Department of Energy.
  4. The Department of Energy reviews and establishes amount of renewable power credits.
  5. The large electricity consumer requests that their electric distribution utility (PGE or Pacific Power) remove public purpose charges from their monthly billing.

Claiming credit for certified renewable resource purchases
  1. Consumer reports monthly electric bill data with actual amount of renewable purchase.
  2. An Oregon Department of Energy database calculates net public purpose charge and applies credits certified by the Oregon Department of Energy.
  3. Consumer mails net public purpose charge with the regular monthly payment to the electric distribution utility (PGE or Pacific Power).

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Relief from payment of a portion of public purpose charges

Conservation credit is available if all conservation is done at a site
  • An Oregon Department of Energy approved auditor conducts energy audit and verifies that all conservation projects are complete.
  • The Oregon Department of Energy may grant a waiver of 54 percent of the public purpose charge if all cost-effective measures are completed.

If the audit shows conservation projects remain at a site, the consumer must continue to pay public purpose charge as follows:
  • Pay an amount equivalent to the cost estimated for the conservation project and receive any remaining credit up to the maximum of 54 percent of all public purpose charges owed, or
  • Install and pay for the project and claim a conservation credit and then claim any remaining relief credit.

The Oregon Department of Energy has developed an interactive Web site to enable participants to provide application information online at this site. The objectives of this feature, while achieving energy efficiency benefits for Oregonians, is to ensure security of information, ease of use, accountability and reduced cost of service for participants.

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