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Capital Press 1/28/10

The Oregon Public Utility Commission cut in half a rate increase requested by PacifiCorp, but still allowed the utility to raise rates between 3.4 and 6.8 percent.

Under the PUC-approved increase, the average residential monthly bill will increase $2.81, from $83.14 to $85.95. Commercial and industrial customers will see rates increase 6.8 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively. Rates for irrigators will increase 5.4 percent. The increases take effect Feb. 2.

"While we do not like increasing rates in these economic times, the commission ... recognizes PacifiCorp's growing cost of providing energy to customers and meeting renewable energy goals set by the Legislature," PUC Chairman Lee Beyer said Jan. 27.

The primary drivers behind the rate increase are investments in renewable energy, transmission and distribution upgrades and hydroelectric relicensing, according to the PUC.

--Mitch Lies

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