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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 03, 2005
Public Counsel Objects to PacifiCorp’s Proposed Energy Rate Increase


OLYMPIA – The Public Counsel Section of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office today filed testimony with the state Utilities and Transportation Commission objecting to a proposed rate increase by PacifiCorp. Public Counsel expressed concerns that the proposal is an inappropriate attempt to make Washington customers subsidize the power company’s growth in Utah. A public hearing on the proposed rate increase is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Yakima.

“Public Counsel believes that Washington consumers, who make up only a fraction of PacifiCorp’s customer base, should not have to pay higher rates that we believe are an attempt to subsidize the company’s growth in Utah,” said Assistant Attorney General Robert W. Cromwell, Jr.

On May 5, PacifiCorp requested a nearly 18 percent increase in its general electricity rates in order to procure an additional $39.2 million in annual revenue. Under the proposal, the average residential customer in Washington would see a $5 increase in his or her monthly bill. PacifiCorp provides power to approximately 122,000 customers in Eastern Washington including Yakima and Walla Walla.

Cromwell said Public Counsel contends that PacifiCorp should receive an increase of no more than $13.6 million and possibly far less.

Also at issue in the case is the method that will be used to allocate costs across PacifiCorp’s multi-state customer base. PacifiCorp requested that the WUTC approve the company’s “Revised Protocol,” a term PacifiCorp uses to describe a method for allocating costs among the six states where it operates. Public Counsel’s testimony asserts that this Revised Protocol improperly allocates Utah costs to Washington.

The Public Counsel Section represents residential and business consumers who would not otherwise have an effective voice regarding utility rates, services and business practices.

Following is information about how customers can participate in the rate proposal process:

  • The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will hold a public hearing to take comments from the public regarding PacifiCorp’s proposal. The hearing is scheduled 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Yakima County Courthouse, 128 N. Second St., Yakima, in room B-33.
  • Customers may also submit comments in writing to WUTC, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA, 98504; by e-mail at comments@wutc.wa.gov, or by fax at (360) 664-4291. Include your name and mailing address, the name of the company (PacifiCorp), and docket no. UE-050684.

For more information, customers may contact either the WUTC or Public Counsel:

  • WUTC – (800) 562-6150, e-mail at comments@wutc.wa.gov. Information is available online at www.wutc.wa.gov.
  • Attorney General’s Office Public Counsel Section -- Public Counsel, Attorney General’s Office, 900 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA 98164-1012, or e-mail utility@atg.wa.gov

The WUTC has until April 4, 2006, to rule on the case.

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For more information, contact:

Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, (206) 464-6432, kalexander@atg.wa.gov

Robert W. Cromwell, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, (206) 464-6595, RobertC1@atg.wa.gov (numeral 1 following the C)

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