Utility Rates for Portland General Electric (PGE) Customers Set to Rise by 17% in 2024. For the second consecutive year, PGE has made the decision to raise its rates. Last year, in 2023, residential customers saw their rates climb, with increases ranging from 7% to as much as 20%.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) has recently confirmed that PGE customers can expect a significant increase in their utility rates in 2024. The PUC disclosed this news on a Tuesday, citing the approval of two distinct rate increases by the utility commission: an annual adjustment for power supply costs and a general rate increase affecting all other utility expenses. This development marks the second consecutive year in which PGE has implemented rate hikes, following last year's increase in 2023, where residential customers saw rates spike between 7% and 20%.
Earlier this year, PGE proposed a 14% rate hike that would be applicable to all its customers in 2024. However, the recent decision by the PUC signals a more substantial increase of around 17%.
Reasons Behind the General Rate Increase
According to the PUC's official news release, the general rate increase is being driven by several factors, including capital investments such as the Faraday Resiliency and Repowering hydroelectric project. This project aims to enhance PGE's resilience and reliability in the face of potential challenges. Furthermore, investments in transmission and distribution systems are contributing to the need for rate adjustments. The increased costs associated with the vegetation management program, which is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of PGE's system, are also a significant factor. Additionally, inflation and the growing volatility in the Western electricity market are playing a role in raising power supply costs.
Awaiting Official Confirmation
It is important to note that the exact figures for the rate increase are not yet official, as stated by the utility commission. The final impact of the general rate and power cost increases, along with other rate adjustments proposed by PGE, including charges aimed at recovering the costs of the company's wildfire mitigation actions, will be reported in December. This report will be made after PGE's additional adjustment proposals have been thoroughly reviewed, and an updated power forecast for 2024 is filed.
Balancing Investment and Customer Affordability
PUC Chair Megan Decker acknowledged the necessity of this rate increase, emphasizing the need for investments in the reliability and resiliency of PGE's system. She also highlighted the utility's commitment to advancing policy objectives such as equity and clean energy. In addition, Decker acknowledged that PGE faces inflationary pressures and the challenges posed by high market power prices.
She emphasized the significance of this rate increase for families and businesses and encouraged them to explore options for bill assistance, including energy efficiency programs and the rate discount program. The latter, as per this decision, has been expanded to provide better support for Oregonians with low incomes.
As PGE and the PUC grapple with the delicate balance between ensuring a reliable energy system and keeping rates affordable, customers are advised to stay informed about the rate changes and take advantage of available support programs to navigate these increasing costs effectively.
What time of day do PG&E rates go up?
With Time-of-Use rate plans, you can save money by using electricity during times when it's more affordable and there's less demand. During this rate plan, the period from 4pm to 9pm is considered peak hours, with higher prices, while all other times offer lower rates during off-peak hours.
How much is an average PG&E bill?
According to PG&E's projections, the expected monthly bill for the typical gas and electric customer in 2023 is estimated to be around $240.73, which indicates a rise of roughly $24 compared to the average bill of $216.70 in January 2022.
Why is PGE so expensive in California?
With increased demand and limited supply, wholesale natural gas prices have seen a significant uptick. In the case of utilities like PG&E, we do not apply any markup to the price of natural gas that we pass on to our customers. Regrettably, this translates to higher bills for our customers.
What is the average electric bill for a 3 bedroom house in California?
In 2023, considering utility rates close to 30 cents per kWh, the monthly electric bill for a typical three-bedroom house in California hovers around $175, ranking as the 14th highest in the country.