Oregon Commission Approves PacifiCorp’s Direct Access and Power Cost Filing

On December 11, 2015, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (Oregon Commission) issued its final order approving PacifiCorp’s Oregon power costs and direct access program in their entirety. The order will result in a small rate increase and no changes to PacifiCorp’s direct access program, which has low participation levels.  

PacifiCorp files annual transition adjustment mechanisms, which revise its power costs charged to customers, and set the credits or charges for customers that select direct access. Direct access is when end use customers purchase power from a third party, called an electricity service supplier. Customers remain physically connected to their local utility.

While PacifiCorp only proposed a small rate increase, the case was contentious with Staff, and residential and industrial customers sponsoring five expert witnesses that raised over twenty disputes regarding the company’s power costs. In an unusual decision, the Oregon Commission rejected every challenge to PacifiCorp’s power costs.

Noble Solutions (a third party electricity service supplier) proposed changes to PacifiCorp’s controversial direct access program. While Oregon law requires that commercial and industrial customers have the right to direct access, very few customers elect to do so because of regulatory hurdles. The Oregon Commission has repeatedly rejected changes that would make PacifiCorp’s direct access program a viable option. In this case, the Oregon Commission once again decided to maintain PacifiCorp’s existing program, which will likely continue to prevent most customers from having a realistic option to purchase their power from third parties.

The Oregon Commission Order is HERE.



These materials are intended to as informational and are not to be considered legal advice or legal opinion, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. Information included about previous case results does not assure a similar future result.