Utility Regulation Generally

ORS 757.415
Purposes for which securities and notes may be issued

  • order required


Except as otherwise permitted by subsection (4) of this section, a public utility may issue stocks and bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness, certificates of beneficial interests in a trust and securities for the following purposes and no others:


The acquisition of property, or the construction, completion, extension or improvement of its facilities.


The improvement or maintenance of its service.


The discharge or lawful refunding of its obligations.


The reimbursement of money actually expended from income or from any other money in the treasury of the public utility not secured by or obtained from the issue of stocks or bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, or securities of such public utility, for any of the purposes listed in paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection except the maintenance of service and replacements, in cases where the applicant has kept its accounts and vouchers for such expenditures in such manner as to enable the Public Utility Commission of Oregon to ascertain the amount of money so expended and the purposes for which such expenditures were made.


The compliance with terms and conditions of options granted to its employees to purchase its stock, if the commission first finds that such terms and conditions are reasonable and in the public interest.


The finance or refinance of bondable conservation investment as described in ORS 757.455 (Conservation program investment policy). Bonds, notes, certificates of beneficial interests in a trust and other evidences of indebtedness or ownership, issued for this purpose are conservation bonds for the purposes of ORS 757.460 (Pledge of conservation investment assets as bond collateral). Conservation bonds may rely partly or wholly for repayment on conservation investment assets and revenues arising with respect to conservation investment assets.


Before issuing such securities a public utility, in addition to the other requirements of law, shall secure from the commission upon application an order authorizing such issue, stating:


The amount of the issue and the purposes to which the issue or the proceeds thereof are to be applied;


In the opinion of the commission, the money, property or labor to be procured or paid for by such issue reasonably is required for the purposes specified in the order and compatible with the public interest, which is necessary or appropriate for or consistent with the proper performance by the applicant of service as a public utility, and will not impair its ability to perform that service; and


Except as otherwise permitted in the order in the case of bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, such purposes are not, in whole or in part, reasonably chargeable to operating expenses or to income.


This section and ORS 757.410 (When issuance of securities is void) apply to demand notes but do not apply to the issuance or renewal of a note or evidence of indebtedness maturing not more than one year after date of such issue or renewal.


Nothing in ORS 757.400 (“Stocks” defined for ORS 757.400 to 757.460) to 757.460 (Pledge of conservation investment assets as bond collateral) shall prevent issuance of stock to stockholders as a stock dividend if there has been secured from the commission an order:


Finding that the stock dividend is compatible with the public interest;


Authorizing such issue and a transfer of surplus to capital in an amount equal to the par or stated value of the stock so authorized; and


Finding that a sum equal to the amount to be so transferred was expended for the purposes enumerated in subsection (1) of this section.


Conservation bonds authorized pursuant to subsection (1) of this section may be issued directly by a public utility or through a finance subsidiary. A “finance subsidiary” means any corporation, limited liability company, company, association, trust or other entity that is:


Beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, by a public utility or, in the case of a trust, for which a public utility or subsidiary thereof is the grantor; or


Unaffiliated with a public utility and acquires bondable conservation investment directly or indirectly from a public utility in a transaction approved by the commission. [Amended by 1961 c.319 §1; 1995 c.539 §4; 2005 c.22 §504]
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