40% utility hike pays for rich people’s EVs, heat pumps

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


Portland General Electric is request for a 7.4 percent increase in 2025, saying it would boost residents’ cost of electricity by 40 percent over 2022 rates. PGE, Oregon’s largest electric utility, says it needs more income to build new substations, transmission lines, and energy storage and replace poles and wires, according to the Portland Business Journal. The utility’s officials also say they need to reduce wildfire risks as well as carbon emission by investing in green energy—solar panels, wind farms, and electric vehicles and heat pumps.  The people who can afford these luxuries are the higher income Oregonians.  Heat Pumps cost triple the cost of electric heaters.  Teh average cost of Electric Vehicle is over $60,000.

PGE estimated it would spend $2.3 billion on transmission and distribution improvements over four years, but it has revised that estimate upward to $3.3 billion. PacifiCorp’s Pacific Power utility is also facing a backlash after requesting a rate increase. The Journal reported that higher housing costs and taxes have already curtailed Portland’s competitive advantage among West Coast urban areas and higher electricity rates would damage it even more. The request for a rate increase has called into question PGE’s investor return on investment, CEO compensation of $6.9 million, and residential rates being higher than those for commercial and industrial customers.