Utility Regulation Generally

ORS 757.140
Depreciation accounts

  • use of certain undepreciated investment in rates


Every public utility shall carry a proper and adequate depreciation account. The Public Utility Commission shall ascertain and determine the proper and adequate rates of depreciation of the several classes of property of each public utility. The rates shall be such as will provide the amounts required over and above the expenses of maintenance, to keep such property in a state of efficiency corresponding to the progress of the industry. Each public utility shall conform its depreciation accounts to the rates so ascertained and determined by the commission. The commission may make changes in such rates of depreciation from time to time as the commission may find to be necessary.


In the following cases the commission may allow in rates, directly or indirectly, amounts on the utility’s books of account which the commission finds represent undepreciated investment in a utility plant, including that which has been retired from service:


When the retirement is due to ordinary wear and tear, casualties, acts of God, acts of governmental authority; or


When the commission finds that the retirement is in the public interest. [Amended by 1971 c.655 §87; 1989 c.956 §2]

Notes of Decisions

"Undepreciated investment" refers to invested principal and does not include foregone profit on investment. Citizens' Utility Board v. Public Utility Commission, 154 Or App 702, 962 P2d 744 (1998)

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