Utility Regulation Generally

ORS 757.455
Conservation program investment policy

  • application for bondable investments
  • utility rates to include investment costs


It is the policy of the Public Utility Commission of Oregon to encourage financing investments at the lowest possible cost to utility customers, including but not limited to conservation program expenditures.


If the commission decides that a public utility should defer and amortize certain conservation program expenditures, the public utility may apply to the commission for an order designating all or part of the conservation program expenditures as bondable conservation investment, for the purpose of financing or refinancing the designated expenditures under ORS 757.415 (Purposes for which securities and notes may be issued) (1)(f). After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the commission may approve the application if it finds that the conservation program expenditures included in the application are used, useful and prudent and that financing or refinancing is likely to be more favorable to customers than other reasonably available alternatives. Upon approval, the commission shall issue an order stating the amount of the conservation program expenditures that qualify as bondable conservation investment.


The commission shall set rates to include in revenue requirement recovery of a public utility’s bondable conservation investment, as well as the costs of equity and debt capital associated with it, including, without limitation, the payment of principal, premium, if any, and interest on conservation bonds. Revenues collectible or collected under this subsection shall be known as “conservation investment assets.” The commission shall not revalue bondable conservation investment for rate-making purposes, determine that revenues required to recover bondable conservation investment and associated equity and debt capital costs are unjust or unreasonable, impair or reduce in any way the value of conservation investment assets, or impair the timing or the amount of revenues arising with respect to conservation investment assets that have been used to secure financing or refinancing under ORS 757.415 (Purposes for which securities and notes may be issued) (1)(f).


Subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall apply to any amounts presently deferred by a utility regardless of whether expended prior to September 9, 1995.


As used in this section, “conservation program expenditures” includes, without limitation, loans and cash payments made to customers, the costs of conservation measures installed at the expense of the public utility, specific acquisition program development, promotion and labor costs and associated general supervision, rents, leases and overheads. [1995 c.539 §3]
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