Docket Number: Limited issue rate filing UE-210532 and UE-210328 (consolidated), Power-cost-only rate case UE-210402
Editor’s Note: This news release reflects the position of energy staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and NOT the views of the three-member commission. It discusses proposals that the commissioners have not yet reviewed. Any positions taken or comments offered by the commission staff regarding these proceedings should be attributed clearly to staff members and NOT to the UTC.
Lacey, Wash. - The UTC invites PacifiCorp customers to provide comments at a public comment hearing this Thursday on two proposed settlements that will impact customer rates.
State regulators request comments on two PacifiCorp issues that the commission required in PacifiCorp’s 2019 general rate case: increased power costs, and refunded costs for projects that were not operational as expected.
Virtual-only public hearing comment
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
WHEN and WHERE
Thursday, Nov. 18
Participate by Microsoft Teams (encouraged, if possible).
Participate by phone: call 253-372-2181 and use conference ID: 353 050 880#
Translation services are available at no cost to you. Please inform the commission as soon as possible by calling 360-664-1140, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are unable to participate during the virtual meeting, you can submit comments:
- online at www.utc.wa.gov,
- via telephone at 888-333-9882,
- by email at email@example.com, or
- by mail to P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504.
In PacifiCorp’s 2019 general rate case, the three-member commission approved a full multiparty settlement that:
- Allowed the company to recover costs from projects it expected to begin operating by early 2021.
- Directed the company to file a power-cost-only rate case in 2021 to update expected costs for power in 2022.
Project costs (limited issue rate filing)
In the 2019 general rate case, the commission allowed PacifiCorp to recover costs from projects it expected to begin operating by early 2021. However, because the company did not complete the projects as expected, it will return overcollections to customers through a rate decrease and a one-time refund. The company will return the refund over 12 months.
All parties have signed on to the settlement for this issue.
The three-member commission, which is not bound by the proposed settlement, will make a final decision on the utility’s rates this fall. If approved, customers would see the rate decrease starting in January 2022.
Power-cost-only rate case
In June, the company filed its power-cost-only rate case. In that filing, PacifiCorp requested $4.7 million less than previously approved. However, because of significant increases in the cost of gas, the parties have agreed to update the base rates before rates go into effect on May 1, 2022. They will calculate this using March 2022 market costs and expect that increased costs will lead to an overall increase in customer rates.
Parties to the new settlement agreement include PacifiCorp, UTC staff, The Energy Project, and Walmart Inc.
The Public Counsel Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, which represents residential and small business utility customers in UTC rate proceedings, neither signed nor opposed the agreement. The Alliance of Western Energy Consumers, which represents industrial energy customers, opposes the settlement.
Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCorp is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy of Des Moines, Iowa. The company provides electric service to about 130,000 customers in six Eastern Washington counties: Kittitas, Columbia, Garfield, Benton, Walla Walla, and Yakima. Cities in the company’s service territory include College Place, Dayton, Grandview, Naches, Pomeroy, Prescott, Selah, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Union Gap, Waitsburg, Walla Walla, Wapato, Yakima, and Zillah.
The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.