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Big Savings with Ratepayer Ownership

Clackamas County PUD supporters raised $13,000 to commission a Feasibility Study by a respected engineering firm with over 35 years of experience.

The study predicts over 10% immediate rate reductions, 20% savings in the second year, and 33% lower rates by year ten. The cumulative ten-year savings would be $860 million. Considering the multiplier effect, commonly estimated at three times, i.e. for every dollar infused or retained in the county, three dollars end up circulating, savings from a PUD would significantly boost our local economy.

Imagine the economic stimulus of such savings as well as the benefit to the tight budgets of families, schools, businesses, and governments.

Visit here to view the 30-page Study. Print it and show it to others including businesses near you.

The Importance of Ratepayer Ownership

Portland General electric charges the highest rates of any sizable utility in Oregon [link]. It continues to collect over $90 million each year from ratepayers for state and federal income tax that goes instead into Enron’s coffers [link]. Enron’s bankruptcy can still lead to the sale of PGE’s most profitable assets to unregulated owners, a step that would lead to even higher rates [link 1  2].

PUD’s or other public ownership can protect us from the fallout from Enron’s bankruptcy while offewring lower rates to both residents and businesses. This would be good for the area’s families and good for our economy.

The risk of public ownership is almost zero. Publicly owned utilities are funded through revenue from ratepayers, not through taxes.


"Electricity rates immediately dropped for PGE customers once they became Columbia River PUD customers. Residential customers who had been paying $60.10 a month to PGE for 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity began paying $52.50 a month."

Pilon [general manager of Columbia River PUD] said PGE needlessly scared people in 1999, sounding alarms about the possibility of skyrocketing rates and power system failures that did not turn out to be true. Now, he said, PGE and PacifiCorp are doing it again

"The same garbage that PGE people are pumping now, PGE was pumping out then," Pilon said.

— The Oregonian, in an article on 10/19/2003 describing what happened when voters approved the annexation of electricity customers in Scappoose, St. Helens and Columbia City to the Columbia River PUD from PGE. [link]

"Because they are locally controlled, People's Utility Districts are more accessible and responsive to their customers' needs. They are a "not-for-profit" entity, whose cost savings are passed directly to their customers.

The Board of Directors sets rates based upon the cost of providing service. The PUD's power supply is generally provided by BPA at rates that are less than any of Oregon's private utility rates. The PUD passes these lower rates on to customers. The Board is also responsible for hiring professional managers and staff to operate the utility."

— Oregon PUD Association, as stated on their Web site.

Become a Volunteer

We're seeking volunteers willing to contribute their time, enthusiasm and hard work to bring a ratepayer-owned utility to our area.

Supporters meet regularly and you're invited. Please use our Volunteer/Contact form to get details.


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