Pacific Power raised power prices again in 2024.

Pacific Power Raises Rates for 2024

Pacific Power 2024 Rate Increases for Oregon Residential and Commercial Customers

Beginning January 10, 2024, residential Pacific Power customers will begin to incur an average rate increase of 12.9%. For a single family residence using the average of 900 kWh per month, their bills will increase by about $15 monthly. Small commercial customers will see an increase on average of about 12.1% while large commercial customers will also see an increase on average of about 16.7%. 

Ongoing rate increases are driven by higher power supply costs. Power costs have risen due to volatility in the Western electricity market and additional costs related to wildfire risk mitigation. This comes just one year after Pacific Power raised the average Oregon residential utility rate by 23%. 

Managing Wildfire Risks

One contributing factor to Pacific Power’s increasing costs are associated with their much needed work with wildfire mitigation. Weather is one of the biggest concerns for electric utilities. Pacific Power plans to invest nearly half a billion dollars in wildfire mitigation efforts. These efforts include physical infrastructure, vegetation management and advanced technologies. 

Physical infrastructure improvements include installing thousands of miles of fire-resistant poles and covered wires. Where applicable, they are burying lines and adding aerial spacers to protect covered conductors from falling limbs and other hazards. 

Vegetation management includes creating safety buffers around infrastructure, ongoing tree pruning under wires, crews identifying and removing potentially hazardous and or dying trees, as well as aerial and ground surveillance of conditions to prioritize vegetation management. 

Integration of advanced technology both in the field and in control centers are also being implemented. New meteorology tools and teams are being deployed to identify and respond to anticipated risks.  Weather stations installed on power poles and remote capable relays that can be utilized based on changing weather conditions. 

Continued Rate Increases Likely as Lawsuits Mount

Pacific Power paid out millions of dollars in two lawsuits in December 2023. A $250 million dollar settlement was reached with 10 timber companies to resolve a lawsuit for the Archie Creek Complex Fire in Southern Oregon. There was an additional lawsuit for $299 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Southern Oregon residents who lost property in the same fire.