Utility Regulation Generally

ORS 757.105
Filing of budget

  • rules
  • review by commission
  • pensions as operating expenses


The Public Utility Commission has the right and power of regulation, restriction and control over the budgets of expenditures of public utilities, as to all items covering:


Proposed payment of salaries of executive officers;




Political contributions and political advertising;


Expenditures for pensions or for a trust to provide pensions for employees and officers;


Other expenditures and major contracts for the sale or purchase of equipment; and


Any payment or contemplated payment to any person or corporation having an affiliated interest for service, advice, auditing, associating, sponsoring, engineering, managing, operating, financing, legal or other services.


On or before a date prescribed by the commission by rule, each public utility shall prepare a budget showing the amount of money which, in its judgment, shall be needed during the ensuing year for covering all such activities and expenditures, and file it with the commission.


When any such budget has been filed with the commission, the commission shall examine into and investigate the same and unless rejected within 60 days thereafter, the proposed budget is presumptively fair and reasonable and not contrary to public interest.


Proposed expenditures for pensions or for a trust to provide pensions for the employees and officers of such utility whether for future service or past service or both, shall be recognized as an operating expense if the trust fund is irrevocably committed to the payment of pensions or benefits to employees and if such pensions are reasonable and nondiscriminatory. The commission may disallow as an operating expense any expenditure for pension purposes in excess of the amount necessary and proper to maintain an actuarially sound retirement plan for the employees of the utility in Oregon. [Amended by 1957 c.593 §1; 1971 c.655 §82; 2013 c.96 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Presumption that nonrejected budget expenses are just and reasonable does not limit Public Utility Commissioner's broader power to disallow any type of expense in making rate determination. Pac. NW Bell Tel. Co. v. Sabin, 21 Or App 200, 534 P2d 984 (1975), Sup Ct review denied; Cascade Natural Gas Corp. v. Davis, 28 Or App 621, 560 P2d 301 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

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