Portland General Electric (PGE) Requests 7.4% Rate Hike for 2025

Portland General Electric (PGE) requests to raise electricity rates by 7.4% in 2025

Portland General Electric (PGE) has requested a rate hike of 7.4% in 2025 for residential energy prices. This comes after PGE raised their rates 18% in 2024 (their highest rate hike in 20 years).  

This significant spike in energy costs would leave many Oregon residents and businesses grappling with the potential implications on their budgets and the local economy. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the proposed rate hike and its potential impact on consumers and the community. We will also show how solar can help you fight back against energy price inflation and save you money. 

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How Much Could PGE Raise Rates for 2025? 

PGE is requesting to raise residential energy rates by 7.4% for 2025. This increase will increase the average Oregon resident’s energy bill an estimated $10 per month. This could mean an estimated $120 more per year spent on energy. 

PGE’s 7.4% energy rate hike would follow several previous rate hikes: 18% increase in 2024, 7% increase in 2023, 11% increase in 2022, and 2% increase in 2020. 

Read Oregon Public Utility Commission approval of PGE 2024 rate increase. 

Why Does PGE Want To Raise Energy Rates?

PGE has cited several factors contributing to the need for a rate increase, including investment in battery energy storage projects, investment in infrastructure upgrades, and upgrades to technology and generation facilities. The impacts of wildfires is also important to factor into PGE’s decision to raise rates the last few years.

See PGE’s rate increase statement here. 

Battery Energy Storage Projects

One reason PGE wants to raise energy rates in 2025 are large grid-scale battery storage projects. PGE says the battery projects are needed to improve reliability during peak demand and to accommodate growing renewable energy generation. These grid-scale battery projects could store energy and supply needed power during times of high demand.

Battery energy storage is also crucial to the expansion of PGE’s renewable energy projects. As PGE builds more grid-sized solar and wind energy projects, more energy storage will be required to store the excess energy.

See PGE’s Clean Energy Plan. 

Grid Modernization, Infrastructure Upgrades

To ensure a reliable and resilient energy infrastructure, PGE says it recognizes the importance of modernizing its grid systems. Aging infrastructure and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events necessitate significant investments in technology and equipment upgrades. PGE says the rate increase will help fund these improvements, enhancing the overall efficiency and responsiveness of the electrical grid, ultimately benefiting consumers with a more stable and secure energy supply. 

Wildfire Prevention

In light of massive and historic wildfires in Oregon in 2020, Oregon utilities have been pressured to improve their practices, procedures, and equipment. After thousands of homes were destroyed and countless lives upturned by these wildfires, PGE has begun to invest in infrastructure resilience, monitoring and warning systems, and better landscape management. 

And following a $1.6 Billion lawsuit against Pacific Power (PacifiCorp) for their potential role in the devastating wildfires, PGE’s actions to prevent future wildfires seems prudent. 

PGE Customers Push Back Against Rate Increase

Many PGE customers have expressed dismay about numerous rate hikes in recent years. And the Oregon Citizens Utility Board, a consumer advocacy group, is pushing back against PGE’s recent request for 2025 rate hikes.

Oregon CUB says “enough is enough.” They are calling out PGE for raising rates nearly 30% between December 2022 and January 2024. They say now is not the time to raise rates even more. They also dispute PGE’s reasons for increasing rates so high in recent year.

Oregon CUB says PGE’s battery energy storage projects will have little actual effect on Jan. 1, 2025 rates.

“The filing includes the new Constable Battery Storage project, but the cost associated with that is $17.3 million (8.5% of the $202 million increase)” Oregon CUB writes on their website. “This project is currently projected to come online on December 31, 2024. This means that any delays will mean that it could easily not be serving customers when rates go up. PGE could be asking customers to pay more for batteries that aren’t even turned on.”

Oregon CUB also claims that PGE’s is shifting risk from PGE and their shareholders onto consumers. By raising rates and pointing to rising costs of fuel, upgrades, maintenance, etc., PGE is piling the costs onto consumer while protecting shareholders.

In the end, PGE did not need to honestly need to request rate hikes for 2025, says Oregon CUB.

“Much of what PGE is asking for are things that they did not get last year. And the thing that they point to as the need for the case, battery storage investments, may not even be online by January,” they said. “CUB sees little to like in this new filing and will vigorously oppose it. Customers cannot afford it. Enough is enough.”

Balancing Act for Consumers

While the rate hike may pose challenges for consumers in the short term, PGE is working to implement strategies that ease the burden on households and businesses. The utility company is exploring options such as energy efficiency programs, rebates for energy-saving initiatives, and financial assistance for low-income customers. These measures aim to strike a balance between the need for increased revenue and the well-being of the community. 

Learn more about PGE’s energy assistance programs. 

Community Impact

The ripple effects of PGE’s rate hike extend beyond individual consumers. Businesses, particularly those in energy-intensive sectors, may experience an increase in operational costs, potentially leading to adjustments in pricing and workforce management. Additionally, the rate hike may spark conversations about energy policy and the broader transition to a sustainable energy future within the Portland community. 

Reduce or Eliminate Energy Bills with Solar

While there are several steps homeowners and businesses can take to reduce their energy bills and fight utility price inflation, those steps can only go so far. That’s especially true when utilities continue to raise their prices more and more, year after year. 

The best way to combat painful and constant energy prices is to find the best alternative to relying on the power company. As both fuel costs and demand for electricity rise, prices will continue to climb quickly. Being able to rely on a source of energy whose price isn’t dictated by external factors and corporate entities is your best bet. 

That’s where solar energy comes in. Solar energy allows you to produce your own power on your own property. No more will you have to solely rely on the utility company to provide you with the (expensive) power you rely upon. 

Even better, you can use battery backup to store your energy. This energy storage can be used to power your home in a power outage, or it can charge your electric vehicle (EV) so you can reduce your reliance on utility companies even more. 

Take action today and see how you can reduce your energy bills and your reliance on constant energy price inflation. Contact Green Ridge Solar today to get your free solar analysis. 

And try our Solar Calculator to see how much you could save with solar. 

FREE SOLAR CALCULATOR

Estimate your total savings, payments, and total energy usage with our FREE solar calculator.