In January, Oregon monthly Portland General Electric (PGE) rates increased an average of 7%. For a typical residential PGE customer using 780 kilowatt hours per month this was an increase from $114.54 to $122.60, or about 7% more than in 2022. PGE has already applied to the Public Utility Commission for a further rate increase beginning in 2024.
However, many households are eligible for discounts that are easy to apply for. For a person living alone with income less than $31,266 per year, 2 people with income less than $40,886, or a four-person household under $60,126, the discounts can be between 15%-25%.
Eligibility is based on your household size and the average annual gross income for all members of your household 18 years and older combined. Gross income means your income before taxes. Money in saving accounts or CD’s is not considered.
The application is an extremely easy single form that requires name, address, PGE account number, phone, email, household size, and income. The application form for the discount can be found at: https://portlandgeneral.com/income-qualified-bill-discount (application button is near bottom of page).
PGE encourages eligible customers to apply and the application can be submitted on behalf of another person if they can not do it for themselves.
PGE serves approximately 912,000 customers and gets its power from a mix of generation facilities that includes water power, wind, and natural gas combustion. It also buys power from other utilities when required. PGE closed its only coal powered plant in October 2020.
In 2021 Oregon Gov Kate Brown signed legislation that effectively banned any new builds or expansion of fossil fuel electric generation plants, including those powered by natural gas. Last week Eugene became the first city in Oregon to ban natural gas in all new residential construction.
Oregon’s goal is to decarbonize by 90% in 2035 and by 100% by 2040.