If you’re a residential customer or small business* served by Portland General Electric or Pacific Power, you can choose from a number of power options:
1. Basic Service Option
This is the standard service option. You’ll stay on this rate unless you enroll in a different option.
2. Renewable Resource Options†
If you sign up for Renewable Resource Options you pay a rate premium above the basic service rate. The rate premium is invested in renewable power plants providing for generation of renewable power that would not otherwise be generated.
Fixed Renewable – Your rate premium is used to buy or support generation of a fixed amount of power each month from renewable power plants. That renewable power is mixed with other power and delivered to customers throughout the region. Pacific Power´s Blue Sky Block program supports wind power plants. PGE´s Clean Wind program supports new wind and existing power plants.
Renewable Usage – Your rate premium is used to buy or support generation of an amount of renewable power equal to your usage of power. That renewable power is mixed with other power and delivered to customers throughout the region. Pacific Power´s Blue Sky Usage program is a mix of new wind, biomass, low-impact hydroelectric and solar power plants, and is marketed and sourced by 3 Degrees Group, Inc. PGE´s Green Source program is a mix of new wind, new biomass, new geothermal, and existing low-impact hydroelectric power plants, and is marketed and sourced by Green Mountain Energy Co.
Habitat – This Option has a rate premium in addition to your Renewable Resource Option rate premium The additional rate premium is used for restoration of fish habitat. Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Habitat program is focused on freshwater habitat restoration and is managed by The Freshwater Trust. PGE’s Habitat Support program is focused primarily on salmon habitat restoration and is managed by the Nature Conservancy.
3. Time of Use Option
If you sign up for this Option, the price you pay for electricity depends on when you use it — during on-peak or off-peak hours. (PGE´s program also has a mid-peak period.) You may save money if your lifestyle or small business hours allow for significantly reduced power use during on-peak hours; otherwise, you may pay more than under Basic Service. Your utility will install a special meter to track your usage by time period. You will be required to pay a monthly charge to help pay for the meter.
There’s a price guarantee with an initial 12-month commitment: After the first year, you will receive a credit to the extent your power charges exceed what they would have been on the Basic Service rate by more than 10 percent. The monthly meter charge is excluded from this cost adjustment.
Natural Gas Consumers
If you’re a residential or business customer served by NW Natural you can choose to offset all or a portion of your greenhouse gas emissions caused from using natural gas.
1. Smart Energy
If you sign up for Smart Energy you pay a rate premium above the basic service rate. The rate premium is used to purchase and retire “Carbon Offsets” on your behalf. These Carbon Offsets support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By supporting projects that prevent greenhouse gas emissions (and that wouldn't be financially viable without your help), you'll offset the emissions caused by your home's natural gas use. So, the natural gas used in your home will make no net addition to greenhouse emissions.
If you are a residential consumer you have a choice of two price options:
· A fixed monthly charge, based on an average residential use of 686 therms a year, or
· A rate of just over 10 cents for each therm of gas you use. Using this method, your monthly contribution will vary depending on your gas use.
If you are a business consumer, you can either commit to offsetting 100 percent of your greenhouse gas emissions for one year or determine what percentage of your emissions you wish to offset based on the amount of your monthly contribution.
Still Regulated, Still Reliable
The Oregon Public Utility Commission regulates all these Options. They were developed by an advisory group that included representatives of the Citizens´ Utility Board, Associated Oregon Industries, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Fair and Clean Energy Coalition, Renewable Northwest Project, League of Oregon Cities, City of Portland, the Public Utility Commission staff, Oregon Department of Energy, Pacific Power and PGE. The advisory group continues to make recommendations to the Commission to improve the Options.
No matter which one you choose, your utility will continue to maintain the poles, wires, and pipes that deliver your energy and provide customer service, meter reading and billing. Your utility cannot change any of the Options, or their prices, without the Commission’s approval.
When to Choose
You can enroll anytime. You also can change Options at any time. The Time-of-Use Option has a 12-month minimum term.
For More Information
NW Natural - 800-422-4012
Portland General Electric - 503-228-6322 or 1-800-542-8818
Small business customers:
Pacific Power - 1-888-221-7070 (res) or 1-866-870-3419 (sm bus)
Small business customers:
Green Mountain Energy Company - 1-866-468-6633
3 Degrees Group, Inc - 1-866-476-9378
*Small business customers also may choose a market-based rate (for example, daily pricing) or power from an alternative electricity supplier. (See power options for Nonresidential Consumers.)
† The supplier buys power or unique claims on the electricity produced from renewable resources. "Existing" facilities are those in operation before July 1999. Idaho Power also offers its Oregon customers a renewable resource option.