OLYMPIA - June 21, 2000 - The cost to consumers for power in southeastern Washington will remain steady over the next five years as the result of a settlement reached by the Attorney General’s office and Pacificorp.
The proposed settlement with Pacificorp, staff of the UTC, Industrial Customers Northwest Utilities, NW Energy Coalition and the Energy Project must be approved by the UTC before it can take effect.
The agreement allows company rate increases of 3 percent in 2001 and 2002, and 1 percent in 2003. It prohibits general rate increases in 2004 and 2005. During these five years, customers will receive credits on their bills from the company’s recent merger with Scottish Power and its sale of the Centralia coal plant, as well as any benefits the company received from purchasing power from BPA.
"The bill credits will help customers offset the minor increases in rates," said Attorney General Christine Gregoire. "This deal provides customers with predictable rates for five years, something we believe is important in light of the changes at Pacificorp resulting from their merger."
The settlement also extends the customer service guarantee adopted in the merger, and provides a process to develop energy efficiency and low-income programs.
Finally, the agreement includes a process to examine the company’s power plant acquisitions, and ensures Washington customers will not pay for Pacificorp’s past involvement in the Trojan nuclear plant when the company makes its next request for new rates in 2006. "We expect Pacificorp to maintain service and aggressively manage its costs, including the cost of acquiring new sources of power, while these rates are in effect," said Gregoire. "And we expect consumers to benefit from those lower costs the next time the company’s rates are reviewed."