(1) In addition to the powers and duties now or hereafter transferred to or vested in the Public Utility Commission, the commission shall represent the customers of any public utility or telecommunications utility and the public generally in all controversies respecting rates, valuations, service and all matters of which the commission has jurisdiction. In respect thereof the commission shall make use of the jurisdiction and powers of the office to protect such customers, and the public generally, from unjust and unreasonable exactions and practices and to obtain for them adequate service at fair and reasonable rates. The commission shall balance the interests of the utility investor and the consumer in establishing fair and reasonable rates. Rates are fair and reasonable for the purposes of this subsection if the rates provide adequate revenue both for operating expenses of the public utility or telecommunications utility and for capital costs of the utility, with a return to the equity holder that is:
(a) Commensurate with the return on investments in other enterprises having corresponding risks; and
(b) Sufficient to ensure confidence in the financial integrity of the utility, allowing the utility to maintain its credit and attract capital.
(2) The commission is vested with power and jurisdiction to supervise and regulate every public utility and telecommunications utility in this state, and to do all things necessary and convenient in the exercise of such power and jurisdiction.
(3) The commission may participate in any proceeding before any public officer, commission or body of the United States or any state for the purpose of representing the public generally and the customers of the services of any public utility or telecommunications utility operating or providing service to or within this state.
(4) The commission may make joint investigations, hold joint hearings within or without this state and issue concurrent orders in conjunction or concurrence with any official, board, commission or agency of any state or of the United States. [Amended by 1961 c.467 §1; 1971 c.655 §9; 1973 c.776 §15; 1987 c.447 §76; 1995 c.733 §53; 2001 c.569 §1]
Note: Sections 1 and 2, chapter 741, Oregon Laws 2017, provide:
Sec. 1. (1) The Public Utility Commission shall establish a public process for the purpose of investigating how developing industry trends, technologies and policy drivers in the electricity sector might impact the existing regulatory system and incentives currently employed by the commission. If warranted, the commission may consider changes to the existing regulatory system and incentives.
(2) As part of the public process established under subsection (1) of this section, the commission shall investigate the following:
(a) The obligations of and benefits to electric companies under the existing regulatory system;
(b) The obligations of and benefits to customers of electric companies under the existing regulatory system, including customers that participate in direct access;
(c) The current use of regulatory incentives, including but limited to:
(A) Incentives for electric companies to place capital investment in rate base, paying particular attention to the perception of bias in resource selection;
(B) Incentives for electric companies to plan for serving all existing and all new electricity loads in electric companies’ service territories; and
(C) Incentives for electric companies and for customers of electric companies to develop renewable energy resources and purchase renewable energy; and
(d) The primary public policy objectives that are promoted by the commission’s current statutory authority and by the existing regulatory system and incentives.
(3) As part of the public process established under subsection (1) of this section, the commission shall identify industry trends, technologies and policy drivers currently developing in the electricity industry, including but not limited to:
(a) Greater penetration by variable energy resources of electric utilities’ electrical systems;
(b) Increasing presence and cost-effectiveness of distributed energy resources in electric utilities’ electrical systems;
(c) Greater customer support sophistication and desire for energy service options and energy management tools;
(d) Increasing customer desire for energy service needs to be met by a specific generating resource through either nonutility owned resources and delivery options or utility owned resources and delivery options;
(e) Greater recognition of the carbon output of electricity generation;
(f) The electrification of the transportation sector;
(g) The potential for regional transmission markets;
(h) Advances in distribution system communication and control technologies;
(i) The need to replace aging distribution system equipment for grid modernization;
(j) Use of performance-based incentives used by other states in addressing the industry trends, technologies and policy drivers described in this subsection; and
(k) Changes in public policy objectives that are developing in relation to the electricity sector or that have directly or indirectly been identified by the Legislative Assembly.
(4) The commission shall explore changes to the existing regulatory system and incentives that could accommodate developing industry trends and support new policy objectives without compromising affordable rates, safety and reliable service. If the commission determines that changes to the existing regulatory system and incentives would be in the interest of customers of electric companies and the public generally, the commission shall develop plans to administratively implement changes to the regulatory system and incentives or shall make recommendations to the Legislative Assembly for the purpose of legislatively implementing changes to the regulatory system and incentives.
(5) As part of the public process established under subsection (1) of this section, the commission shall provide the public with an opportunity to comment.
(6) The commission shall submit a report on the findings of the public process established under subsection (1) of this section and the progress of investigations conducted under subsection (2) of this section in the manner provided by ORS 192.245 (Form of report to legislature) to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to energy and business no later than September 15, 2018. The commission may include, as part of the commission’s report, recommendations for legislation. [2017 c.741 §1]
Sec. 2. Section 1 of this 2017 Act is repealed on January 2, 2019. [2017 c.741 §2]
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.