Washington and Oregon utilities raising electricity rates

In addition to inflation, many Northwest homeowners will need to brace for utilities raising electricity rates, as well as gas, come January 2023. Utilities are citing pressures from inflation, and the need to meet regulatory compliance guidelines as their response to the proposed rate increases.

Here’s what five of the biggest utilities in Washington and Oregon have planned for utility rate increases.

Puget Sound Energy. PSE customers could see their utility bills increase by 12.9 percent by January 1, 2023. The utility’s proposal to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission includes price increases of 12.9 percent in 2023 and between 1.2 and 2.7 percent in 2024 and 2025. This upward trend in cost affects other forms of energy too. PSE customers should also expect an 11.9 percent increase in natural gas prices beginning in 2023.

Pacific Power. PacPower has also made it clear that it wants to raise electricity rates for Oregon customers by more than 12 percent in 2023. They cite higher power costs, general inflationary pressure, as well as increasing costs associated with wildfire planning and mitigation. This increase to its over 600,000 Oregon customer base is the largest general rate increase the utility has requested since 2010.

Portland General Electric. On January 1, 2022, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission approved a price increase for PGE customers of about 4 percent. It wasn’t long after on April 2022, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission gave PGE permission to increase rates again by an aggregate of 3.2 percent.

Seattle City Light. SCL’s plan would be to consistently raise electricity rates from 2023-2028. The rate increase amounts to a 4.5 percent increase annually for the first two years, then increases of 3 percent for the remaining four years. While the average rate increase across all customer groups is 4.5 percent, residential customers will see their rates increase to approximately 5.7 percent.

Snohomish PUD. While SnoPUD applied a residential base increase to their customer’s electricity bill on April 1, 2022, this addition amounted to a general rate increase. What’s more, this base charge is scheduled to increase incrementally over the next four years, which falls in line with the general trend utilities are implementing with regard to their hopes of increased revenue starting in 2023.

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