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PacifiCorp customers see rate decrease

Docket Number: UE-210593, UE-210679

LACEY, Wash. - The Utilities and Transportation Commission approved two measures at an open meeting last week that when combined lower customer rates by $2 million.

PacifiCorp’s average residential electric customer using 1,200 kWh a month will see a rate decrease of 2% and can expect to pay $2.35 less, for an average monthly bill of $103.12.

The combination of the following two measures results in the net decrease effective Oct. 1.

Low Income Bill Assistance Program
One of the approved measures increased the monthly surcharge that supports PacifiCorp’s Low Income Bill Assistance Program (LIBA) from $0.74 to $2. The company has not increased the surcharge since 2013, leading to a $2.9 million under-collection. The company proposes to catch up with the under-collection over the next two years. When combined with administrative costs and future funding needs, the total revenue increase for this measure is $3.2 million.

PacifiCorp also made it easier for customers to receive benefits by simplifying the benefit amount to a percentage of the bill, expanding the eligibility threshold, and removing the annual enrollment cap.

The UTC received one public comment opposed to the increase.

Residential Exchange Program Benefits
The commission also approved $17.7 million that PacifiCorp will return to customers through the Residential Exchange Program, contributing an average monthly bill decrease of $3.61.

These credits are funds that PacifiCorp receives from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) through the Residential Exchange Program and must then pass back to customers through rates.

BPA’s program supplies residential and farm customers of the Pacific Northwest access to low-cost federal power by exchanging power generated by local utilities across the country and returning the difference in cost back to the utilities.

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 regulates the rates and services of household goods movers; passenger transportation companies; investor-owned electric, natural gas, garbage, and water utilities; landline telecommunications companies; garbage haulers; commercial ferries; pipeline companies; marine pilotage; and a low-level radioactive waste repository.