comes as Pacific Power requested in February that the Oregon
Public Utility Commission approve a 10% increase in base
rates for irrigation. KWUA intervened in the OPUC proceeding
to oppose the increase, and the OPUC issued its decision
“We are very
pleased with this outcome,” said KWUA Power Committee
Chairman Ben DuVal. “It’s beneficial for irrigators and
districts throughout the Klamath Project, and for our
neighbors outside the Project in as well.”
utilities such as Pacific Power can only charge rates that
have been approved by the OPUC. A utility proposing to
change its rates typically submits the proposed new rates to
the OPUC, and parties supporting or opposing the change are
allowed to participate in the resulting rate case. Pacific
Power’s last general rate case prior to this year was in
2013, where it obtained approval for a rate structure that
has remained in effect since that time.
Roughly half of
Pacific Power’s retail irrigation customers in Oregon are in
the Klamath Basin, and only some of these are represented by
KWUA’s membership. The organization partnered with the
Oregon Farm Bureau Federation, which is interested in
protecting Pacific Power’s irrigation customers in other
parts of the state.
DuVal, most of the disputed issues of special concern to
irrigators were resolved through the negotiation of two
separate rate stipulation agreements, and the OPUC approved
these agreements in its order issued last week. Other
disputed issues went to a hearing and were resolved in the
order as well.
Pacific Power’s constructive approach to negotiation and
settlement,” he said. “We were able to resolve irrigators’
most important issues efficiently and cost-effectively.”
Under the OPUC
ruling, there will be an increase in base rates and
adjustment schedules of less than one-half of one percent,
which contrasts favorably with the ten percent increase that
had been proposed in February. Also, due to an annual
adjustment factor, the net cost of power for irrigation will
actually decrease on Jan. 1, by 3.5%
Director Paul Simmons said the adjustment factor is based on
a number of variable costs and changes every year. He said
much of this year’s decrease came from tax credits granted
to Pacific Power through investments in renewable energy.
While adjustment factors will vary over the next few years,
Simmons said the low base rate will remain in effect until
the utility decides to initiate another rate case.
getting economic benefit from smart investments that Pacific
Power has made in meeting its renewable energy requirements
in the state of Oregon,” DuVal said.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: