Commission Sets Rates for
April 12, 2006
Salem, OR – Today the Oregon Public
Utility Commission issued a decision to replace
historically low rates enjoyed by some 2000
irrigators in the Klamath River basin effective
April 16, 2006. The change will move Klamath
irrigators, over seven years, to rates similar to
those paid by other PacifiCorp irrigation
The Klamath irrigators are currently served by two
historic contracts that provide rates of less than
a penny per kilowatt. Other PacifiCorp irrigation
customers are currently paying 6.98 cents per kWh.
The amount of the increase will vary among
different customer classes. They include
On-Project, Off-Project and Governmental pumping
Under the Commission order, in the first year,
On-Project users will pay .82 cents per kWh up
from .60 cents, and Off-Project users .99 cents up
from .75 cents.
“We listened carefully to arguments and I believe
this is a fair and equitable path we’ve chosen,”
Commission Chairman Lee Beyer said. “The phase-in
will ease the transition to new rates while at the
same time giving us additional time to thoroughly
examine the option of rate credits.”
To avoid rate shock, the new rates will be
phased-in over seven years. The phase-in is
required under Senate Bill 81, which was approved
by the 2005 Legislature. SB 81 prevents rates
from being increased by more than 50 percent per
year. The mitigation results in a revenue
shortfall of approximately $1.7 million which will
be spread among PacifiCorp’s other customers.
The Commission order provides irrigators the
opportunity to seek future rate credits based on
quantifiable operational benefits to PacifiCorp’s
hydroelectric system. The transition to new rates
will provide additional time to obtain evidence
and develop methodologies required to accurately
assess the benefits provided by Klamath Basin
irrigators. If requested, the Commission may
consider the appropriateness of rate credits
during a review of the annual adjustment filing by
PacifiCorp to further the transition to standard
The Klamath Basin is located in southern Oregon
and northern California and encompasses the area
drained by the Klamath River and its tributaries.
Water diverted into the Klamath Basin project
canals irrigates over 200,000 acres, on which
farmers and ranchers grow crops and raise
livestock. The irrigators pump, divert and
circulate water for irrigation, and return water
to the Klamath River for electric generation.
PacifiCorp operates seven hydroelectric dams on
the Klamath River.
Organizations representing irrigation customers
and other interested parties such as the United
States Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of
Fish and Wildlife, Commission Staff, the Oregon
Natural Resources Council, Water Watch, and the
Hoopa Valley Tribe participated in the rate case.
PacifiCorp serves approximately 1,400 On-Project
irrigators and 700 Off-Project irrigators.
Link to full order on PUC website: