Utility Regulation Generally

ORS 757.005
Definition of public utility


(a) As used in this chapter, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, “public utility” means:


Any corporation, company, individual, association of individuals, or its lessees, trustees or receivers, that owns, operates, manages or controls all or a part of any plant or equipment in this state for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of heat, light, water or power, directly or indirectly to or for the public, whether or not such plant or equipment or part thereof is wholly within any town or city.


Any corporation, company, individual or association of individuals, which is party to an oral or written agreement for the payment by a public utility, for service, managerial construction, engineering or financing fees, and having an affiliated interest with the public utility.


As used in this chapter, “public utility” does not include:


Any plant owned or operated by a municipality.


Any railroad, as defined in ORS 824.020 (Definitions for ORS 824.020 to 824.042), or any industrial concern by reason of the fact that it furnishes, without profit to itself, heat, light, water or power to the inhabitants of any locality where there is no municipal or public utility plant to furnish the same.


Any corporation, company, individual or association of individuals providing heat, light or power:


From any energy resource to fewer than 20 customers, if it began providing service to a customer prior to July 14, 1985;


From any energy resource to fewer than 20 residential customers so long as the corporation, company, individual or association of individuals serves only residential customers;
(iii) From solar or wind resources to any number of customers; or


From biogas, waste heat or geothermal resources for nonelectric generation purposes to any number of customers.


A qualifying facility on account of sales made under the provisions of ORS 758.505 (Definitions for ORS 758.505 to 758.555) to 758.555 (Effect of energy sales on qualifying facility).


Any person furnishing heat, but not delivering electricity or natural gas to its customers, except:


As provided in ORS 757.007 (Contract and rate schedule filing for certain furnishers of heat exempt from regulation) and 757.009 (Procedure for reregulation of furnishers of heat); or


With respect to heat furnished in municipalities which on January 1, 1989, had a municipally owned system that was furnishing steam or other thermal forms of heat to its customers.


Notwithstanding subparagraph (E) of this paragraph, any corporation, company, partnership, individual or association of individuals furnishing heat to a single thermal end user from an electric generating facility, plant or equipment that is physically interconnected with the single thermal end user.


Any corporation, company, partnership, individual or association of individuals that furnishes natural gas, electricity, ethanol, methanol, methane, biodiesel or other alternative fuel to any number of customers for use in motor vehicles and does not furnish any utility service described in paragraph (a) of this subsection.


An electricity service supplier, as defined in ORS 757.600 (Definitions for ORS 757.600 to 757.689).


Nothing in subsection (1)(b)(C) of this section shall prohibit third party financing of acquisition or development by a utility customer of energy resources to meet the heat, light or power requirements of that customer. [Amended by 1953 c.583 §2; 1967 c.241 §1; 1967 c.314 §1; 1971 c.655 §64a; 1973 c.726 §1; 1979 c.62 §1; 1981 c.360 §1; 1981 c.749 §21; 1983 c.118 §1; 1983 c.799 §7; 1985 c.550 §1; 1985 c.633 §7; 1985 c.779 §1; 1987 c.447 §96; 1987 c.900 §3; 1989 c.5 §2; 1989 c.999 §§1,2; 1991 c.294 §1; 1995 c.267 §1; 1999 c.330 §2; 1999 c.491 §1; 1999 c.865 §21; 2001 c.104 §292; 2003 c.82 §4]

Notes of Decisions

Bonneville Power Administration is not corporation, company, or individual within the meaning paragraph (1)(a) of this section. State v. Cannon, 65 Or App 327, 671 P2d 761 (1983)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Public Utility Commissioner's jurisdiction over cable television companies, (1980) Vol 40, p 513

Chapter 757

Notes of Decisions

Under regulatory scheme, Public Utility Commissioner has authority to promulgate rule limiting telephone company's liability for directory listing errors or omissions. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

Refund is proper exercise of Public Utility Commission's general powers if refund (1) is based only on information in existence at time of rate order for which refund is being made; (2) is not based on evaluation of public utility's actual expenses or revenues; and (3) is not effectuated by offsetting future rates. Gearhart v. Public Utility Commission, 255 Or App 58, 299 P3d 533 (2013), aff'd 356 Or 216, 339 P3d 904 (2014)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of Governor and Public Utility Commissioner to enter into binding agreements with respect to uniform curtailment plans, (1977) Vol 38, p 861


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021