Pacific Power raises energy
rates in California
By Sibyl Walski January 3, 2007 Mr.
If you are one of the 45,000 customers Pacific
Power serves in northern California, you are about
to pay more for the privilege.
In a press release dated December 28, the company
announced that, effective January 1, 2007,
residential customers will be charged 13.3 percent
more than last year.
Companies and industries of any size will see an
increase of 7.7 percent.
By comparison, KTVL-TV in Medford reported a 5
percent increase for customers overall, a number
confirmed by Bekki Witt, spokesperson for Pacific
Witt said the discrepancy is due to the fact that
separate rate cases must be filed in each state,
and the PUC determinations will be specific to
In California, the company requested a 15.6
percent increase overall. In Oregon, a 13.2
percent increase amounting to $112 million was
What they got in California was an overall 10.8
percent increase amounting to $7.3 million.
Oregon's PUC allowed 5 percent, which translates
to $43 million.
Witt pointed out that the last rate increase case
in California was filed in Dec. 2001, requesting
an overall price increase of 29 percent.
An interim increase of $4.8 million was granted in
June 2002 and a final $2.8 million granted in Nov.
2003, for a total 13.6 percent increase and $7.64
Before that, said Witt, the last rate case was
filed in 1996 and resulted in a decrease in prices
The CPUC website indicates that the commissioners
granted an “unopposed settlement of a 2007 test
year revenue requirement of PacifiCorp (and) a
revenue allocation and rate design settlement.”
This was disputed only by the Klamath Water Users
Association, which wanted discounted rates on the
grounds that its irrigation members actually
returned water to the Klamath River.
The Division of Ratepayer Advocates in July
disagreed, arguing that the deficit would have to
be paid by other customers.
The KWUA, composed of approximately 20 public
agencies, is mostly irrigation districts for
various agricultural-based businesses in and
around the Upper Klamath River Basin.
On December 17, 2006, Commissioner Geoffrey Brown
found in favor of PacifiCorp and denied KWUA's
request for a rate credit.
After the test year, PacifiCorp is also authorized
to adjust for inflation and changes in power costs
on January 1, 2008 and 2009, in addition to the
price change customers will see this year.
PacifiCorp claims that even with the price changes
and subsequent adjustments, it is charging less on
average to California customers than it did 10
years ago. It also states that its “average rate
remains the lowest among other investor-owned
utilities serving California.”
Between Pacific Power and Rocky Mountain Power,
PacifiCorp counts about 1.7 million customers in
six Western states.