Electricity Rates

Find Oregon Alternative Power Options for Your Home or Business

Governed by the Public Utility Commission (PUC), Oregon utility providers generate and distribute the energy that residents and business owners use to power their lives. It is the PUC's job to set and regulate the rates consumers are charged by Oregon utility providers for electricity and natural gas supply as well as other public utilities. To determine the rates customers should be charged, the PUC factors in a range of components including the costs of labor, capital and purchased energy on behalf of Oregon utility providers.

The PUC also oversees the structuring and setting of customer rates, which means they work with generation plants and Oregon energy companies to decide the types of supply plans Oregon utility providers are allowed to offer. Generally, Oregon utilities provide a regulated rate for residents as well as different rates for large and small businesses.

However, as an alternative to the basic service rate, customers of many Oregon utilities have the option of signing up for a green energy plan that utilizes renewable resources such as Oregon solar power to offset some of the energy generated through traditional, more harmful methods such as fossil fuel burning.

Learn more about Oregon alternative energy solutions

Oregon utilities and Oregon's energy industry as a whole are mostly dependent upon renewable resources, specifically hydroelectric power. About 70 percent of the state's net electricity generation comes from hydro power and other renewable resources.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration states Oregon energy companies have not placed as much emphasis on the development of Oregon solar power solutions as other Oregon alternative energy resources because of the state's historically high number of cloudy days. However, according to Environment Oregon, there is vast untapped energy potential in the way of solar resources in the eastern two-thirds of the state. When fully harnessed through rooftop photovoltaic panels and solar power plants on vacant land, it is believed that Oregon solar power could make up 10 percent of the state's electricity generation by 2025.

Wind-driven turbines contribute an additional portion of the state's electricity generated using renewable resources. In the western third of Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge has been identified as a location with high potential for wind energy generation.

Most importantly, due to large quantities of mountain runoff and high annual rainfall in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is also able to produce the second largest amount of hydropower in the United States each year, trailing only its northern neighbor Washington. Over the past few decades, Oregon alternative power companies have established a number of dams along the Columbia River, which generate the majority of the state's electricity.

How do consumers discover Oregon energy companies?

Whether you are new to the state or you're moving to a different part of town, it's important to figure out which of the Oregon utility providers operates in your neighborhood. This is the company that you should contact if you have questions about your monthly energy bill or you experience a power outage, gas leak or any other discontinuation in your electricity or natural gas service.

Likewise, if you are interested in learning how Oregon energy companies can take advantage of the state's abundant renewable resources, you should ask your local utility about its selection of Oregon alternative power solutions. Oregon utility providers such as Portland General Electric source wind energy from a number of nearby wind farm projects, and those located closer to water sources in the middle of the state utilize hydropower.

To reach out to your local utility and discover Oregon alternative energy solutions available in your neck of the woods, Oregon.gov has a comprehensive listing of the Oregon utilities operating throughout the state, as well as a contact number.

Or you can report a power outage or natural gas emergency to these commission-regulated utilities:

  • Idaho Power: 1-800-488-6151
  • Pacific Power & Light: 1-877-508-5088
  • Portland General Electric: 1-800-544-1795
  • Avista Utilities: 1-800-227-9187
  • Cascade Natural Gas: 1-888-522-1130
  • NW Natural: 1-800-882-3377