Utility Regulation Generally
Definitions for ORS 757.600 to 757.689
(1)“Aggregate” means combining retail electricity consumers into a buying group for the purchase of electricity and related services.
(2)“Ancillary services” means services necessary or incidental to the transmission and delivery of electricity from generating facilities to retail electricity consumers, including but not limited to scheduling, load shaping, reactive power, voltage control and energy balancing services.
(3)“Commission” means the Public Utility Commission.
(4)“Consumer-owned utility” means a municipal electric utility, a people’s utility district or an electric cooperative.
(5)“Default supplier” means an electricity service supplier or electric company that has a legal obligation to provide electricity services to a consumer, as determined by the commission.
(6)“Direct access” means the ability of a retail electricity consumer to purchase electricity and certain ancillary services, as determined by the commission for an electric company or the governing body of a consumer-owned utility, directly from an entity other than the distribution utility.
(7)“Direct service industrial consumer” means an end user of electricity that obtains electricity directly from the transmission grid and not through a distribution utility.
(8)“Distribution” means the delivery of electricity to retail electricity consumers through a distribution system consisting of local area power poles, transformers, conductors, meters, substations and other equipment.
(9)“Distribution utility” means an electric utility that owns and operates a distribution system connecting the transmission grid to the retail electricity consumer.
(10)“Economic utility investment” means all electric company investments, including plants and equipment and contractual or other legal obligations, properly dedicated to generation or conservation, that were prudent at the time the obligations were assumed but the full benefits of which are no longer available to consumers as a direct result of ORS 757.600 (Definitions for ORS 757.600 to 757.689) to 757.667 (City authority over rights of way), absent transition credits. “Economic utility investment” does not include costs or expenses disallowed by the commission in a prudence review or other proceeding, to the extent of such disallowance, and does not include fines or penalties authorized and imposed under state or federal law.
(11)“Electric company” means an entity engaged in the business of distributing electricity to retail electricity consumers in this state, but does not include a consumer-owned utility.
(12)“Electric cooperative” means an electric cooperative corporation organized under ORS chapter 62 or under the laws of another state if the service territory of the electric cooperative includes a portion of this state.
(13)“Electric utility” means an electric company or consumer-owned utility that is engaged in the business of distributing electricity to retail electricity consumers in this state.
(14)“Electricity” means electric energy, measured in kilowatt-hours, or electric capacity, measured in kilowatts, or both.
(15)“Electricity services” means electricity distribution, transmission, generation or generation-related services.
(16)“Electricity service supplier” means a person or entity that offers to sell electricity services available pursuant to direct access to more than one retail electricity consumer. “Electricity service supplier” does not include an electric utility selling electricity to retail electricity consumers in its own service territory.
(17)“Governing body” means the board of directors or the commissioners of an electric cooperative or people’s utility district, or the council or board of a city with respect to a municipal electric utility.
(18)“Load” means the amount of electricity delivered to or required by a retail electricity consumer at a specific point of delivery.
(19)“Low-income weatherization” means repairs, weatherization and installation of energy efficient appliances and fixtures for low-income residences for the purpose of enhancing energy efficiency.
(20)“Municipal electric utility” means an electric distribution utility owned and operated by or on behalf of a city.
(21)“New renewable energy resource” means a renewable energy resource project, or a new addition to an existing renewable energy resource project, or the electricity produced by the project, that is not in operation on July 23, 1999. “New renewable energy resource” does not include any portion of a renewable energy resource project under contract to the Bonneville Power Administration on or before July 23, 1999.
(22)“One average megawatt” means 8,760,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
(23)“People’s utility district” has the meaning given that term in ORS 261.010 (Definitions).
(24)“Portfolio access” means the ability of a retail electricity consumer to choose from a set of product and pricing options for electricity determined by the governing board of a consumer-owned utility and may include product and pricing options offered by the utility or by an electricity service supplier.
(25)“Power generation company” means a company engaged in the production and sale of electricity to wholesale customers, including but not limited to independent power producers, affiliated generation companies, municipal and state authorities, provided the company is not regulated by the commission.
(26)“Qualifying expenditures” means those expenditures for energy conservation measures that have a simple payback period of not less than one year and not more than 10 years, and expenditures for the above-market costs of new renewable energy resources, provided that the State Department of Energy by rule may establish a limit on the maximum above-market cost for renewable energy that is allowed as a credit.
(27)“Renewable energy resources” means:
(a)Electricity generation facilities fueled by wind, waste, solar or geothermal power or by low-emission nontoxic biomass based on solid organic fuels from wood, forest and field residues.
(b)Dedicated energy crops available on a renewable basis.
(c)Landfill gas and digester gas.
(d)Hydroelectric facilities located outside protected areas as defined by federal law in effect on July 23, 1999.
(28)“Residential electricity consumer” means an electricity consumer who resides at a dwelling primarily used for residential purposes. “Residential electricity consumer” does not include retail electricity consumers in a dwelling typically used for residency periods of less than 30 days, including hotels, motels, camps, lodges and clubs. As used in this subsection, “dwelling” includes but is not limited to single family dwellings, separately metered apartments, adult foster homes, manufactured dwellings, recreational vehicles and floating homes.
(29)“Retail electricity consumer” means the end user of electricity for specific purposes such as heating, lighting or operating equipment, and includes all end users of electricity served through the distribution system of an electric utility on or after July 23, 1999, whether or not each end user purchases the electricity from the electric utility.
(30)“Site” means a single contiguous area of land containing buildings or other structures that are separated by not more than 1,000 feet, or buildings and related structures that are interconnected by facilities owned by a single retail electricity consumer and that are served through a single electric meter.
(31)“Transition charge” means a charge or fee that recovers all or a portion of an uneconomic utility investment.
(32)“Transition credit” means a credit that returns to consumers all or a portion of the benefits from an economic utility investment.
(33)“Transmission facility” means the plant and equipment used to transmit electricity in interstate commerce.
(34)“Undue market power” means the unfair or improper exercise of influence to increase or decrease the availability or price of a service or product in a manner inconsistent with competitive markets.
(35)“Uneconomic utility investment” means all electric company investments, including plants and equipment and contractual or other legal obligations, properly dedicated to generation, conservation and workforce commitments, that were prudent at the time the obligations were assumed but the full costs of which are no longer recoverable as a direct result of ORS 757.600 (Definitions for ORS 757.600 to 757.689) to 757.667 (City authority over rights of way), absent transition charges. “Uneconomic utility investment” does not include costs or expenses disallowed by the commission in a prudence review or other proceeding, to the extent of such disallowance, and does not include fines or penalties as authorized by state or federal law. [1999 c.865 §1; 2001 c.134 §8; 2003 c.186 §75]
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