SB 1149 directed the two largest electric utilities in Oregon (Pacific Power and General Electric) to require their customers to pay for a public purpose charge. The fee will be equivalent to 3% of their disadvantaged weatherization projects, improvements in renewable energy, and funds and revenues for energy efficiency throughout Oregon.
ORS 757.612 (Oregon Statute) outlines what is needed for charge expenditures, allocating 10% of the first collected funds and distributing them to schools within Pacific Power’s and PGE’s service territories. Out of the 90% remaining funds, the ORS designates 63% for saving energy, 19% for renewable projects, 13% for disadvantaged weatherization, and 5% for low-income housing.
Those provisions impact the allocation percentage total of the charge money to the various public purposes listed below:
- School Districts: First 10% of funds
- Conservation: 56.7%
- Renewable Energy: 17.1%
- Low-income Weatherization: 11.7%
- Low-income Housing: 4.5%
Over 100 school districts in Oregon are within the Pacific Power’s and PGE’s service territories. The districts as a whole get the first 10% of funds to make schools more energy-efficient.
Electric consumer locations that utilize 8,760,000 kWh or more in the previous year are qualified for the Self-Direct Program or Large Electric Consumer Public Purpose Program. Instead of paying directly to the utility, certified sites may self-direct the renewable options and conservation of their purpose charge. Large consumers also can certify projects and sites using an online application administered by Oregon Renewable Future staff.